Phone Hacking: Judicial Review
The Metropolitan Police have today admitted they were wrong in their failure to notify suspected victims of phone hacking. The claim for Judicial Review was launched in 2010 and was at first vigorously defended by the Met.
The Claimants Lord Prescott, Brian Paddick, Ben Jackson, Chris Bryant and actor Jude Laws Assistant and an anonymous individual know as HJK reached an agreement in which the Met agreed a declaration that they had breached Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The Declaration states
‘In breach of its duties under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, in circumstances where the interference with the individuals’ right to respect for their private lives may have amounted to the commission of a criminal offence, the Defendant failed to take prompt, reasonable and proportionate steps to ensure that those identified as potential victims of voicemail interceptions were made aware of:
(a) The interference with their right to respect for private life that may have occurred;
(b) The possibility of continuing threats, where such threats had been identified;
(c) The steps they might take to protect their privacy; and
(d) Following the conclusion of the criminal proceedings against Glenn Mulcaire and Clive Goodman, the identity of those whom the police believed to be primarily responsible for the interception.
Such steps should have included informing the public generally, by announcements in the media, through the mobile telephone companies, or otherwise (and should have included, where appropriate, individual notification).’
Bindmans LLP said:
“The legal obligation to warn victims of privacy violations in the phone-hacking case has now been made clear. But at the time of the first investigation into phone-hacking, instead of warning the hundreds or thousands of victims of voicemail interceptions, the police made misleading statements which gave comfort to News International and permitted the cover-up to continue. If the police had complied with their obligations under the Human Rights Act in the first place, the history of the phone-hacking scandal would have been very different.”