Privacy is a right to all, including the famous (and infamous). It is argued however, that celebrities waive that right when they commit an infidelity, or a crime, or do something which casts them in a negative light.
To get round this, the rich and famous use legal loopholes to protect the greater public from knowing their misdemeanours. The injunction and super-injunction appear to have been handed out to all comers over the past few years. It was beginning to irritate the public, not to mention the media.
Yet, social media sites appear to have been able to circumvent the law, with one Twitter user naming several celebrities who had taken out injunctions and super-injunctions to prevent the media from reporting the issue.
Indeed, when John Hemming, Liberal Democrat MP, announced Ryan Giggs as the footballer who had an affair with model and Big Brother contestant, Imogen Thomas, the British public weren’t exactly shocked by the news.
The fact that 75,000 Twitter users had released the details meant that the injunction was essentially void. It is, therefore, time to dispose of a law, which, due to circumstances beyond the law’s control, does not actually prevent details of celebrities’ private lives from being published.
The public will not mourn the death of the injunction, should it occur. The fact that it has been used to cover up illicit acts of those in the higher echelons of society has only made the public feel more alienated from those that many look up to. As the privileged have used the injunction for what many would consider personal gain, the public are no longer sympathetic as whistle-blowers reveal the dirty details.
The rich and famous use legal loopholes to conceal their misdemeanours
Those who like to flaunt their lives in the media run the risk of allowing such misdemeanours to be reported. A problem does arise, however, when there are those like Ryan Giggs that don’t thrust themselves into the limelight in the way that others, such as Wayne Rooney do. In these cases, are there arguments in favour of injunctions? In a word; no.
Those who don’t use their fame for fortune, such as Mr Giggs, should recognise that they are, whether they like it or not, regularly in the public eye. Therefore, they should not engage in activities that will inevitably cast doubt on their reputation. The issue is not therefore the injunction itself, though this is indeed complicated; it is the celebrities themselves who take too many liberties with the reputation they have garnered over their lifetimes. It is time to start behaving.
Fortunately, with various people on social networking sites naming and shaming those who don’t behave like normal people, it is hoped that the age of the injunction is coming to an end.
The fact that MPs can use the much lamented Parliamentary privilege to reveal identities of the fouling famous means that from most people’s perspectives, injunctions, super-injunctions, and the even more ridiculous hyper-injunction, will surely be consigned to the history books.
Indeed, with Prime Minister David Cameron expressing concern over the use of injunctions, such privacy laws are hoped to be one of the few things people want to see cut from public life.
The injunction was originally designed to protect families from the prying eyes of the media. However, it has been used by the rich and famous to protect their precious reputations. With a number of injunctions already broken, the art of the injunction surely been rendered obsolete.