The International Forum for Responsible Media Blog

Month: May 2011 (Page 1 of 5)

Law and Media Round Up – 30 May 2011

Wordle: UntitledIn 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.


This was another week of privacy injunction madness – overshadowing some important developments in the phone hacking saga.  Last Monday saw five hearings in privacy actions. Continue reading

Capping Libel Damages in Australia: a closer look – Matthew Lewis

The cap on libel damages in Australia under the uniform Defamation Act of 2005 remains controversial. In this article barrister Matthew Lewis reviews the quantum of damages awarded since the Act came into effect

Since the 2005 Defamation Act came into effect, there have been 23 cases where damages have been awarded for non-economic loss. Click here for a table detailing cases where damages have been awarded or where s.35 of the 2005 Act has been discussed. Continue reading

Opinion: “A decade later: time to revisit Lord Woolf’s approach to privacy in A v B? Part 2” Niri Shan and Adam Rendle

In the first part of this series, we considered how the ECHR has expanded the scope of article 8 rights, beyond the “new strength and breadth” which Lord Woolf had predicted in 2002 (in A v B) that the mis-named action for “disclosure of confidential information which would infringe privacy” would have. We will now go on to consider the circumstances in which Lord Woolf felt that there could be a countervailing public interest in disclosure, in fulfilment of article 10 rights and contrast them with the relevant circumstances following Von Hannover. We then also consider to what extent the court’s current approach would ever allow the media to discuss the private lives of celebrities. Continue reading

Opinion: “Let’s talk about sex” – Adam Wagner

In 1991 US band Salt-n-Pepa reached number 2 in the UK charts with Let’s Talk About Sex. It is difficult to imagine now, 20 years on, why such an inoffensive and gently educational song generated huge controversy.

That difficulty highlights how much less prudish we are about sex now than we were then. Salt-n-Pepa talked about sex on the “radio and video shows“. Now the song would include Twitter, YouTube and Facebook too. In the post-internet age, sex is everywhere. So why are judges and politicians still making decisions about whose sex the public can or cannot talk about? Continue reading

Opinion: “A decade later: time to revisit Lord Woolf’s approach to privacy in A v B? Part 1” Niri Shan and Adam Rendle

Mark Thomson has accused the media of self-interest in their reporting of the mis-named “super-injunctions ” scandal. This criticism is an easy one to make but, putting aside the potential conflict of interest, the media are right to object to the courts’ current approach to privacy cases, even if not for all of the reasons on which they rely. Important issues are raised by the apparent willingness of courts to accept that reasonable expectations of privacy exist and that they outweigh freedom of expression, which we explore in this two-part series. Continue reading

“Super-injunctions”, Twitter and Gagging the Press – Mark Thomson

The smoke is beginning to clear over the “super-injunctions” battlefield. The mainstream media has taken part in – some would say orchestrated – a successful campaign of civil disobedience. Multiple and blatant breaches of the law appear to have gone unpunished. The forces of the evil gaggers have been vanquished with the indispensable assistance of Twitter and John Hemming MP. Twitter usage figures have soared and, presumably, at least a few readers have been buying papers to find out the latest twist and turn of “gag-gate”.
Continue reading

Announcement: Making a Difference? The Social, Economic and Political Impact of Media Research University of East Anglia, Norwich 24 June 2011

The media@uea initiative brings together the schools of Economics, Film & Television Studies, International Development, Political, Social & International Studies, the UEA Law School and others from across the University of East Anglia.  The first media@uea symposium is taking place in Norwich on 24 June 2011.   Continue reading
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