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This essay will discuss what is meant by Human Rights and go on to explain both the rights of privacy and the freedom of expression individually and then identify if both of these work well together.

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´╗┐Question: ?Human rights simultaneously claim to protect freedom of expression and the right to privacy.? (Clapham, A. (2007) Human Rights: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford, Oxford University Press, p.114) Evaluate this statement using the examples of the law on privacy you have studied in Unit 21. Is the current balance between a right to privacy and a right to freedom of expression appropriate? This essay will discuss what is meant by Human Rights and go on to explain both the rights of privacy and the freedom of expression individually and then identify if both of these work well together. From the explanations, identification will be made as to why if some of the rights conflict with each other. It will look at the nature of the Human Rights legislation focusing on the laws surrounding privacy and freedom of expression and assess both the strengths and weaknesses of this legal methodology. In order to examine the laws surrounding Human Rights it is first essential to understand what they are and how they have developed over time into the legal framework used to support them. Human rights are those rights that every individual on the planet is entitled to. Human rights are entitled to every individual regardless of race, gender, s****l orientation, disability, age, whether the individual is a criminal or not, working class or social status. These rights are automatically assigned to an individual the moment they are born, and they cannot be infringed upon by anyone whether in the family or a position of authority. ...read more.


Article 8 of the Human rights Act states that there should be: ?respect for everyone?s private and family life, home and correspondence?. This means the right to get on with life without undue interference. Article 10 of the Act provides the right to pass information to others and the rights to express opinions and ideas. Until 2000 when the Act came into force, there was no right to privacy under English Law, however the laws surrounding Breach of Confidence had been used to protect certain private matters. Reading 7: The Human Rights Act, Community Legal Services Direct Information Leaflet 7 (2005), The Human Rights Act, Legal Services Commission, p44 and p45 describe both Articles 8: Right to respect for private and family life and Article 10: Freedom of expression in more detail. The private life part of Article 8 has been used to challenge the Government for holding information about people. For example someone who was in care has used it to get information about his childhood. Article 8 has been used by people to challenge the police or secret services bugging their homes. Article 8 is a ?qualified right?. Basically this means that in certain circumstances it can be breached. The Government or the public authority that has breached the right must show that there was a clear legl basis for the breach. It also has to show that reaching the right was ?necessary and proportionate? in that it was done for a good reason and went no further than it needed to. ...read more.


Reading 9: Privacy and human rights 2004: Overview p.52 and p53 looks at Article 8 in more detail. It states that of all the human rights in the international catalogue privacy is perhaps the most difficult to define. In Reading 13 in the Case of Campbell v MGN Ltd, The House of Lords ruled that the Mirror Newspaper breached supermodel Naomi Campbell’s right to privacy in a case that could have a far reaching impact on celebrity reporting. Lady Hale, Lord Hope and Lord Carswell allowed the appeal , with Lord Nicholls and Lord Hoffman dissenting. The Lords reinstated Ms Campbell’s £3500 compensation, and awarded costs in her favour. The competing nature of the laws, together with the nature of their wording, have created a lack of certitude among many who are subject to them. As shown by the Campbell case, there is no clear dividing line between the rights of privacy and those of freedom of expression. It is hard to justify the statement that Human Rights ensure basic rights and freedoms as they currently stand. Although they can arguably have enhanced the ability to defend ones rights within the courts, the competing nature of conflicting rights and the large areas of uncertainty that currently exist would suggest that the legislation falls far short of ensuring them. In Conclusion although the individual has freedom of expression and rights to privacy these come under conflict under certain circumstances. ...read more.

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