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Do we need a law of privacy? Should judges be allowed to stop us reading about a footballer's adultery or enjoying pictures of a film star's wedding? Is a super-model's cocaine addiction something that she should be allowed to keep private? And aren't we entitled to walk down the street without having our most intimate activities recorded on security cameras and broadcast to the world?
These questions have divided not only the country but also our most senior judges. Drawing a line between justified and unjustified intrusion places great stresses on our legal traditions: some judges favour stretching existing laws to help deserving victims, whilst others feel it would be more honest simply to recognize privacy as a new human right.
The latter approach creates further problems: shouldn't it be up to Parliament alone to create such a right? And what about free speech: don't the newspapers and the public have rights too? The issues raised are often highly emotive. Newspapers are not allowed to identify Thompson and Venables, the young men who murdered two-year-old James Bulger, because their lives would be in danger.