Is privacy brought home? : criminal justice and the right to privacy
This thesis is concerned with protection of the right to privacy in the English and Scottish criminal justice systems. The aim of this research is to consider the extent to which privacy has been recognised in both criminal justice systems. It analyses the extent to which the right to privacy is protected by the substantive criminal law of those jurisdictions, as well as in their criminal procedural law. A part of the examination will address the question of whether there should be a criminal offence of violating the privacy of another. The thesis is mainly devoted to addressing whether the right to respect for private life has a place within criminal justice theory and practice. The protection of privacy in the criminal justice system is the predominant subject of this thesis for two main reasons. First, this is an important topic that has been neglected. Prior to this thesis no one had yet addressed this topic at any length as a distinct subject. The protection of privacy in the criminal justice system and the use of substantive criminal law to enforce the privacy rights of victims have received minimal attention in the English jurisprudence. No comprehensive legal and theoretical analysis of the topic could be found in English or Scottish law. Therefore, this topic was crying out for new insights and perspectives. Secondly, the Human Rights Act 1998 incorporates into the UK law certain rights and freedoms set out in the European Convention on Human Rights, including the right to respect for private life enshrined by Article 8. The aim of the Act is to "bring rights home" and give further effect to rights and freedoms guaranteed under the European Convention. The Act requires all public authorities to act in a way which is compatible with the Convention rights. Since the incorporation of the European Convention on Human Rights into United Kingdom law, it is particularly appropriate to ask whether English and Scottish criminal lawyers need to add privacy to their essential lexicon. The Human Rights Act 1998 could be expected to have a profound impact on the right to privacy within the criminal justice system. The European Convention obliges the Contracting States to bring their criminal justice systems into line with the European Convention requirements to protect the fundamental human rights in it. The thesis has the following objectives. First, to address the extent to which the right to privacy is protected by the substantive criminal law and whether privacy rights have been respected in criminal procedure laws. Secondly, to highlight the impact of the Human Rights Act of 1998 on the right to privacy in the criminal justice arena. This thesis shows that although right to privacy has been recognised by the European Convention and incorporated by the Human Rights Act 1998, the criminal justice systems in England and Scotland display little respect for privacy rights. In other words, this study has demonstrated that, as far as privacy is concerned, it is misleading and inaccurate to say that rights have been brought home.