The International Forum for Responsible Media Blog

Month: January 2011 (Page 2 of 6)

Case Law: R (Guardian News) v City of Westminster Magistrates – “Information is knowledge, knowledge is power” – Matthew Flinn

R (on the application of Guardian News and Media Limited) v City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court [2010] EWHC 3376

The Guardian newspaper has failed to convince the High Court that it should be able to see key documents in the trial of three men threatened with extradition to the United States on charges of corruption and bribery. The case highlights the finely balanced right to freedom of information. Continue reading

Case Law: CDE v MGN plc, – privacy and anonymity (again) – Edward Craven

What’s in a name? ‘A lot’, the press would answer” – these were the memorable words of Lord Rodger in the Supreme Court in In re Guardian News and Media Ltd [2010] UKSC 1 [63]. Regular readers of the Inforrm Blog will be well aware of the continuing debate about the circumstances in which a court should supplement an injunction preventing publication of private information with an order anonymising the names of the litigants as well. Unsurprisingly, such anonymity orders tend to be very popular with claimants (who want to avoid alerting the public to the existence of information “out there” that the claimant wishes to keep secret) and equally unpopular with the press (who recognise that naming names tends to sell more papers). Continue reading

Law and Media Round Up – 24 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.


Once again, the News of the World phone hacking saga is the leading media law story of the week.   There were new developments almost every day.   On Tuesday 17 January, it was reported that Glenn Mulcaire had confirmed in court documents that a senior News of the World news editor, Ian Edmondson, commissioned him to hack phones (see our post here). Continue reading

Caselaw: POI v The Person Known As “Lina” – Anonymity and Blackmail

In the case of POI v The Person Known as “Lina” ([2011] EWHC 12 (QB)) Mr Justice Tugendhat granted a privacy injunction restraining the publication of photographs and, since there was sufficient evidence of blackmail, he has anonymised the claimant. In accordance with the ground breaking decision in DFT he also ordered that publication of any information as to the subject matter of the proceedings or the identity of the claimant should be limited to that contained in his public judgment. Continue reading

Libel, Science and GMOs: a French Criminal Case

Over the past year, the Libel Reform Campaign and Sense about Science have campaigned vigorously to “keep libel laws out of science“.   They have drawn attention to the “chilling effect” of libel actions on scientists like Peter Wilmshurst and science writers like Simon Singh.   An interesting perspective on these issues is provided by a French criminal libel judgment given by the 17th Chamber of the “Tribunal correctionnel de Paris” on 18 January 2011 in a criminal libel case brought on the complaint of one scientist against another over statements concerning research on genetically modified organisms (“GMOs”). Continue reading

Opinion: “Pastor Terry Jones ban – what about free speech?” – Adam Wagner

Terry Jones, an American pastor who threatened to burn Korans on the 9th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, has been banned from entering the UK “for the public good”.

He has told BBC Radio 5 live that he would challenge the “unfair” decision as his visit could have been “beneficial”. But, as I posted last month, the recent case of an Indian preacher who challenged his exclusion from the UK suggests that the courts would be unlikely to quash the Home Secretary’s decision. The following is taken from my previous post on the topic. Continue reading

Coulson, Resignation and Investigation

The resignation of the Downing Street Director of Communications and former News of the World editor Andy Coulson is politically embarassing for David Cameron and raises further questions about the conduct of “News of the World” executives in relation to the “phone hacking” activities of Glenn Mulcaire.   This has led to renewed demands for a full, independent, investigation of the entire case. Continue reading

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