This is a weekly Media Law Update prepared by the Legal Information Team at Matrix Chambers, which they have kindly agreed to make available to readers of Inforrm.

Latest Cases

A v Chief constable of Dorset Police & Anor [2010] EWHC 1748, 16 Jul 2010. The interested party sought the court’s directions to prevent the defendant from serving the claimant with sensitive confidential documents in the course of an application for judicial review. The claimant sought declaratory relief and damages after he had been removed from a fast food outlet and detained by the police.  Held: The court saw no substance in the defendant’s suggestion that the Carnduff v Rock ([2001] 1 WLR 1786) principle should apply and that the claimant should be prevented from pursuing a judicial review application; the defendant must serve its summary grounds subject to the deletion set out in the first schedule to the first judgment. Further, the claimant and his parents ought to know why he was being protected, what he was being protected from and why that protection took the particular form it did.

Ambrosiadou v Coward [2010] EWHC 1794 (QB) QBD – 15 Jul 2010.  The applicant wife applied to continue an interim injunction against the respondent husband concerning the publication of documents arising from foreign divorce proceedings. The applicant and respondent had worked for a Cypriot hedge fund company. Held: the court refused to continue an interim injunction as the applicant was unable to demonstrate that she was likely to succeed in obtaining a permanent injunction. However, that did not meant that all the information the document contained could be published without qualification, as the wife and their teenage son had reasonable expectations of privacy which had not been outweighed by any countervailing public interest.

Roland Dumas v France (App No 34875/07) ECtHR – 15 July 2010 Conviction of Roland Dumas following publication of his book L’epreuve, Les Preuves infringed his freedom of expression – violation of art 10.   The judgment is available only in French. For Press Release see here.

Gazeta Ukraina-Tsentr v Ukraine (App No. 16695/04), ECtHR – 15 July 2010.  Condemnation of newspaper for reporting defamatory statement unjustified – violation of art 10.   For press release, see here

Statements in Open Court

Stelios Haji-Ioannou v Michael O’Leary & Anor QBD – 15 Jul 2010 Made in proceedings for defamation following the publication of advertisements in national newspapers which referred to the claimant.

Prince Radu of Hohenzollern v Houston & Anor, QBD – 15 Jul 2010. Made in proceedings for defamation following the publication of a magazine article which alleged that the claimant was dishonestly claiming to have been granted a particular royal title and that he was relying on forged documents to support his claims.

Latest Regulatory Decisions

Latest decision of the Scottish Information Commissioner.

Decision Notices from the Information Commissioner’s Office

Latest decisions of the First-tier Tribunal, General Regulatory Chamber [Information Rights]

  • Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis v IC EA/2010/0006. FIO Act 2000, ss 24 (national security), 30 (investigations and proceedings conducted by public authorities), 38 (health and safety).
  • Mr Philip Kalman v IC EA/2009/0111. FIO Act 2000, s 24 (national security): Please download:
  • David Holland v IC EA/2010/0010. Whether disputed information falls within request. Please download:
  • Chief Constable of Surrey Police v IC EA/2009/0081. FIO Act 2000, s 36 (prejudicial to the effective conduct of public affairs):
  • Home Office v IC EA/2010/0011. FOI Act 2000, ss 35(1)(b) (collective cabinet responsibility), 42 (legal professional privilege).

Recent Developments

Towards a true single market of data protection, James Goudie QC, Panopticon Blog – 16 Jul 2010.  Discusses the speech made by Viviane Reding (Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship), entitled “Towards a true Single Market of data protection” at a Meeting in Brussels, on July 14, 2010. For news story, see here. For full text of speech, see here.

Information Commissioner’s Annual Report 2009/2010, ICO, Report – 15 Jul 2010.

MoJ publishes milestones for FOI reforms, FOI blog – 15 Jul 2010, Notes the milestones for FOI set out in the MoJ Structural Reform Plan.  For full text, see here.  For MoJ Structural Reform Plan, see here.

Government libel reform bill set for March 2011, PA Media Lawyer , Press Gazette – 15 Jul 2010.  Reports that a newly published Ministry of Justice Structural Reform Plan shows that developing options for reform is expected to take from June this year until March next year. The plan gives as a milestone the publication next March of a “draft Defamation Bill for the reform of libel laws published for pre-legislative scrutiny”. For news story, see here.  For MoJ Structural Reform Plan see here.

Data protection: Commission requests UK to strengthen powers of national data protection authority, as required by EU law, Commission, Press Release – 24 Jun 2010.  Reports that the Commission has requested the UK to strengthen the powers of its data protection authority so that it complies with the EU’s Data Protection Directive. The Commission request takes the form of a reasoned opinion – the second stage under EU infringement procedures. In the UK, national data rules are curtailed in several ways, leaving the standard of protection lower than required under EU rules. The UK now has two months to inform the Commission of measures taken to ensure full compliance with the EU Data Protection Directive. For press release, see here.

Articles & Discussion

Double trouble? Sarah Webb (Russell Jones & Walker), New Law Journal N.L.J. (2010) Vol.160 No.7476 pg.989, Reflects on the settlement of the libel claim by Matt Fiddes, the bodyguard and close friend of Michael Jackson, against Channel 4 and the media’s use of the case to criticise the costs of libel litigation and the use of CFAs. Argues that the escalation of costs in libel proceedings occurs when stubborn claimants and defendants battle, and the debate over the reform of libel law and CFAs could seriously impact on claimants’ access to justice, and highlights the value of alternative dispute resolution.

Online libel – the Budu case, IT Law Today IT L.T. (2010) July/August pgs.7-8; Reviews Budu v BBC [2010] EWHC 616 (QB) on whether a claim for libel in respect of the publication of snippets of articles that appeared in Google search results should be allowed to proceed to trial, where the defamatory allegation was not made in the original webpage.