Privacy: Contempt of Court, Injunctions and Parliamentary Privilege

This is the second of three posts examining Privacy law in the UK. The first post examines the development of a law on privacy, its scope and the basic legal theory. This post will look into the application of the law, focussing on contempt of court, the need for injunctions and their application, including orders contra mundum. It will briefly discuss the issue of Parliamentary Privilege. The third post will consider the principle of Open Justice, and  super-, anonymised and hyper- injunctions. Read the rest of this entry »

DNA Databases – A Challenge to the Law

This entry is cross-posted from pirateparty.org.uk.

The Supreme Court, Crown Copyright

Today the Supreme Court gave a long-awaited ruling on the subject of DNA databases and the ability of the police to store DNA samples of innocent people indefinitely. In a majority judgment (with two of the seven judges disagreeing) the Court ruled that the police practices were unlawful. Due to changes in the law being discussed by Parliament the judges did not go as far as ordering the police to change their practices within a certain time-frame or awarding compensation. It was, however, suggested that if changes were not made soon, further cases could be brought which were likely to succeed.

While this ruling does not mark the end of excessive police profiling, or of the police DNA databases, it is clearly a step towards a more balanced and proportionate system, and should be welcomed by all those who seek a fair and just policing system

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Judgment in the Digital Economy Act Judicial Review

[Cross-posted from pirateparty.org.uk.]

After only three weeks, Mr Justice Kenneth Parker has handed down his judgment in the Judicial Review of the Digital Economy Act. In summarising thousands of pages of evidence and submissions and the four-day hearing, the judge rejected nearly all of the grounds for the review, only allowing the challenge to part of the allocation of costs. The full text of the judgment can be found here and summaries of the hearings here.

The first point to note is the number of parties. While the case was between BT, TalkTalk and the government, there were thirteen interested parties involved, including six notorious pro-copyright lobby groups and four unions. This gives an indication of the intense lobbying pressure behind the Digital Economy Act, and why the previous government felt compelled to act the way they did. Read the rest of this entry »

The Digital Economy Act On Trial

This is a compilation of posts written for the Pirate Party summarising the main arguments made during the hearings for the Digital Economy Act Judicial Review – otherwise known as R (on the application of BT and TalkTalk) v Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills. It covers the details of the first, third and fourth day of the oral submissions, I was unable to make the second day but summaries can be found elsewhere.

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