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Operation Exposure Not A Contravention Of Rights

The High Court of Northern Ireland has found that publication in local newspapers of photographs of young people suspected of rioting in 2010 was necessary for the administration of justice and was not a ‘name and shame’ policy. In 2009, in order to identify those involved in rioting in Derry/Londonderry, the police used CCTV images and engaged the community in identifying some of the young people by publishing the images in local newspapers, in what was called ‘Operation Exposure’. One of the young people, the applicant, who was aged 12 at the time, applied for judicial review of the decision by the PSNI to release the images to the media and in a leaflet in 2010. It was claimed that the publication was a breach of his Article 8 rights under the ECHR, denied him the right to be presumed innocent and that publication was not for the prevention of disorder or crime or for the protection of rights and freedoms of others. The court said that although the publication of the photographs could engage the Article 8 ECHR, in this case the publication was necessary for the administration of justice and was not excessive in the circumstances. A summary of the judgment can be found here.


Criminal Law, Rights of Offenders