Press privacy case heads for Supreme Court



The question of whether a person under criminal investigation can keep that fact out of the media is to be examined by the Supreme Court. Announcing the granting of permission to appeal in Bloomberg LP (Appellant) v ZXC (Respondent), the court said it would consider ‘whether, and to what extent, a person who has not been charged with an offence can have a reasonable expectation of privacy in relation to information that relates to a criminal investigation into his activities’.

The hearing is an appeal by news service Bloomberg against last year’s Court of Appeal ruling dismissing the agency’s appeal of an order requiring it to delete articles identifying a US businessman, ‘ZXC’. Bloomberg had reported the name after it was leaked in a letter of request for information sent by ‘a UK legal enforcement body’ to a foreign state. The news service argued that the ZXC’s conduct fell outside his right to privacy of private or family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. 

However the Court of Appeal found that a person under investigation has a ‘reasonable expectation of privacy up to the point of charge’. The decision echoed the High Court’s 2018 ruling in the case brought by singer Cliff Richard against the BBC.



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