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Permission to appeal granted by Supreme Court in privacy case about criminal investigations

18 December 2020

On 17 December 2020 the Supreme Court granted Bloomberg permission to appeal the order of the Court of Appeal dated 15 May 2020 in the case of ZXC v Bloomberg LP [2020] EWCA 611.

The Court of Appeal judgment is significant since it confirmed the general presumption established in several first instance decisions that up to the point of charge an individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy about the fact that/details of their being subject to a police investigation.

Lord Justice Simon said that “those who have simply come under suspicion by an organ of the state have, in general, a reasonable and objectively founded expectation of privacy in relation to that fact and an expressed basis for that suspicion.”

Only where there is a proper public interest justification can investigations be lawfully reported. The decision brought further clarity to the issue of media reporting of investigations by law enforcement bodies.

It has been reported that it is likely the appeal will be heard in the second half of 2021.

Louise Prince, senior associate in the Firm’s Reputation and Privacy team said: “This appeal will be one of the most important privacy cases to be heard in 2021.”

For further information on this issue, you can read ZXC v Bloomberg LP here.

If you would like advice on privacy and reputation protection issues, please contact one of our lawyers here.

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