The Public Prosecution Service breached the privacy of a schoolboy by announcing he was to appear in court accused of assault, lawyers claimed yesterday.
Legal representatives for the 15-year-old, who cannot be identified, made the allegation during a High Court challenge to the disclosure that he has been summonsed to attend to face criminal proceedings.
They won the right to seek a judicial review after a judge ruled that the decision arguably interfered with the teenager’s rights.
His lawyers’ centred their case on an announcement by the PPS that he was to appear before a Youth Court charged with assault.
Karen Quinlivan, for the boy, told the court that his rights to privacy and family life under the European Convention on Human Rights were at stake.
She said: “The PPS have already interfered with his private life by publishing the fact of his court appearance.”
But a lawyer for the PPS argued that the judicial review case was premature. She also stressed that because the applicant was a minor no details of his court appearance could be reported anyway.
As he granted leave to apply for a judicial review on the privacy grounds, Mr Justice Hart said he was satisfied the issue could be resolved by a suggested adjournment to the criminal proceedings.
The judge also stressed the ban on publishing the name, address or school of any child before the courts.
He said: “I must stress that this creates a free-standing prohibition on the media, whether it is in the form of print or visual media, not to infringe that provision.
“Indeed, to do so is a criminal offence.”