A privacy law to control the press could be brought in after the European Convention on Human Rights is incorporated into British law, according to the Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine.
Lord Irvine argues that there would be a desire among judges to use their new powers under the convention - which enshrines the right to personal privacy - to create new law on a case-by-case basis. That might lead to pressure for the Government to step in with its own legislation, he says in an interview with today's Observer.
However, the Lord Chancellor made clear that the Government had no intention of legislating at present to bring in curbs on the press. The issue caused deep friction between the government and the press during John Major's period in Downing Street. The last government threatened new laws, but ultimately failed to introduce any measures. The Labour government, backed at the election by press allies very hostile to new curbs, is nevertheless committed to incorporating the convention. …