Taking Photographs - The Legal Perspective

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Re: Taking Photographs - The Legal Perspective

Postby AlanM » Mon Oct 06, 2008 7:56 pm

We don't know the exact circumstances, but unless the guy was being a complete eejit and sticking the camera in the girl's face he shouldn't have plead guilty, I'll bet the paparazzi won't be too happy with what's happened either
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Re: Taking Photographs - The Legal Perspective

Postby Riotgrrl » Tue Oct 07, 2008 11:00 am

I think the Sheriff's comments about the woman being entitled to her privacy were his opinion, rather than a matter of law and should be read alongside his comments about chivalry.

This was not a privacy case, it was a BOP, and the crime was because the woman had been caused fear and alarm by his behaviour. If she had not seen him taking her photograph, then no crime would have been committed.

I think.
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Re: Taking Photographs - The Legal Perspective

Postby AlanM » Mon Oct 13, 2008 10:17 pm

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Re: Taking Photographs - The Legal Perspective

Postby Dexter St. Clair » Sun Dec 21, 2008 6:54 pm

I finally caught up with last Saturday's Guardian and an eye catching centre spread on a wedding. Jess Hurd took the photos and Maev Kennedy wrote the story of the Travellers' wedding.

This is the last paragraph of her story

Quilligan and Sheridan's wedding ended with their photographer, Jess Hurd, being detained by the police.

She was questioned under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, after officers noticed her standing outside the hall in Canary Wharf waiting for a shot of the guests leaving, even though she was surrounded by snappily dressed members of the party. The venue is near the site of the 1996 IRA bomb.

"This incident could hardly have been more inept or offensive," said Richard Sheridan, uncle to the groom and president of the Gypsy Council, which campaigns for civil rights for Romany and travellers.

"Being at a young couple's wedding reception - and on UN human rights day."


Full story on the wedding here

The Photographs
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Re: Taking Photographs - The Legal Perspective

Postby Lucky Poet » Sun Dec 21, 2008 8:20 pm

Sheesh. I don't usually say things like "what is this country coming to", but, well you know. It's yet another reason not to visit London, I suppose. Seriously though, that is pretty bad. And still there's no evidence that terrorists have ever photographed their targets in advance...
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Re: Taking Photographs - The Legal Perspective

Postby scotgio » Wed Dec 24, 2008 9:42 am

Riotgrrl wrote:I think the Sheriff's comments about the woman being entitled to her privacy were his opinion, rather than a matter of law and should be read alongside his comments about chivalry.

This was not a privacy case, it was a BOP, and the crime was because the woman had been caused fear and alarm by his behaviour. If she had not seen him taking her photograph, then no crime would have been committed.

I think.


Not entirely so, ever since the Naomi Campbell case in 2004 were she successfully sued OK for the drug rehab pictures (which were also taken in a public place) the courts have been pretty confident in using Article 8 of the European Charter on Human Rights, "Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence" in cases involving unwanted pics being taken. Even were this not mentioned specifically by the Sheriff it will have undoubtedly informed his reasoning, given he must ensure all his decisions are compliant were possible, although admittedly prior cases in this area have generally involved publication of the offending images, which hasn't occurred here.

Whilst the ECHR technically cannot be relied upon between two private parties (supposedly it only applies in cases between the state and a private party, in practice this hasn't been the case, due to 'horizontal effect'), courts as a public body are bound to follow it since the Human Rights Act in 1998, hence its famous (among lawyers anyway!) use in the Campbell case. Its a pretty interesting area of law, especially as article 8 appears to often conflict with article 10 which protects freedom of expression (this of course includes the taking of photos).

Breach of the peace of course does also apply and appears to have been used as the basis of the fine. However it could still be BOP even if she had not seen him take the picture, it would still be a crime. BOP can apply to any behaviour which the police believe could cause distress or alarm to the average member of the public (or the lieges, as a judge would no doubt call them), even were such conduct has not caused any such distress. This is why BOP is such a controversial offence. Technically anything can be BOP. But that's another can of worms...

To cut a long story short, British citizens do have a legal right to privacy and are a matter of law, and courts have affirmed it in the past.
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Re: Taking Photographs - The Legal Perspective

Postby TeeHeeHee » Tue Mar 10, 2009 4:55 pm

Re. the case mentioned(page 1) by gap74.

The Clerk of the Court got fed up trying to pronounce Przctzniewfski and told the lawer to submit a plea of guilty and get the fuck out of here quick.
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Re: Taking Photographs - The Legal Perspective

Postby JayKay » Mon Mar 30, 2009 3:18 pm

On a wee photo expedition the other week, the security guard/doorman/jobsworth at Meridian Court questioned me as to what I was doing (fairly obvious I would think) taking some pics of the building.

"What are you doing/"

"Taking some pictures"

"It's a government building"

"Er...that's why I'm taking them"

OK, so my charm and humour got me out of an interrogation by MI5, but despite being fairly sure I was in the right about being in a public place and being allowed to take pictures of pretty much what I want to, in these sensitive times was I asking for a special rendition?

In short, is there actually a ban on photographing government buildings?
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Re: Taking Photographs - The Legal Perspective

Postby AlanM » Tue Apr 07, 2009 11:05 pm

Certain buildings will be off limits due to the Terrorism Act, the problem is they don't say which ones.

It's a safe bet that Thames House would be no go, as would the MI6 building whoses name escapes me. If Whitehall ans Westminister weren't such tourist magnets they'd have a go at banning photography there too.

Apparently the security guys at the London Eye are over zealous and try to frustrate anyone with a tripod, but that may just be because the people that have tried to set up have been in a stupid place and were causing an obstruction
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Re: Taking Photographs - The Legal Perspective

Postby Doorstop » Fri Apr 17, 2009 4:18 pm

I like him ... He says "Okie Dokie!"
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Re: Taking Photographs - The Legal Perspective

Postby Lucky Poet » Fri Apr 17, 2009 9:42 pm

If that kind of thing ever happens to me, I hope I have the presence of mind and the guts to demand to be taken to the Polis Station. As a few commenters said in the link, photos can only be deleted by court order.

I really hate that it's come to this, partly cos it parcels any objectors in with the David Icke crowd, so to speak.

A thought (not mine, just repeated): In Cousin England, photographing the Polis is a criminal act, yet if citizens hadn't taken footage of that fella caught up in the G20 stramash, then that would have been that: no Police contact; death caused by heart attack; protesters obstructed the attempted resuscitation; boo to the anti-establishment crowd. Hell, I don't know. Keep photographing, folks. Fuck the bozos :mrgreen:

PS Aye, I'm aware that this is similar to the photographer's situation in the old Eastern Bloc. Mention it and lose 2 points. Compare our predicament with a certain Orwell novel and lose 4.
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Re: Taking Photographs - The Legal Perspective

Postby AlanM » Sat Apr 18, 2009 8:24 pm

By deleting photographs it could be argued that the police officer was "attempting to pervert the course of justice" in that he was attempting to destroy evidence. If the taking of photos was "strictly forbidden" he should have seized the memory card (or the camera if it was still switched on as they aren't meant to switch them on or off incase any data is destroyed) to preserve the evidence.

The police have no right to demand that images are deleted - and their guidelines for dealing with unauthorised photography state that quite clearly.
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Re: Taking Photographs - The Legal Perspective

Postby Fossil » Sun Apr 26, 2009 11:04 am

AlanM wrote:By deleting photographs it could be argued that the police officer was "attempting to pervert the course of justice" in that he was attempting to destroy evidence. If the taking of photos was "strictly forbidden" he should have seized the memory card (or the camera if it was still switched on as they aren't meant to switch them on or off incase any data is destroyed) to preserve the evidence.

The police have no right to demand that images are deleted - and their guidelines for dealing with unauthorised photography state that quite clearly.


cheers Alan
have you a link to print this info off?
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Re: Taking Photographs - The Legal Perspective

Postby gap74 » Mon Apr 27, 2009 1:25 pm

A few empty words on the matter from our lovely Home Secretary:

http://p10.hostingprod.com/@spyblog.org ... phers.html
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Re: Taking Photographs - The Legal Perspective

Postby AlanM » Wed Apr 29, 2009 1:49 pm

Fossil wrote:
AlanM wrote:By deleting photographs it could be argued that the police officer was "attempting to pervert the course of justice" in that he was attempting to destroy evidence. If the taking of photos was "strictly forbidden" he should have seized the memory card (or the camera if it was still switched on as they aren't meant to switch them on or off incase any data is destroyed) to preserve the evidence.

The police have no right to demand that images are deleted - and their guidelines for dealing with unauthorised photography state that quite clearly.


cheers Alan
have you a link to print this info off?



I can't remember where I read this,I think it was somewhere on the NUJ site, something to do with press photographer passes being accepted by the police in London and what they could and couldn't tell you to do etc.

I'll have a look for it
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