Assignment Sample on Phone Tapping Metropolitan Police Commissioner 


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Following discussion is based on the judgment of the court under the wireless telegraphy act (1949). The main theme of the essay is that the Post office had started to tap the telephonic conversation of a businessperson, James Melon. This interference was conducted under the permission of the secretary of state for home affairs. Malone had launched a case against the metropolitan police commissioner for this unlawful interference in privacy.

The thesis statement is that the essay is based on the judgment of the honourable high court under the consideration of related laws.

Main Body

James Malone was a renowned dealer of antique ornaments and furniture was accused of handling the stolen property unlawfully. The case launched by Malone against the unlawful interference of his privacy conducted by the Metropolitan Police Commissioner was shifted later to the high court as per the case named Malone vs. metropolitan police commissioner [1979]. The main accusation of Malone is based on the telephone tapping by the Post office under Post Office Workers Act (1978) without taking the permission of subscribers. The service provider restores the privacy of every individual subscriber under the law of the privacy act (1974) (Alexander, 2018). This law provides the right to the protection of personal information from the interference of third parties.

Malone had launched the case of interference under the support of this law to collect a fair judgement against the authentication of the Post office authority and police commissioner of Metropolis. The following discussion is based on the main argument of this case, forcing the judges of the court to provide extra attention. Firstly, the Home secretary could not monitor any person’s confidential conversation, only even a non-bail able warrant (Wigana et al. 2020). Secondly, as an individual independent person of the country, Malone has a right of privacy, property to maintain confidentiality under the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) (1950) (Freedman, 2019). The next part is for the discussion on the judgement after listening to the argument of two sides named Malone vs. metropolis police commissioner (1979) (, 1979). Though the case was started in 1979 in the lower court, after realizing the importance of judgment, it was shifted into the higher court in 1984.

In the judgement of this case, the Chief Judge of the Honourable high court mentioned that article no. 8 of the “European Court of Human Rights (ECHR)” is not applicable in England. The opinion of the Judge was right because no issues can be sustained against phone tapping if this is executed for national security purposes. Malone has no contract with the telephone service providers about the privacy of his conversation (, 1979). He has no right to claim against phone tapping which is done for security purposes. The right of confidentiality may be breached by the Metropolitan police commissioner for preventing or reducing the possibility of crimes in England (Pereira, 2021). Therefore, the claim against the police commissioner is unethical and baseless.

The Post Office authority stated the complaint against Malone. However, Malone had launched this case only against the Police Commissioner. This is a baseless complains as only the commissioner conducted the phone tapping but powered by the Post office. In the judgment, it was told that the phone tapping conducted by the government must not breach any law of customer privacy. The customer under the confidentiality right given by the telephonic authority is not available for tapping his phone (Selby, 2017). The government has to take permission from the telephonic authority for proceeding with the further process. The above judgment of the High Court fully supported the activity of the Post office and Police commissioner. It concluded that the complaint of Malone was not supportive of any law.

The case was judged by the European Court of Human Rights and did not fully support the judgement of the High Court. It is said that the phone tapping was counted as an obligation of breaching under article no. 8 of ECHR. As per the judgement, there were no such relevant laws in the UK that fully allows the public authorities to execute such kind of jobs. Under the Post office act (1953), the post office can use the phone tapping system against a person if his conduct can hamper the property or services of the post office (Wallace et al. 2019).


It can be concluded that the two courts failed to provide the right judgement that cannot violate any laws and rules in the UK. The parliament interfered in this case and passed the Interception of Communication Act (1985) to allow the authority to tap the phone only with a warrant. Regulation of Investigatory power act (2000) had supported the same context as mentioned before.

Reference List

Alexander, J.C., 2018. The societalization of social problems: Church pedophilia, phone hacking, and the financial crisis. American Sociological Review83(6), pp.1049-1078.

Freedman, D., 2019. The phone hacking scandal: implications for regulation. Television & New Media13(1), pp.17-20.

Pereira, A.L.D., 2021. Privacy and Phone-Tapping: The Price of Justice in the European Union. Temas de Integração: Portugal, o Brasil e a Globalização-500 Anos a Caminho do Futuro10, pp.171-200.

Selby, J., 2017. Data localization laws: trade barriers or legitimate responses to cybersecurity risks, or both?. International Journal of Law and Information Technology25(3), pp.213-232.

Wallace, K.F., Hogan, S.P., Galarneau, E., Deyo, M., Assini, J.M. and Breger, M., 2019. Investigation & Litigation: How Agencies’ Use of Surveillance Technologies, Including Wire-tapping, Impact Current Criminal Investigation and How the Use of DNA Has Propelled the Criminal Justice System Into the 21st Century. Albany Law Journal of Science & Technology29(1), p.19157.

Wigana, A.W. and Maryanto, M., 2020. The Strength of Proof of Telephone Tapping As Electronic Evidence in Revealing Corruption Cases. Jurnal Daulat Hukum3(1), pp.101-108. (1979) MALONE v. METROPOLITAN POLICE COMMISSIONER Available at: [Accessed on: 1.03.2021]

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