The US media have reported a number of instances in which companies have hired private detectives to spy on workers taking “sickies”. Surveillance in these circumstances will often be defensible, the US courts having decided that “reasonable suspicion” is sufficient justification. But what is the position in the UK? Continue reading
A High Court judge has ruled that a seven-year-old child with severe disabilities caused by medical negligence during his birth should be the subject of an order that prohibits their identification in any newspaper report. Continue reading
On 24 March 2011 Acting Deputy Commissioner John Yates gave evidence at a special session of the Culture Media and Sport Select Committee as a follow-up to its inquiry into Press Standards, Privacy and Libel. This arose out of comments made by Chris Bryant MP in the course of an adjournment debate on 10 March 2011. Continue reading
This is a Media and Information 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.
Baturina v Times Newspapers  EWCA Civ 308. The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal by the claimant, the wife of the former Mayor of Moscow, against an order of Eady J striking out part of her claims arising out of the publication and article which wrongly suggested that she had purchased a very large London property. Continue reading
The Court of Protection plays an important role in safeguarding the welfare of some of the most vulnerable individuals in society. Established by the Mental Capacity Act 2005, the Court is vested with significant powers to assist individuals who lack the capacity to make their own decisions. Continue reading
As with most Commonwealth jurisdictions, Canada (except the province of Quebec) has followed the English law of defamation. For this reason alone, Canadian journalists, bloggers and defamation lawyers, should take note of the recent tabling of the U.K. Government’s Draft Defamation Bill, which will undoubtedly have some impact on how Canadian defamation law in the digital age responds to the tension between freedom of expression on the one hand, and the protection of reputation and privacy, on the other. Continue reading
The recent claim in Parliament by Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming (pictured right) that Sir Fred Goodwin has obtained an injunction to prevent him being identified as a banker has reignited interest in the suggestion that the media can in some way sidestep the secrecy of an injunction through the indirect use of Parliamentary privilege. The incident is reminiscent of Paul Farelly’s revelation to Parliament that Trafigura had obtained a so-called “super-injunction” against the Guardian in October 2009. Continue reading
Judgment was handed down today in the privacy case of Zac Goldsmith and others v BCD ( EWHC 674 (QB)). The case provides some interesting guidance how to deal with return dates for privacy injunctions. The original injunctions had been granted in December 2008 (“the 2008 Orders”) after someone had hacked into the claimants’ email accounts and sent what purported to be personal information to a journalist. Continue reading
The draft Defamation Bill has provoked a range of responses, including those of Dominic Crossley and my colleague Alastair Mullis published here on Inforrm. However, my take on this draft is that it could be characterised as a missed opportunity, being a clarification of the law rather than a serious project to assess the form and purpose of defamation law in the UK (in most cases, England and Wales only). My suggestions for what could have improved this draft (or could yet improve the process) are about comparative law, media regulation, and the Internet. A draft Bill is an opportunity to break out of the claim and counter-claim that have characterised the libel reform debate to date, but will this Bill really deliver such a reassessment? Continue reading
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.
The publication of the Government’s Consultation on a Draft Defamation Bill dominated the media law news this week. The Bill was conceived as a response to a campaign which was supported – though not initiated – by the media and it is not surprising that it was broadly welcomed by the press. Continue reading