May 22nd, 2023 by James Goudie KC

There can be a tension between the  Article 8 right to private life under Article 8 of the ECHR  and the right to freedom of expression under Article 10. This is addressed by the Court of Appeal in STOUTE v NEWS GROUP NEWSPAPERS (2023) EWCA Civ 523. The basic principle is that a claim for misuse of private information will succeed only if both of two conditions are satisfied : (1) the claimant has a reasonable expectation of privacy in respect of the information; and (2) the right to privacy outweighs the defendant’s right in the circumstances to freedom of expression.

Various circumstances are relevant to whether a reasonable expectation of privacy exists. Various criteria have been established as relevant to the balance between the rights.

The circumstances and criteria include that (i) photographs require special consideration, because they are particularly intrusive, 9ii) a person is less likely to have a reasonable expectation of privacy with respect to a photograph taken in a public place, but that is not an absolute rule, and (iii) such a claim is more likely to succeed if the photograph involves the depiction of something private.

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