In January of this year Paul Chambers used Twitter to express his feelings about the possible closure of Robin Hood Airport due to snow, which he feared would thwart his trip to Belfast to meet his new girlfriend, a fellow twitterer going by the name @Crazycolours.
A week later, he was arrested at work by five police officers, questioned for eight hours, had his computers and phones seized and was subsequently charged and convicted of causing a “menace” under the Communications Act 2003 .
What does Wayne Rooney’s alleged philandering have to do with human rights? In itself, not very much. But a recent spate of exposés in and of the press has exposed more than a footballer’s indiscretions.
The starting point from a human rights perspective is the fragile relationship between two articles of the European Convention on Human Rights; namely, the right to privacy and the right to freedom of expression. Article 8 provides that everyone has the “right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.” This right is qualified, in the sense that it is possible for a state authority to breach privacy rights if it is (amongst other things) necessary in a democratic society.
We have added a new ‘Tweet’ button at the bottom of all posts (after you have clicked through to the full article). This means that if you use Twitter, you will be able to share our posts quickly and easily.
This is a good opportunity to explain how the blog links in with Twitter. Our Twitter feed can be found here, or by clicking on the Twitter icon which is always on the right sidebar.
The feed updates instantly with links to new posts on the blog, as well as with all of the links to external human rights news items which are listed along the right sidebar. For more information on how to keep updated through Facebook, RSS and Twitter, you can always click on the subscribe tab at the top of the page. Enjoy!
This blog is maintained for information purposes only. It is not intended to be a source of legal advice and must not be relied upon as such. Blog posts reflect the views and opinions of their individual authors, not of chambers as a whole.