Privacy: UK wants new post-Brexit law

Posted on 15 Dec 2021 11:26Updated December 15th 2021 at 4:15pm

More freedom also means more freedom of expression. The United Kingdom wants to take advantage of its regained autonomy after Brexit to review texts that govern freedom of expression and, a fortiori, protect privacy. The Minister of Justice, Dominic Raab, has launched a consultation with a view to revising the “Human Rights Act”, a law since 2000 that has transferred the European Convention on Human Rights to English law.

The United Kingdom may distance itself from this text, which requires courts to judge cases according to a balance between Article 8 of the Convention, which recognizes the right to privacy, and Article 10 of it, which ‘ Protects freedom of expression. “We seek to exemplify the British rights that are the cornerstone of our tradition of freedom and our way of life”, explained this close friend of Boris Johnson in the “Times”.

Leaving the European Union, the United Kingdom “wishes to eliminate the obligation of the courts of the United Kingdom to take into account the decisions of the Court of Strasbourg”, where the European Court of Human Rights is located.

More emphasis on freedom of expression

The consultation comes in the wake of Meghan Markle’s decision to appeal against “Mail on Sunday”, and which has caused a lot of ink to flow across the channel. When the decision was announced, Dominic Raab said he wanted to put “a greater emphasis on freedom of expression” in a country where tabloids, known for the brutality of their headlines, continue to rain and politicize. It’s a good time

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“We have a tradition of freedom of expression, transparency, he explained. We do not have the same texts protecting privacy as in continental Europe. Thus the emergence of a “domestic approach” to eliminate reliance on the continental model,” the minister said. Which is effectively the legacy of the ‘Human Rights Act’ that has left us. ,

Meghan Markle’s victory

In recent years, several court decisions have established the place for privacy protection in British law. In 2018, singer Cliff Richard won his case against the BBC, which, four years earlier, had covered up a search of his home with multiple helicopters over a sexual assault case against a minor, finally dismissed.

Recently, “Mail Online” was ordered to pay damages to a Manchester bombing suspect for publishing his name when he was not charged. Meghan Markle’s victory in the appeal against “Mail on Sunday” on December 2 for publishing an intimate letter addressed to her father was perceived across the channel as a new cut for freedom of expression.

The matter even went up to Downing Street, which left a comment divided. “We will study the implications of this decision carefully. The Prime Minister has already said that a free press is one of the pillars of any democracy,” reacted a spokesperson.

Benefits of Brexit

Dominic Raab’s statements do not come by chance. In the aftermath of Markle’s decision, her remarks highlight the benefits the United Kingdom could derive from Brexit, highlighting the gap that separates the country from continental Europe.

Some experts say they are surprised. Quoted by the special site Press Gazette, City University media expert Paul Lashmer believes the Markle case serves as an “excuse” to present the “Human Rights Act” as “a flawed piece of European law”. while “most people think it’s best to continue”.

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About the Author: Piers Parker

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