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R (on the application of Animal Defenders International) v Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

[2008] UKHL 15

Case summary last updated at 07/01/2020 15:28 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case R (on the application of Animal Defenders International) v Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

P wanted to run a TV advert arguing against cruelty to animals, with the aim of stopping testing on animals. The Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre, an informal body that monitors adverts for commercial broadcasters, didn’t give clearing to the advert since political broadcasting is banned under the Communications Act. HL held that P’s article 10 right had NOT been violated, since the policy served by the act was justified as necessary in a democratic society and therefore compatible with ECHR. 
 
Lord Bingham: The justification for the policy is to prevent political pressure being applied and debate dominated by wealthy groups with bad aims e.g. anti-abortion groups, pro-gun groups etc. He says that the reason we need this in TV/radio and not other mediums is that they have a more immediate, powerful effect. The blanket ban is no more than is necessary- there is no other practicable means of limiting exposure to TV e.g. a rationing system (note this as an example of making judges politicised: Bingham is having to discuss policy alternatives and se if there is a less intrusive one to art 10 than the current policy). 

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