Evicted tenants privacy rights under ECHR, art 8 outweighed Channel 5’s art 10 rights


Re: Ali & Anor v Channel 5 Broadcast Ltd [2018] EWHC 298 (Ch)

The claimant tenants had had a reasonable expectation of privacy in respect of certain information included in an observational documentary programme (“Can’t Pay, We’ll Take It Away”) aired by Channel 5 which showed edited footage of their eviction from their rental home, following the execution of a writ of possession.

In allowing the claim, the Court held that although the programme made a contribution to a debate of general interest and the broadcaster had an editorial discretion as to what to include, the inclusion of a confrontation between the tenants and their landlord’s son which had been encouraged by the High Court Enforcement Agent to “make good television” was unjustified, and to that extent the claimants’ ECHR, art 8 rights outweighed Channel 5’s art 10 rights. The claimants were awarded damages of £10,000 each.

Antony White QC was involved in this case.