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Chapter

Cover Constitutional and Administrative Law

18. Freedom of expression  

This chapter focuses on some of the laws relating to freedom of expression in the UK. Freedom of expression is widely considered to be a necessary feature in any democratic state. The chapter considers the extent to which restrictions are placed on the freedom of expression in the UK in two particular contexts. It considers laws for the control of obscenity and indecency, the publication of obscene matter, the test of obscenity, defences, powers of search and seizure, and the possession of pornographic images. The discussion also considers that part of the law of contempt of court which relates to restricting the ability of the media to report court proceedings. This chapter is confined to the law relating to obscenity and indecency and contempt of court on the basis that they share the important characteristic of being regulated by both statute and the common law.

Chapter

Cover Civil Liberties & Human Rights

5. Right to a Fair Trial: Article 6  

Course-focused and comprehensive, the Textbook on series provide an accessible overview of the key areas on the law curriculum. This chapter discusses the right to a fair trial. It first examines the obligations imposed on States by Art. 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) in relation to this right. It then focuses on a particular threat to a fair trial, in the form of the reporting of imminent or current legal proceedings, which may raise a risk that the outcome of those proceedings will be adversely affected. This is dealt with in English law primarily by the offence of contempt of court. The final section deals with a particular type of contempt related to the extent to which a court can compel a journalist to disclose his or her source.

Chapter

Cover Concentrate Questions and Answers Public Law

9. Freedom of expression  

The Q&A series offers the best preparation for tackling exam questions. Each chapter includes typical questions, diagram problem and essay answer plans, suggested answers, notes of caution, tips on obtaining extra marks, the key debates on each topic, and suggestions on further reading. This chapter moves on from the previous one to examine the freedom of expression. Under common law, freedom of speech is guaranteed unless the speaker breaks the law, but this is now reinforced by the right of free expression under the European Convention on Human Rights. The questions here deal with issues such as obscenity law and contempt of court; the Official Secrets Act; freedom of information; data protection; breach of confidence; and whether there is a right of privacy in English law.

Chapter

Cover Concentrate Questions and Answers Human Rights and Civil Liberties

10. Freedom of Expression  

The Concentrate Questions and Answers series offers the best preparation for tackling exam questions. Each book includes typical questions, diagram answer plans, caution advice, suggested answers, illustrative diagrams and flowcharts, and advice on gaining extra marks. Concentrate Q&A Human Rights & Civil Liberties offers expert advice on what to expect from your human rights and civil liberties exam, how best to prepare, and guidance on what examiners are really looking for. Written by experienced examiners, it provides: clear commentary with each question and answer; bullet point and diagram answer plans; tips to make your answer really stand out from the crowd; and further reading suggestions at the end of every chapter. The book should help you to: identify typical law exam questions; structure a first-class answer; avoid common mistakes; show the examiner what you know; all making your answer stand out from the crowd. This chapter covers freedom of speech and expression, including the scope of free speech and expression, its protection in domestic law and under the ECHR, and its application to areas such as public order, national security contempt of court, press freedom, and defamation law.

Chapter

Cover Evidence

8. Public Interest Immunity and Related Matters  

Chapter 8 examines the doctrine of public interest immunity. It discusses the development of the law; ‘class’ claims and ‘contents’ claims; national security and analogous concerns; proper functioning of the public service; the two main contexts in which public interest immunity disputes in criminal cases have arisen—the disclosure of the identity of police informers, and the disclosure of the location of police observation points; how the doctrine of public interest immunity stands alongside, and probably overlaps with, the operations of the Freedom of Information Act 2000; and section 10 of the Contempt of Court Act 1981, which governs the disclosure of sources of information contained in publications.

Chapter

Cover Human Rights Law Directions

22. Applications: media law and privacy  

Without assuming prior legal knowledge, books in the Directions series introduce and guide readers through key points of law and legal debate. It discusses European Convention law and relates it to domestic law under the HRA. Questions, discussion points, and thinking points help readers to engage fully with each subject and check their understanding as they progress and knowledge can be tested by self-test questions and exam questions at the chapter end. This chapter deals with human rights and the media. It considers the widespread tension between, on the one hand, the importance in a democratic society of freedom of expression and, on the other, the rights of persons to protect their various interests, particularly when these involve matters of privacy and confidentiality. The importance of the media is fully recognised by the European Court of Human Rights, and Convention rights have had a significant impact, both directly and indirectly, on media law. However, the issue often involves balancing the clear commitment to media freedom derived from Article 10 with other rights such as those in Article 8.