22 Jun 2007
J. K. Rowling's son in privacy fight
Photo agency seeks dismissal of claim in relation to pictures of author's child
The defendant at the centre of a privacy row involving photographs of Harry Potter author, J. K. Rowling's son, has gone to the High Court this week to try and strike out his claim.
Over three days Mr Justice Patten, in the Chancery Division, has been considering an application by Big Pictures (UK) Ltd, a photographic agency which specialises in photographs of celebrities, to strike out a claim brought against it by David Murray, the 4 year-old son of Ms Rowling.
The claim, which alleges misuse of private information and breach of the Data Protection Act 1998, centres on a photograph of David, which was taken when he was a 1 year-old, being pushed down a street in
Big Pictures contend that David's case discloses no cause of action known to English law. The case, and the Defendant's application, raise squarely the question of whether and, if so, the extent to which the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in von Hannover v Germany expands the scope of protection for personal privacy beyond that delineated by the House of Lords in Campbell v MGN Ltd. It also asks how the principles in
Mr Justice Patten today reserved judgment.