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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 May, 2004, 11:43 GMT 12:43 UK
Law Lords rule in supermodel's favour
Three Law Lords have ruled in favour of supermodel Naomi Campbell in her breach of privacy claim against the Daily Mirror.

However, two of the five-member panel at the House of Lords hearing supported the Daily Mirror's publication of pictures of the model leaving a Narcotics Anonymous meeting.

Below are their reasons from Thursday's judgement.

Lord Hope, voted in favour of Miss Campbell

"Despite the weight that must be given to the right to freedom of expression that the press needs if it is to play its role effectively, I would hold that there was here an infringement of Miss Campbell's right to privacy that cannot be justified."

He said Miss Campbell must have regarded the Mirror article and photographs as "a gross interference with her right to respect for her private life".

Baroness Hale, voted in favour of Miss Campbell

"People trying to recover from drug addiction need considerable dedication and commitment, along with constant reinforcement from those around them.

"That is why organisations like Narcotics Anonymous were set up and why they can do so much good.

"Blundering in when matters are acknowledged to be at a fragile stage may do great harm.

Lord Carswell, voted in favour of Miss Campbell

He said the publication went beyond simply stating that Miss Campbell was receiving therapy - to which she did not object - and intruded into what had some of the characteristics of medical treatment.

It tended to deter her from continuing the treatment and inhibit others attending the course from staying with it.

Lord Nicholls, voted against Miss Campbell

He said deleting the detail to which Miss Campbell objected would have been to apply "altogether too fine a toothcomb" and would have "robbed a legitimate and sympathetic newspaper story of attendant detail which added colour and conviction".

Lord Hoffmann, voted against Miss Campbell

"From a journalistic point of view, photographs are an essential part of the story.

"The picture carried the message, more strongly than anything in the text alone, that the Mirror's story was true.

"So the decision to publish the picture was in my opinion within the margin of editorial judgment and something for which appropriate latitude should be allowed."

He added that the importance of the case "lies in the statements of general principle on the way in which the law should strike a balance between the right to privacy and the right to freedom of expression".

A user's guide to privacy
26 Feb 03  |  UK News
Mirror wins Campbell appeal
14 Oct 02  |  UK News

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