The inclusion in an enhanced criminal record certificate of details of an individual’s acquittal on a charge of rape was a proportionate interference with that individual’s rights under ECHR art.8. In so deciding, the Supreme Court clarified when an appellate court could make a fresh determination as to proportionality, noted the lack of guidance to potential employers on how to treat ECRCs containing details of acquittals, and indicated that careful thought should be given to the value of disclosing allegations that had been tested in court and resulted in acquittal.
RIGHT TO RESPECT FOR PRIVATE AND FAMILY LIFE
As a starting point, as a matter of general principle, a suspect had a reasonable expectation of privacy in relation to a police investigation, which was not removed merely because the information had reached the hands of the media. The BBC was liable to Sir Cliff Richard for infringing his privacy rights by broadcasting the fact that he was the subject of a police investigation and that his property was being searched in connection with the investigation. The BBC was ordered to pay general damages, including aggravated damages, of £210,000.
Although the UK was not a safe haven for criminals, it was disproportionate to extradite a requested person pursuant to a conviction European arrest warrant where he had changed his behaviour and where there was a relatively short time remaining on his sentence for drug related offences.
The blanket ban on assisted suicide in the Suicide Act 1961 s.2(1) was a necessary and proportionate interference with the ECHR art.8 rights of the appellant, who proposed an alternative scheme for assisted suicide containing certain conditions and safeguards, including the approval of a High Court judge, for those who were terminally ill and had less than six months to live. The alternative scheme would not be effective and raised wide-ranging policy issues that would be better dealt with by Parliament.
The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission had no standing to seek a declaration that abortion law in Northern Ireland was incompatible with ECHR art.3 and art.8 because it had not instituted proceedings by identifying any unlawful act or any actual or potential victim. Although the Supreme Court therefore had no jurisdiction to make a declaration of incompatibility, it considered that the current law was disproportionate and incompatible with art.8 insofar as it prohibited abortion in cases of fatal foetal abnormality and where pregnancy resulted from rape or incest.