Campbell v Mirror Group Newspapers plc: CA 14 Oct 2002

The newspaper appealed against a finding that it had infringed the claimant’s privacy by publishing a photograph of her leaving a drug addiction clinic.
Held: The claimant had courted publicity, and denied an involvement in drugs. The defence of qualified privilege in defamation is not to be equated with the rules in privacy cases. The photograph was an essential part of demonstrating the deceit of the claimant. Given the story, the addition of the photograph was not particularly significant. If the publication was in the public interest, the journalist had to have some latitude. The balance between the Convention created rights of privacy and the freedom of the press is still being developed. The 1998 Act exemption was given to the data, once established, and therefore applied at all stages of its use. ‘In interpreting the Act it is appropriate to look to the Directive for assistance. The Act should, if possible, be interpreted in a manner that is consistent with the Directive. Furthermore, because the Act has, in large measure, adopted the wording of the Directive, it is not appropriate to look for the precision in the use of language that is usually to be expected from the parliamentary draftsman. A purposive approach to making sense of the provisions is called for.’ and ‘The development of the law of confidentiality since the Human Rights Act 1998 came into force has seen information described as ‘confidential’ not where it has been confided by one person to another, but where it relates to an aspect of an individual’s private life which he does not choose to make public. We consider that the unjustifiable publication of such information would better be described as breach of privacy rather than breach of confidence.’


Phillips of Worth Matravers MR, Chadwick LJ, Keene Lj


Times 16-Oct-2002, Gazette 31-Oct-2002, [2002] EWCA Civ 1373, [2003] 2 WLR 80, [2003] QB 633, [2003] 1 All ER 224, [2003] EMLR 39




Data Protection Act 1998 32, European Convention on Human Rights, Directive 95/46/EC


England and Wales


CitedA v B plc and Another (Flitcroft v MGN Ltd) CA 11-Mar-2002
A newspaper company appealed against an order preventing it naming a footballer who, they claimed, had been unfaithful to his wife.
Held: There remains a distinction between the right of privacy which attaches to sexual activities within and . .
Appeal fromCampbell v Mirror Group Newspapers Ltd QBD 27-Mar-2002
The applicant sought damages for the defendant having infringed her privacy in several ways, including under the 1998 Act. The defendant argued that she had invited publicity and had misled the public as to her drug problem. A photograch had been . .

Cited by:

CitedRe S (A Child) CA 10-Jul-2003
The mother of the child on behalf of whom the application was made, was to face trial for murder. The child was in care and an order was sought to restrain publiction of material which might reveal his identity, including matters arising during the . .
CitedLord, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department Admn 1-Sep-2003
The claimant was a category A prisoner serving a sentence of life imprisonment for murder. He sought the reasons for his categorisation as a Class A prisoner. Unhappy at the disclosure made, he sought information under the 1998 Act. It was argued . .
CitedWainwright and another v Home Office HL 16-Oct-2003
The claimant and her son sought to visit her other son in Leeds Prison. He was suspected of involvement in drugs, and therefore she was subjected to strip searches. There was no statutory support for the search. The son’s penis had been touched . .
CitedDurant v Financial Services Authority CA 8-Dec-2003
The appellant had been unsuccessful in litigation against his former bank. The Financial Services Authority had subsequently investigated his complaint against the bank. Using section 7 of the Data Protection Act 1998, he requested disclosure of his . .
Appeal fromCampbell v Mirror Group Newspapers Ltd (MGN) (No 1) HL 6-May-2004
The claimant appealed against the denial of her claim that the defendant had infringed her right to respect for her private life. She was a model who had proclaimed publicly that she did not take drugs, but the defendant had published a story . .
CitedX, A Woman Formerly Known As Mary Bell v Stephen O’Brien, News Group Newspapers Ltd MGN Ltd QBD 21-May-2003
An injunction effective against the world, was granted to restrain any act to identify the claimant in the media, including the Internet. She had been convicted of murder when a child, and had since had a child herself. An order had been granted . .
CitedPaddick v Associated Newspapers Ltd QBD 10-Dec-2003
The defendant sought disclosure of full statements used by the claimant . Extracts only had been supplied, and he said they contained private and confidential material.
Held: The application failed. The claimant had stated that the balance of . .
See AlsoCampbell v MGN Ltd (No 2) HL 20-Oct-2005
The appellant sought to challenge the level of costs sought by the claimant after she had succeeded in her appeal to the House. Though a relatively small sum had been awarded, the costs and success fee were very substantial. The newspaper claimed . .
At Court of AppealMGN Limited v United Kingdom ECHR 24-Oct-2008
The Mirror had published a picture of Naomi Campbell leaving a rehabilitation clinic. They appealed a decision in which having been found to have infringed her privacy by a covertly taken photograph, they had then been ordered to pay very . .
At Court of AppealMGN Limited v United Kingdom ECHR 18-Jan-2011
The applicant publisher said that the finding against it of breach of confidence and the system of success fees infringed it Article 10 rights to freedom of speech. It had published an article about a model’s attendance at Narcotics anonymous . .
CitedDawson-Damer and Others v Taylor Wessing Llp and Others ChD 6-Aug-2015
The clamants sought orders under the 1998 Act for disclosure of documents about them by the defendant solicitors and others. The defendants said that the request would require the consideration of a very large number of documents, considering in . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Information, Media, Human Rights

Updated: 06 August 2022; Ref: scu.177442