JK Rowling hoping to reopen privacy case against Sunday Express

Unlike her schoolboy wizard hero Harry Potter, billionaire author JK Rowling doesn’t have an invisibility cloak.

And, as a result, today she turned to the courts rather than the world of magic in a bid to protect herself and her family from the intrusive gaze of the outside world.

Her legal team went to London’s Appeal Court to renew a test case privacy fight over a photograph of one of her, her husband and one of their children.

The Harry Potter author, suing under her real name Joanne Murray is seeking to overturn a High Court ruling last summer in which her privacy claim over the long lens photo of her and her husband with son David was thrown out.

The photo was taken while the family were out in the street and was printed with a Sunday Express magazine article on Rowling’s approach to motherhood.

Rowling and her husband, Dr Neil Murray, sued Express Newspapers and photo agency, Big Pictures (UK) in David’s name seeking to block further publication.

The Express settled the claim and last August High Court judge Mr Justice Patten threw out the case against the agency. He said that David was ‘not himself upset’by the taking of the photograph and that as a result the claim being brought in his name was ‘somewhat artificial.”

The judge said that he had considerable sympathy for anyone who wished to shield their children from intrusive media attention but the law does not allow them ‘to carve out a press free zone for their children in respect of absolutely everything they choose to do.”

Now Rowling is asking the Court of Appeal to revive her claim. Her counsel, Richard Spearman QC, told the court today : ‘The claim is not about the right of the adult. It is about the rights of the child.”

The hearing continues.

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