The House of Lords refused a British author permission to appeal a ban on her book about Canadian singer/songwriter Loreena McKennitt.

The House of Lords in London, England rejected an application for permission to appeal brought by British author Niema Ash against the British Court of Appeal decision which had upheld McKennitt's right to "the human dignity of privacy".

In Dec 2006 British Court of Appeal upheld the High Court judgment of Mr. Justice Eady who found that McKennitt's privacy had been intruded upon and the duty of confidence owed to her by a former friend and employee had been violated.

The House of Lords said that the petition for appeal "did not raise an arguable point of law of general public importance."

Ash, a British author, self-published a book about the Canadian artist in 2005. After a 10-day High Court trial in Nov. of 2005, certain passages of the book were restrained by order of Mr. Justice Eady. Subsequently, Ash and her solicitors appealed the ruling and were heard by a three person appeal panel in Nov. 2006

The Court of Appeal, led by Lord Justice Buxton, determined that there was no error in approach or law by Mr. Justice Eady. In the judgment handed down in Dec. 2006, the Court found that the Justice was right to conclude that numerous passages of the book, such as those dealing with the drowning death of Ms. McKennitt's fiance and her subsequent grief, "were remarkably intrusive."

Ash and her solicitors had argued before the Courts that she wanted to "tell her story" and that the Article 10 right to freedom of expression allowed her to override McKennitt's rights to privacy as described in Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The judgment, however, also indicated that the breach of confidence and Ash's signed confidentiality agreement could not be justified by a supposed public interest defense of revealing alleged malfeasance or hypocrisy in relation to a private real estate transaction.

Says McKennitt,: "I am very grateful to the courts, including the House of Lords, the Court of Appeal and Mr Justice Eady who have recognized that every person has an equal right to a private life.....As an artist I naturally feel strongly about freedom of expression, and I feel vindicated that the law supported my view that freedom comes with responsibility for decency, fairness and truth."