The International Forum for Responsible Media Blog

Month: January 2011 (Page 1 of 6)

Case Law: JIH v News Group Newspapers, anonymity regained – Edward Craven

The Court of Appeal today handed down judgment in the case of JIH v News Group Newspapers Ltd ([2011] EWCA Civ 42).  In allowing the appeal against the order of Tugendhat J ([2010] EWHC 2818 (QB)) the Court ordered that the claimant’s anonymity should be restored.  Although the Court stressed that each decision is fact sensitive, this approach seems likely to be followed in most types of privacy injunction cases.  This eagerly awaited decision adds to the growing body of case law concerning reporting restrictions where an injunction has been granted to restrain publication of information about a claimant’s private life. Continue reading

Law and Media Round Up – 31 January 2011

In this regular feature we draw attention to the last week’s law and media news and next week’s upcoming events. If readers have any news or events which they would like to draw attention to please add them by way of comments on this post.


Yet again, phone hacking is the leading media law story of the week.   The claims now relate to recent activities and to the actions of other newspapers.   First, there was news of a claim by Kelly Hoppen in relation to “accessing or attempting to access her voicemail messages between June 2009 and March 2010”. Continue reading

Libel Reform in Jamaica – Joint Select Committee Report Approved

The process of libel reform in Jamaica is moving slowly forward.  In August 2010 we posted about the report of the Committee chaired by Mr Justice Small which had been published in 2008 and was then before a Joint Select Committee.  This considered the Small Report for over two years and received evidence and submissions, including a visit from our own Mark Stephens (reported here). Continue reading

The Future of the Press: John Lanchester’s LRB piece on newspapers

In a thought provoking piece in the “London Review of Books” entitled “Let us Pay” John Lanchester discusses the future of the newspaper industry.    The economic problems are obvious.  He points out that between 2004 and 2009, the US newspaper industry lost 34 per cent of its readers; the UK industry lost 22 per cent.  Things have got worse since.  At the same time advertising revenue is falling at an alarming rate – in particular, classified ads which Mr Lanchester describes as “the secret weapon of the newspaper business“.  Continue reading

Defamation and Twitter: First Love – Laura McNair-Wilson

Courtney Love, widow of Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain and lead singer of the punk-rock band Hole, is no stranger to controversy. This month sees her in Los Angeles County Superior Court where she is being sued by Dawn Simonrangkir for defamation, false light invasion of privacy, intentional infliction of emotional distress, breach of contract and tortious interference with economic advantage (Dawn Simonrangkir a/k/a Dawn Younger-Smith a/k/a Boudoir Queen v Courtney Michelle Love and Does 1-25 inclusive, Case No. BC 41059).  There is a discussion of the case on the “Unruly of Law” blog. Continue reading

Case Law: Shergill v Purewal – another “religious libel” case stayed.

The judgment in Shergill v Purewal ([2010] EWHC 3610 (QB)) given on 15 December 2010 by Sir Charles Gray has now been posted on the indispensable Bailii website.   The claimant was a Sikh activist who sued the “Panjab Times” and a person he claimed was its editor for libel. Mr Shergill alleged that three articles in the newspaper meant that he sought to instigate serious riots and create an atmosphere of terror by proclaiming that Baba Jeet Singh had won a case in an Indian court, and that he was seeking to misappropriate religious centres in Oldbury, Birmingham and High Wycombe by trick and false rumours, and that he would be responsible for any unpleasant incidents which occurred. Continue reading

Matrix Media Update – 28 January 2011

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

Latest Cases

Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police v Information Commissioner [2011] EWHC 44 (Admin) – 21 Jan 2011.  The issue to be determined was whether, when estimating the costs of complying with a request for information, a public authority could take into account, for the purposes of the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004, SI 2004/3244, reg 4(3)(d), the time spent in redacting exempt information from any document in which the information which it proposed to disclose in compliance with that request was contained. Continue reading

RPC Media Bulletin: “The end of recoverable success fees in media cases?”


The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that UK laws allowing the recoverability of success fees in privacy cases violated a newspaper’s rights to freedom of expression. Last week’s landmark decision almost certainly means that later this year the Government will scrap recoverable success fees and ATE insurance premiums in defamation and privacy cases. Continue reading

Case Law: O’Rawe v William Trimble Ltd, Northern Ireland – Olivia O’Kane

In a previous post I referred to Northern Irish interlocutory judgement in the case of Bridget O’Rawe and William Trimble Limited ([2010] NIQB 124).  The trial of the action has now taken place and the trial judgment has been delivered ([2010] NIQB 135). There is a BBC News report of the judgment.  This is one of the few libel cases to go to trial in recent times in Northern Ireland and the judgement is not only extremely detailed but provides long awaited clarification from the bench in relation to qualified privilege and particularisation of pleadings. Continue reading

Opinion: “Ignoring domestic abuse? SLAPPs in the UK” – Andrew Scott

An interesting piece in the Guardian on 18 January focused on a letter sent recently by Carter Ruck to the Soil Association warning of potential liability under libel law if an objection to a planning application was not withdrawn. The piece quoted David Banisar of Article XIX who characterised the letter as a ‘strategic lawsuit against public participation‘ (SLAPP). Continue reading

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