Limited vs No public interest: Kiss & tell
A second issue identified by the SC was the reference made by the Court of Appeal, a “limited public interest” in the proposed story . The basis of this decision was that the media are entitled to publish articles critical of people in the public eye, even if there is nothing illegal about their conduct.
The majority stated that, “criticism of conduct cannot be a pretext for invasion of privacy by disclosure of alleged sexual infidelity which is of no real public interest in a legal sense”.
The judgment emphasizes the distinction made in law between the legal concept of the public interest and what interests or absorbs the public. ip The SC suggest that stories about private sexual encounters may not, in certain circumstances, even engage art.10! The majority judgment relied on a number of passages of ECHR judgments in its consideration of whether there is public interest, in a legal sense, of disclosing “kiss and tell stories.
This was illustrated in both Armoniene v Skip hire Glasgow & Mosley v the United Kingdom. Both courts declared that
“A distinction must be drawn between reporting facts & making tawdry allegations about an individual’s private life”