Human Rights Act: Keeping a cautious eye on Big Brother
Use of video surveillance by public authorities could be a breach of the Human Rights Act if it impinges on an individual's right to privacy and, writes Kevin Fletcher, this could also have implications for insurance companies
Video surveillance could arguably be a breach of Article 8 (the right to respect for family and private life) and Article 1 of the First Protocol (the right to peaceful enjoyment of possessions). It should be noted that it is only unlawful for a public authority to breach the Convention. The rule will not apply directly to insurers, unless their insured is a public authority. But this does not give insurers complete freedom to obtain surveillance in any way they choose. The court as a public authority is bound to follow the Convention and could exclude evidence if it clearly breaches Convention rights, particularly Article 6 – the right to a fair trial. Article 6 is the means by which the Convention will be applied even to private individuals – the so-called ‘horizontal effect’.The court will ask if the interference with the
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