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Family Law

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04 DEC 2006

PRIVACY: CC v AB [2006] EWHC 3083 (QB)

(Queen's Bench Division: Eady J; 4 December 2006)

Granting an injunction restraining the defendant from communicating, directly or indirectly, with the media or on the internet on the subject of the claimant's former relationship with the defendant's wife, the judge noted that there was a powerful argument that the conduct of an intimate or sexual relationship was a matter in respect of which there was a reasonable or legitimate expectation of privacy. The judge did not accept that there was or should be a general legal principle that there was no such legitimate expectation of privacy for a person who conducted a relationship with another person's wife. There was therefore no rule exempting a wronged husband from restraint automatically, by virtue of his status, although in any given situation there might be particular respects in which his right to free speech should be accorded greater priority. It would not be proportionate to restrain any communication about the fact of the adulterous relationship to close friends or family, but it was necessary, having regard to the claimant's family life, to restrain the defendant from going to the media with information of no genuine public interest for no better reason than spite, or the desire to make money.

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