The transcripts of the official inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press. More…

I'm on record as saying that I think what recent events have shown is that we do need to rewrite privacy legislation. I don't think that balancing Article 8 and Article 10 of the Human Rights Act has worked particularly well. I don't think that -- I'm not necessarily sure that I would settle every case identically to Steve, but I think that he is absolutely right to argue that what has happened, possibly by degrees, is that we have reached a point where anybody who is prominent for almost any reason is fair game to certain media -- and it incidentally isn't only newspapers, it's websites as well -- in almost any aspect of their private life they can find out about or they can buy information about.

It seems to me that while it is a very difficult grey area, it surely ought to be possible to design a law which doesn't chill proper journalistic enquiry while at the same time providing some protection for private life and particularly the relatives and children of people who are in prominent positions who I think have suffered a great deal and you've heard quite a lot of evidence about that.

I'm not suggesting that this task would necessarily be easy. Clearly there has to be public interest defences inside it. But I do think that the present state of the law really doesn't work particularly effectively, conscientiously though judges have attempted to interpret what is an extremely broad band of interpretation they were left by the Human Rights Act. That's my view in summary.

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