ZXC v Bloomberg Lp: CA 15 May 2020

Privacy Expecation during police investigations

Appeal from a judgment finding that the Defendant had breached the Claimant’s privacy rights. He made an award of damages for the infraction of those rights and granted an injunction restraining Bloomberg from publishing information which further identified the Claimant as the subject of a criminal investigation. The court was asked to what extent, a person can have a reasonable expectation of privacy in relation to information that relates to a criminal investigation into his activities.
Held: The appeal was dismissed. In general a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy in an investigation up to the point of charge. Stage one of the enquiry is whether a claimant has a reasonable expectation of privacy in the relevant information? If the answer is yes, stage two involves an enquiry and evaluation as to whether that expectation is outweighed by a countervailing interest, in the present case Bloomberg’s right to freedom of expression under article 10.
The circumstances in which and the purposes for which the information came into the hands of the publisher was the most significant (of several) issues.
The Judge was right, at the very least, to treat the fact that the Information was contained in a LoR and the circumstances in which the Information came into the hands of Bloomberg as showing the provisional nature of the UKLEB’s suspicion and consequently the reasonable expectation of privacy in relation to the Information.

Lord Justice Simon
[2020] EWCA Civ 611, [2020] WLR(D) 292
Bailii, WLRD
Data Protection Act 1998, European Convention on Human Rights 8 10
England and Wales
CitedAbacha and Others v National Crime Agency CA 19-Jul-2016
‘When considering an application to the Court to prohibit the dealing with or disposal of assets within the jurisdiction made by the National Crime Agency, at the request of the Central Authority of a friendly foreign state by way of Mutual Legal . .
Appeal FromZXC v Bloomberg LP QBD 17-Apr-2019
Claim for misuse of private information. The central issue is whether the Claimant can have a reasonable expectation of privacy in information that relates to a criminal investigation into his activities. . .
CitedAsh and Another v McKennitt and others CA 14-Dec-2006
The claimant was a celebrated Canadian folk musician. The defendant, a former friend, published a story of their close friendship. The claimant said the relationship had been private, and publication infringed her privacy rights, and she obtained an . .
CitedCampbell 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 . .
CitedPG and JH v The United Kingdom ECHR 25-Sep-2001
The use of covert listening devices within a police station was an infringement of the right to privacy, since there was no system of law regulating such practices. That need not affect the right to a fair trial. The prosecution had a duty to . .
CitedPretty v The United Kingdom ECHR 29-Apr-2002
Right to Life Did Not include Right to Death
The applicant was paralysed and suffered a degenerative condition. She wanted her husband to be allowed to assist her suicide by accompanying her to Switzerland. English law would not excuse such behaviour. She argued that the right to die is not . .
CitedLord Browne of Madingley v Associated Newspapers Ltd CA 3-Apr-2007
The appellant sought to restrict publication by the defendants in the Mail on Sunday of matters which he said were a breach of confidence. He had lied to a court in giving evidence, whilst at the same time being ready to trash the reputation of his . .
CitedMurray v Big Pictures (UK) Ltd; Murray v Express Newspapers CA 7-May-2008
The claimant, a famous writer, complained on behalf of her infant son that he had been photographed in a public street with her, and that the photograph had later been published in a national newspaper. She appealed an order striking out her claim . .
CitedWood v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis CA 21-May-2009
The appellant had been ostentatiously photographed by the police as he left a company general meeting. He was a peaceful and lawful objector to the Arms Trade. He appealed against refusal of an order for the records to be destroyed. The police had . .
CitedETK v News Group Newspapers Ltd CA 19-Apr-2011
The claimant appealed against refusal of an injunction to restrain the defendant newspaper from publishing his name in connection with a forthcoming article. The claimant had had an affair with a co-worker. Both were married. The relationship ended, . .
CitedHM Attorney General v MGN Ltd and Another Admn 29-Jul-2011
The police arrested a man on suspicion of the murder of a young woman. He was later released and exonerated, and a second man arrested and later convicted. Whilst the first was in custody the two defendant newspapers, the Daily Mirror and the Sun . .
CitedKinloch v Her Majesty’s Advocate SC 19-Dec-2012
The appellant said that the police officers had acted unlawfully when collecting the evidence used against him, in that the information used to support the request for permission to undertake clandestine surveillance had been insufficiently . .
CitedCatt and T, Regina (on The Applications of) v Commissioner of Police of The Metropolis SC 4-Mar-2015
Police Data Retention Justifiable
The appellants challenged the collection of data by the police, alleging that its retention interfered with their Article 8 rights. C complained of the retention of records of his lawful activities attending political demonstrations, and T . .
CitedJR38, Re Application for Judicial Review (Northern Ireland) SC 1-Jul-2015
The appellant was now 18 years old. In July 2010 two newspapers published an image of him. He was at that time barely 14 years old. These photographs had been published by the newspapers at the request of the police. The publication of the . .
CitedRichard v The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and Another ChD 18-Jul-2018
Police suspect has outweighable Art 8 rights
Police (the second defendant) had searched the claimant’s home in his absence in the course of investigating allegations of historic sexual assault. The raid was filmed and broadcast widely by the first defendant. No charges were brought against the . .
CitedPNM v Times Newspapers Ltd and Others SC 19-Jul-2017
No anonymity for investigation suspect
The claimant had been investigated on an allegation of historic sexual abuse. He had never been charged, but the investigation had continued with others being convicted in a high profile case. He appealed from refusal of orders restricting . .
CitedYeo v Times Newspapers Ltd QBD 25-Nov-2015
The claimant alleged defamation by the defendant as to his conduct as an MP. The defendant having pleaded justification, the court now tried the liability issue.
Held: The claim failed. The publication had the benefit of reynolds privilege.
CitedAxon v Ministry of Defence QBD 11-Apr-2016
Action for misuse of private information and/or breach of confidence.
Held: Information relating to the events leading to the removal of a Royal Navy warship commander from that role fell outside the ambit of his private or personal life.
CitedAbbey v Gilligan and Others QBD 20-Nov-2012
Claim for damages for breach of confidence, or misuse of private information, in relation to the obtaining and publication by the Defendants of a number of E-mails.
Held: The claim was dismissed: ‘Mr Abbey could not have any claim for breach . .
CitedVon Hannover v Germany ECHR 24-Jun-2004
Princess Caroline of Monaco who had, at some time, received considerable attention in the media throughout Europe, complained at the publication of photographs taken of her withour her permission.
Held: There was no doubt that the publication . .
CitedIn re S (a Child) (Identification: Restrictions on Publication) HL 28-Oct-2004
Inherent High Court power may restrain Publicity
The claimant child’s mother was to be tried for the murder of his brother by poisoning with salt. It was feared that the publicity which would normally attend a trial, would be damaging to S, and an application was made for reporting restrictions to . .
CitedAssociated Newspapers Ltd v Prince of Wales CA 21-Dec-2006
The defendant newspaper appealed summary judgment against it for breach of confidence and copyright infringement having published the claimant’s journals which he said were private.
Held: Upheld, although the judge had given insufficient . .
CitedPJS v News Group Newspapers Ltd SC 19-May-2016
The appellants had applied for restrictions on the publication of stories about their extra marital affairs. The Court of Appeal had removed the restrictions on the basis that the story had been widely spread outside the jurisdiction both on the . .
CitedAxel Springer Ag v Germany ECHR 7-Feb-2012
ECHR Grand Chamber – A German newspaper had published a story or stories about the arrest and conviction of a well-known TV actor, together with photographs, and various restraining-type orders had been issued by . .
CitedAli and Another v Channel 5 Broadcasting Ltd CA 16-Apr-2019
The claimant’s eviction had been filmed and broadcast by the defendants. They succeeded in an award of pounds 10,000 damages for breach of their rights of privacy. The parties cross appealed against the sum awarded and the finding respectively.
See AlsoZXC v Bloomberg LP QBD 17-Apr-2019
Claim for misuse of private information. The central issue is whether the Claimant can have a reasonable expectation of privacy in information that relates to a criminal investigation into his activities. . .

Cited by:
CitedCXZ v ZXC QBD 26-Jun-2020
Malicious Prosecution needs court involvement
W had made false allegations against her husband of child sex abuse to police. He sued in malicious prosecution. She applied to strike out, and he replied saying that as a developing area of law a strike out was inappropriate.
Held: The claim . .
CitedHRH The Duchess of Sussex v Associated Newspapers Ltd ChD 11-Feb-2021
Defence had no prospect of success – Struck Out
The claimant complained that the defendant newspaper had published contents from a letter she had sent to her father. The court now considered her claims in breach of privacy and copyright, and her request for summary judgment.
Held: Warby J . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Information, Human Rights, Media, Police

Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.650811