No Appeal in ECHR Privacy Case

UK 'perilously close' to a privacy law, says former PCC Director

The deadline for an appeal against the decision of the European Court of Human Rights decision in the privacy case brought by Princess Caroline of Monaco expired last Friday.

Some media lawyers had petitioned the German government to lodge an appeal against what they perceived to be a strongly pro-privacy decision of the Strasbourg Court. However, the German government has taken no action to challenge the ruling.

Mark Bolland, a former director of the Press Complaints Commission said the Court’s ruling now meant that the British media found themselves in “last chance saloon” and “perilously close” to a judge-made privacy law. Quoted in MediaGuardian today, Mr Bolland added:

“Princess Caroline’s case is a strong and clear warning from Strasbourg to the English courts that they have a positive obligation to protect the privacy rights of individuals… Strasbourg has spoken and it now remains to be seen how the English courts will react.”

A spokesman for the PCC said that it was too early to tell the full impact of the Caroline decision.