Today the Inforrm blog returns from its summer break – we would like to welcome readers back to our discussions of the whole range of issues concerning media law and responsibility. We hope that, like us, everyone has returned refreshed after their summer break. August is a quiet month in English courts and in those of most other jurisdictions. The “media legal” stories have been limited to a number of “silly season” stories about privacy injunctions – of which, more later in the week.
We plan to use the next few weeks to catch up on some of the things we have missed or skipped lightly over in the past few months and to preview some of the legal and media events of the Autumn. Perhaps the most important of these is the continuing “libel reform” debate – as the Coalition Government consults on its proposed Defamation Bill.
In a recent Telegraph interview – which will be subject of a post later this week – Justice Minister Lord MacNally has apparently suggested that this might extend to cover the area of privacy as well. We say “apparently” because only small snippets of interview are given by the Telegraph and the Minister appears to be quoted as responding to a “problem” which may not actually exist – the “rise” in gagging orders. As far as we are aware, there is no evidence of any such rise – indeed, the anecdotal evidence of practitioners is to the opposite effect. This will be the subject of a post by Dominic Crossley of Collyer Bristow, tomorrow.
This is an interesting new dimension to the debate – one which could be further informed by the forthcoming Strasbourg Grand Chamber case of Von Hannover v Germany (No.2) (see our discussion here). This is to be heard this autumn will a decision, presumably, in early 2011. This Autumn should also see judgment by the UK Supreme Court in its first libel case – Spiller v Joseph (previewed by us here).
Last but not least, the early awaited Inforrm Launch event is planned for the autumn. Further details will follow on the blog shortly.
As ever, we encourage contributions and comments from readers on any of the topics covered by the blog. In particular, we would be interested in contributions or suggestions as to areas we might cover. We would be also be interested in any forthcoming events which are relevant to the areas covered by the blog.