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Expect privacy whilst subject to a criminal investigation

Not that long ago, police were investigating a sexual assault allegation made against Sir Cliff Richard. The investigation and police raid of his home address was widely reported in the press, yet he was never arrested or charged.

The reputational damage caused was significant. Sir Cliff Richard won his case against the BBC for its coverage of the said raid.

On 16/02/22, judgment was given in the case of Bloomberg LP (Appellant) v ZXC (Respondent) [2022] UKSC 5, which dealt with the issue of privacy during a criminal investigation.

The Supreme Court held that prior to charge, a person under criminal investigation, in general, has a reasonable expectation of privacy in respect of information relating to that investigation.

Given the rise in suspects being released under investigation this is an important ‘general rule’ to remember.

For further details:

Read more details and watch the hearings from this case.

Read the final judgment in this case.

Contact the Public Defender Service to instruct our criminal defence lawyers specialising in complex cases including Privacy laws.