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Nottingham City Council v October Films Ltd and Kelly v BBC ? Freedom of Expression and the Protection of Minors

Woods, L (2001) 'Nottingham City Council v October Films Ltd and Kelly v BBC ? Freedom of Expression and the Protection of Minors.' Child and family law quarterly., 13 (2). pp. 209-223. ISSN 1358-8184

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Freedom of expression, and that of the media in particular, besides being an individual right, has always been recognised as playing a fundamental role in ensuring the proper operation of democratic societies. None the less, problems arise when freedom of expression conflicts with other interests. These difficulties are compounded when weaker members of society become the subject of media scrutiny. It is one thing to investigate the life and behaviour of those voluntarily in the public eye, but can the same be true when the investigation focuses on children, especially those who seem to be in need of help and support? Particular issues are whether children have greater rights to be protected from media intrusion than adults; and whether the situation is any different when wards of court are involved or when the broadcast is not just about children but involves their participation? A series of cases since the mid?eighties arose out of the increasing interest of the media (and the tabloid media in particular) in publishing stories involving the private lives of children. These cases sought to identify a way of reconciling the tensions. This note, via the cases of Nottingham City Council v October Films Ltd4 and Kelly v BBC,5 will highlight the difficulties in this body of case-law, including new problems arising from the children's consent to the broadcasts. Thus, after outlining the facts of the two cases, this note will set down the relevant legal rules and then seek to analyse, by reference to the recent cases, the extent to which the English courts have established a coherent and principled approach to freedom of expression cases in this area.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities
Faculty of Humanities > Law, School of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2015 10:03
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 13:32

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