Ex-Formula One boss Max Mosley announced yesterday that he is appealing against last month’s European Court ruling rejecting his bid to toughen up UK privacy law.
Mosley is seeing to appeal to the Grand Chamber of the court, where a ruling would be final. But the court only takes appeals in exceptional circumstances and it has yet to reveal whether or not it will hear the case.
Mosley believes it was unfair that the first he knew of the fact that the News of the World had filmed his extra-marital sexual exploits with five paid dominatrices was when he read about it in the paper.
Although he received a record £60,000 in privacy damages after a High Court trial in 2008, he maintains that the law did not give him a fair remedy. He said legal fees left him out of pocket and the court case had the effect of endlessly repeating the private information.
He took the UK government to the European Court seeking a change in the law to make it compulsory for journalists to contact the subjects of their stories in advance when publishing information which breaches their privacy.
But the court last month ruled that UK law was already correctly balancing the competing rights to privacy and freedom of expression.
Mosley’s lawyers Collyer Bristow said yesterday: ‘Despite the Court’s ‘severe criticisms’ of the News of the World, this and other tabloid newspapers could use the same techniques tomorrow to obtain and publish intimate photographs and details of the sex lives of individuals, without notice and in the knowledge that it is wholly unlawful.
‘Privacy has been the subject of considerable public and media debate in the last month and a ruling from the Grand Chamber of the Court is needed upon this important issue to close a clear gap in UK law.”
Meanwhile, Mosley has given no indication that he is dropping actions for defamation and invasion of privacy levelled against the News of the World in France.
Last May Press Gazette revealed that Mosley was pursuing News of the World chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck, News Group newspapers and their lawyers Farrer & Co through the French courts.