Right to respect for private and family life - Conor Gearty's challenge

 VERSION 1:

1.   Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.

2.   There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic wellbeing of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

 

 VERSION 2:

1.   Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.

2.   There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic wellbeing of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

edited on Apr 16, 2015 by ConstitutionUK

ConstitutionUK Apr 10, 2015

It seems that this idea was broadly accepted but some members expressed concerns about the reservation clause in part 2 of this draft article. The text as it stands is the exact wording of the European Convention on Human Rights. Should the right to freedom of religion be an unlimited right?  

Many users expressed concern about the mention of 'morals'. If this reference were removed would it assuage peoples' concerns that the right may be unduly restricted by the state? 

Please comment to let us whether/how this right should be limited.   We have a very tight schedule so make sure to get involved asap. 

The ConstitutionUK Team 

Gavin Russ Apr 10, 2015

All citizens have inalienable rights to protection of privacy relating to personal and/or family and community circumstances unless,  as with regards to national security, public safety and security, individual citizens contravene the articles enshrined within the agreed constitution and with reference to the Bill of Rights. as a result of such contravention, citizens must expect the proper exercise of justice as agreed with the constitution although the citizen should have the right if appeal against the relevant Constitutional articles or subsequent amendments.  The freedom of exercise of religious belief(s) shuld be honoured by the constitution unless it interferes with the established treaties relating to the fundamental constitution and subsequent amendments. The fundamental values of the constitution must be founded upon treaties already agreed by Britain that can be incorporated into 'basic law' but, if there is conflict between rights and repsonabilites between the the relationship between the citizen and the constitution.

'struggling with wording here ... Welcome suggestions ' 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rob G Apr 10, 2015

I think another question it's fair to ask is, does the fact that there are specific grounds on which public authorities may infringe this right mean (1) that private persons / entities are never able to do so, or (2) that there is no restriction of the right of private persons / entities to do so?

What form of words might enable the press to investigate and publish articles about possible wrongdoing, whilst preventing the publication of images taken with a powerful zoom lens of someone in a family situation on private property? If we wished to protect the private life of someone in that last situation...

I'd agree that "morals" should be dropped - in those circumstances where the state should be considering intervention, there'll be either criminal activity, or harm to others (which will probably lead to criminal activity); in other circumstances, it will be a case of an aversion to certain behaviour rather than a genuine potential harm to anyone.

Tom Austin Apr 10, 2015

Rob, Instead of 'In the public interest.' 'In pursuit of unconstitutional behaviours.' ?

Rob G Apr 11, 2015

I have the same doubts about "in the public interest" as you do. I avoided "criminal behaviour", as that might not be broad enough to cover some forms of wrongdoing that it would be legitimate to expose - like the stings the Telegraph performed on Jack Straw and Sir Malcolm Rifkind. "Wrongdoing" sounds too twee. I worry that "unconstitutional" would be either so vague it would lead to years of litigation, or equivalent to "High Crimes", and far too demanding.

As ever, I can see lots of difficulties, and no easy answers. You can tell I'm not a politician ;-)

Tom Austin Apr 11, 2015

The 'years of litigation' is not a concern here, perhaps we are in the wrong place now that we are debating what the press can and cannot justify with regard to intrusion.

View all replies (2)

Gavin Russ Apr 10, 2015

Tom , what would constitute 'unconstitutional behaviours'? Not sure what you mean? Any behaviour which is contrary by the basi law as established under the 'established' and 'citizen agreed constitution ' will result in ... 

Tom Austin Apr 11, 2015

Gavin, welcome to my world. You were wondering what form of words could allow the press to investigate and yet prevent them intruding into people's lives for 'sensational' reasons. It struck me that the present excuse 'In the public interest' is not good enough, as much of that 'interest' is prurient.

And yet, with a written constitution, we have another opportunity to resolve this; but how?

"In pursuit of Unconstitutional conduct."

This would allow the press to investigate possible crimes, while not encouraging up-skirt and long-lens intrusions.

 

ConstitutionUK Apr 16, 2015

The "protection of health or morals" has been dropped.  Are there any further amendments that could be made?

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