Case Law: Journalistic responsibility and defamation, three recent judgments of the Court of Human of Rights – Hugh Tomlinson QC

23 08 2011

Three recent judgments in the Court of Human Rights illustrate the increasing importance of the concept of “journalistic responsibility” in defamation cases considered from the perspective of the right to freedom of expression.  Where a publication deals with a matter of proper public concern a court must to consider these issues of responsibility and there will be a breach of Article 10 if it fails to do so.  Read the rest of this entry »

Inforrm: End of the Summer Break

22 08 2011

Wordle: UntitledThe Inforrm Blog today returns to regular publication after our summer break.  Although the legal vacation continues until 3 October, there is no shortage of media and legal news – and stories which we need to catch up with from the hectic days of June and July.  We had a “Summer break update” the week before last and we will resume our regular round up next week. Read the rest of this entry »

Freedom of Expression and the Internet – UN, OSCE Reports and Joint Declaration of Special Rapporteurs

21 08 2011

On 12 February 2011 we had a post on the so-called “human right to internet access”.   This is a point which has been considered on a number of occasions by international organisations over recent months.  On 16 May 2011, there was a report to the Human Rights Council by Frank La Rue, the UN Special Rapporteur on on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression.

Report concluded that cutting off users from Internet access, regardless of the justification provided, including on the grounds of violating intellectual property rights law, is disproportionate and thus a violation of Article 19 of the ICCPR. Read the rest of this entry »

News: Phone hacking saga, this week’s developments [updated]

19 08 2011

As the July phone hacking firestorm demonstrated, the story is full of surprises.  It now has so many angles and sub-plots that barely a day goes by without a new development.  This week is no exception. We have already posted about the correspondence released by the Home Affairs Select Committee on 16 August 2011 but this was just the first of a number of developments.   Read the rest of this entry »

Equality and Human Rights Commission Report: Information Privacy Laws are Flawed

18 08 2011

On 15 August 2011 the  Equality and Human Rights Commission published a Research Report entitled “Protecting Information Privacy”, written by Charles Raab (University of Edinburgh) and Benjamin Goold (University of British Columbia).  The report examines the threats to information privacy that have emerged in recent years, focusing on the activities of the state.  It makes a number of important recommendations.  The report has, unfortunately, attracted very limited media attention and discussion – itself a symptom of the lack of attention to privacy issues which it identifies. Read the rest of this entry »

Access to Law Online: Ten of the best free resources – Judith Townend

17 08 2011

It’s the norm to pay for legal information, through legal databases (eg. LexisNexis, Westlaw, HeinOnline) and paid for services (eg. Courtserve).  But there is a strong case for improving the Ministry of Justice’s handling of courts data and judicial information and opening information to all.  As I have argued before, the closed and costly nature of courts data is restricting legal research and analysis – as well as public access to legal information. Read the rest of this entry »

News: Phone Hacking – Commons Committee publishes evidence that “phone hacking was widely discussed” [Updated]

16 08 2011

The House of Commons Culture Media and Sport Committee has today published further correspondence it has received following the evidence session with News International executives on Tuesday 19 July 2011.   These include letters from James Murdoch, Colin Myler, Tom Crone and, most importantly, Harbottle & Lewis, with a detailed document setting out its role in the case and providing considerable additional information.  Read the rest of this entry »

Master of the Rolls’ Privacy Injunction Guidance – Amber Melville-Brown

16 08 2011

One has to think hard now to remember the media furore over so called ‘super injunctions’. It has been eclipsed by the other media-focused story of the day, the demise of the News of the World amid the phone hacking affair. But before the fall of what had been the best read newspaper in the English speaking world, journalists within its ranks would have been as scathing of the super injunction, or the plain old privacy injunction, as was the rest of Fleet Street.  Read the rest of this entry »

Summer Break Update – 26 July to 12 August 2011

12 08 2011

Wordle: UntitledAfter “Super Injunction Spring” and “Phone Hacking July”, the real world has returned to the news agenda over the last couple of weeks.   There are some interesting issues arising out of media coverage of the “August troubles” but in this post we will confine ourselves to the other media and law developments since our last “Law and Media Round Up” on 25 July 2011.   Further recent links can be found on Meeja Law’s “Media Law mop up” for 5 August 2011. Read the rest of this entry »

South African Courts deal censorship two solid blows – Dario Milo

8 08 2011

July 2011 will go down in history as a month the media in the UK will never forget. The telephone hacking scandal claimed the scalps of the Metropolitan police commissioner, the assistant commissioner and various senior managers of News International; resulted in 11 arrests; and led to the closure of the famous News of the World tabloid.

In contrast, July 2011 was a good month for the media in South Africa. As MPs continued their debate on the Protection of Information Bill – against a background of significant concessions in favour of Read the rest of this entry »