The International Forum for Responsible Media Blog

News: Phone Hacking – developments in the Courts, at the Leveson Inquiry and in Parliament

On Tuesday 13 September 2011 a number of applications were heard before Mr Justice Vos in the phone hacking litigation.  An additional lead action was added, namely that of Sheila Henry the mother of a victim of the 7/7 bombings.  This was reported in the Guardian, and elsewhere. In addition the claimants obtained an order for further generic disclosure from News Group Newspapers.  News Group told the Court that a large cache of new documents has been found recently.   News Group has been ordered to disclose document by 30 September 2011 if not earlier.

Mr Justice Vos also gave permission for the all the parties to release their documents to the Leveson Inquiry team. Lord Justice Leveson stated last week that the Inquiry will ensure that private and sensitive documents are protected in the Inquiry and will not be released into the public domain.

On Wednesday 14 September 2011 Lord Justice Leveson released his decision about core participants, which was the subject of a post yesterday. In addition it published a list of individuals and organisations granted Core Participant status for the part of his inquiry which will mainly, but not exclusively, focus on “Press and the Public”.  It also published a list of applicants who have not been granted Core Participant status.  This decision has been widely reported in the press today, with the reports perhaps understandably focussing on core participants such as J K Rowling and the McCanns.

In addition the House of the Commons Culture Media and Sport Select committee has announced:

“There are further questions that we wish to have answered and we have today decided to recall Les Hinton and solicitors Farrers & Co and Mark Lewis, after which we intend to recall James Murdoch.”

It appears that the focus of the questions will be on the Gordon Taylor settlement and the “for Neville” email as well the Clive Goodman settlement (see Charlotte Harris’s post about the most recent hearing last week).  It appears from the letters available on the Committee’s website that it will be looking at the “secret” payments to Clive Goodman.

The Select Committee also published the letter from Linklaters, acting for the Management and Standards Committee of  News  Corporation, explaining their redaction procedures in respect of  Mr Goodman’s letters.  It appears that the Select Committee asked why their redactions were materially different to the redactions made by Harbottle & Lewis even though both firms consulted the police.  It also appears from this letter  that James Murdoch has instructed yet another City firm to advise him personally, Clifford Chance.

Finally, one further matter to catch up from the Summer break is the important Radio 4 Programme “Beyond Hackgate; Who should we trust now . The programme is still available on BBC iPlayer here and features Jonathan Powell, former Number 10 adviser to Tony Blair, Baroness Onora O’Neill Cambridge Professor of Philosophy together with  Peter Oborne and Alan Rusbridger.


  1. jason @ personal injury lawyer

    There’s a lot we don’t know about the hacking! Maybe we should hack their phones to find the truth!

  2. beverlirhodesBevlainda

    We would be bust super quick if we did! Im annoyed that theyre mainly looking into the celebs and those with high value what about the 7/7 people and also those returning from Afganistan surely theyre just as important as celebs – or even so – maybe should be sorted out first?

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