On appeal from: [2013] NIQB 44.

The appellant, JR38, was involved in rioting that took place in Derry in July 2010. At the time he was 14. CCTV images taken of him in the course of rioting were later published in two newspapers as part of a police campaign designed identify individuals involved in the riots and also to discourage further sectarian rioting. He complained that the publication of the images breached his EHCR, art 8 rights.

The Supreme Court unanimously dismissed the appeal. Per Lords Kerr and Wilson, ECHR, art 8 is engaged because of JR38’s age and the effect which the publication of the photographs may have on him. However, the interference with the right was justified: the publication struck a fair balance between the interests of the appellant and the community in preventing and detecting crime. Per Lords Toulson, Hodge and Clarke, ECHR, art 8 is not engaged: the “touchstone” for engagement of art 8 is whether the person had a reasonable expectation of privacy. But if art 8 were engaged the publication would be justified for the reasons given by Lord Kerr.

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