Avoiding a constitutional standoff

first_img Angelo Micciche, Borlase & Co, Helston, Cornwall I agree entirely with Joshua Rozenberg. Newspapers would help their own cause by just reporting the news and not stretching extra-marital tittle-tattle to several pages in each daily edition. Not door-stepping errant spouses and their young families would also be a good start. I am, however, concerned when specialist firms accuse the press of having a vested interest, when these firms stand to make millions of pounds out of shoring up the self-damaged reputations of the rich and powerful. Privacy may well be a right, but notably, like anti-defamation law, only for those who can afford it. Our courts, executive and the advisers of those seeking super-injunctions should be more worldly wise and acknowledge the ‘Streisand effect’, and the technological and jurisdictional limitations of such a legal remedy. Together with the fourth estate they should give greater respect to the balance of privacy with freedom of the press – both are, along with respect for the legal system, essential for a healthy democracy. A constitutional standoff between the courts and members of parliament would be avoided and the use of what are effectively peacetime D notices for extra-curricular activities would end immediately. Do our senior judges really need more legislation and guidance from parliament, which in any event and in practice would have to be interpreted by judges, in order to balance our freedoms?last_img