Lawyers acting for Ryan Giggs and Imogen Thomas clashed on Tuesday night over the role of super-injunctions in protecting people's privacy in the information age.
Speaking at an event at the London School of Economics attended by V3.co.uk, Hugh Tomlinson, Ryan Giggs's lawyer, argued that super-injunctions remain vital in providing a means for privacy, even if they could be undermined by sites like Twitter.
Tomlinson went further, however, and argued that a dedicated privacy law should be brought in to provide a clearer legal framework for privacy issues in the UK.
"Parliament should be intervening and bringing in a privacy law. What would be important is that it would have a democratic legitimacy. Parliamentarians would have considered it, they would have thought it through, they would have voted on it, and these issues would have been argued out," he said.
Tomlinson insisted, however, that publication should take precedence over privacy when genuine public interest arguments can be invoked. He gave the examples of a story revealing financial wrongdoings, unsuitability of people for public office or deceiving the public.
However, David Price, the lawyer acting for Imogen Thomas, the woman at the centre of the storm over the Ryan Giggs case, argued that this would be too much of a "blunt instrument", and that preventing information being published just encourages people to leak it.
"The efficacy of law depends on whether you have the power to prevent the information coming out. Information is not something that can be locked up, and the more the public want to find the information the more it will come out," he said.
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