Supreme Court to hear appeal in Fearn v Board of Trustees of the Tate Gallery

A two-day appeal began today in the Supreme Court in Fearn v Board of Trustees of the Tate Gallery.

The Appellants own flats which neighbour the Tate Modern Gallery on the South Bank of the Thames. In February 2019, Mann J declined to grant an injunction requiring the Board of Trustees of the Tate to prevent members of the public from observing the flats from certain parts of a 360 degree viewing gallery on the top of the Blavatnik Building extension to the Tate. The Court of Appeal affirmed Mann J’s decision in February 2020, although on different grounds.

The appeal will consider:

  1. Whether private nuisance, understood in light of the requirements of section 6(1) of the Human Rights Act, provides a remedy against ‘viewing’ from neighbouring land; and
  2. Whether public viewing from the Respondent’s viewing gallery into the Appellants’ flats infringes the Appellants’ rights under article 8(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) to respect for their private lives and their homes;

The appeal is being heard in the Supreme Court on 7 and 8 December 2021. The hearing will be streamed live here.

The Appellants are represented by Jacob Dean of 5RB (led by Tom Weekes QC and alongside Richard Moules), instructed by Forsters LLP.