1 User Commentary
30 August 2011
Balancing ‘right to privacy’ and ‘freedom of expression’
The House of Lords issued judgment in the case of Attorney General’s Reference No 3 of 1999 (Application to set aside or vary a Reporting Restriction Order)  UKHL 34 on 17th June 2009. This case concerned an anonymity order made under section 35 of the Criminal Appeal Act 1968 c.19, which was issued at an earlier hearing. The defendant had been tried and acquitted of rape and the order prevented the publication or broadcasting of the circumstances of the defendant’s acquittal. The BBC applied to the House to discharge the anonymity order so that it could make a series of programmes designed to explore a number of controversial acquittals.
In deciding whether to continue or discharge the anonymity order the House considered whether an appropriate balance was present between the defendant’s privacy rights under article 8, and the BBC’s right of freedom of expression under article 10, of schedule 1 to the Human Rights Act 1998 c.42. The House held that the anonymity order should be discharged as the balance fell in favour of the BBC, particularly as the broadcast was deemed to be in the public interest..
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