The International Forum for Responsible Media Blog

Month: June 2011 (Page 1 of 4)

Another Blow to Access to Information: Supreme Court of Canada Denies Access to Political Documents in Ministers’ Offices

A case that spanned almost ten years and three changes of Canada’s top political office ended last month in a setback for access to information in Canada. The Supreme Court of Canada’s ruling in Canada (Information Commissioner) v. Canada (Minister of National Defence), 2001 SCC 25, (“Canada v. Canada”) means that documents such as a Minister’s agenda Continue reading

News – Debate: Privacy, free speech and the feral press – Judith Townend

The current privacy regime is a “negation of the rule of law” because it gives no proper remedy for a breach of privacy, former FIA president Max Mosley has claimed.

This was why he wanted the media to be under a legal obligation to notify individuals if they intended to run stories which would invade their privacy, he told a debate entitled “Injunctions are a necessary evil” organised by the free speech organisation Index on Censorship. Continue reading

McEvedys’ response to the Draft Defamation Bill consultation

McEvedys Solicitors & Attorneys specialises in litigation, media and intellectual property law. It was founded by Victoria McEvedy who has a particular interest in defamation law in the context of publication on the internet. Her clients include some of the largest online publishers in the UK and she regularly advises on issues arising from content in consumer bulletin boards and other forums. She has given Inforrm permission to reproduce her submission to the government draft defamation bill consultation. Continue reading

Case Law: Thornton v Telegraph Media Group – the slow decline of the libel jury trial continues

There has not been a libel jury trial in the High Court in London since July 2009.  The Draft Defamation Bill proposes to remove the right to trial by jury in libel and slander cases.  The decision of the Court of Appeal in Thornton v Telegraph Media Group on 22 June 2011 was another strong indication of the attitude of the Courts to this ancient constitutional right.  The Court allowed the defendant’s appeal against the refusal of Tugendhat J to vary the trial directions to provide for trial by judge alone.  The matter was remitted to the judge and an order has now been made by consent for trial by judge alone. Continue reading

Law and Media Round Up – 27 June 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.

News

A number of bloggers (but not the press) have picked up the story about a legal letter sent on behalf of Mr Paul Dacre threatening action for defamation against the Angry Mob Continue reading

Bar Council Law Reform Committee: Draft Defamation Bill Response – Part 3: Internet, Funding and Rehabilitation

This is the third and final part of an edited extract from the  Response of the General Council of the Bar’s Law Reform Committee to the Joint Committee on the Draft Defamation Bill.  The full response can be found here.

Defamation via the Internet

All we would say in regard to this very complicated topic is that if someone wishes to defame someone else (or invade their privacy) Continue reading

Has US Internet liability law gone too far? The Shiamili decision – Jennifer McDermott

Website operators in the US, who allow others to post defamatory content on their web­sites, can take huge comfort from a very recent decision by the New York State Court of Appeals, Shiamili v. The Real Estate Group of New York, (N.Y. June 14, 2011). Under section 230 of the federal Communications Decency Act (“CDA”), 47 U.S.C. such operators are virtually immune from suit. Continue reading

Bar Council Law Reform Committee: Draft Defamation Bill Response – Part 2: Threshold, Responsibility, Truth and Comment

This is the second part of a third part edited extract from the  Response of the General Council of the Bar’s Law Reform Committee to the Joint Committee on the Draft Defamation Bill.  The full response can be found here.

Clause 1: Threshold for actionability

We do not believe that Clause 1 ought to be enacted.  The current common law has already made proper provision by insisting on a threshold of seriousness before a claimant is Continue reading

Opinion: “Don’t amend the Human Rights Act over the privacy row: a response to David Elstein” – Helen Wildbore

David Elstein’s recent article ‘Privacy, super-injunctions and Twitter: what should we do?’ argues that the Human Rights Act (“HRA”) left unresolved the tension between privacy and freedom of expression. He concludes that “the only solution is new legislation”. However, the HRA already contains the framework for balancing these rights. Surprisingly, Elstein’s piece does not mention the free speech framework (section 12 HRA) introduced into the HRA at the behest of the former Chair of the Press Complaints Commission, Lord Wakeham. Continue reading

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