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
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
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
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.
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
Three items of “phone hacking news” this week. First, at a hearing before Mr Justice Vos on Monday 20 June 2011, lawyers for 28 claimants made an application for disclosure of documents held by the police which they said were needed to prepare for the trial of lead cases and current issues which is now fixed for the end of January 2012. Continue reading
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
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
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
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