Case Law: Commissioner of Police v Times Newspapers, Times can use leaked Police documents in libel defence – Rachit Buch

26 10 2011

Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis & Anor v Times Newspapers Ltd & Anor [2011] EWHC 2705 (QB) 

Mr Justice Tugendhat has held that, with restrictions, The Times Newspapers Ltd (TNL) should be allowed to use information from leaked documents in its defence to a libel claim brought by the Metropolitan Police Service and the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA). However, proportionality limited the reach of this judgment to the next stage in the libel claim, after which reassessment may be necessary. Read the rest of this entry »

Case Law: Crookes v Newton: never say ‘never’ – Gervase de Wilde

26 10 2011

The Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Crookes v Newton 2011 SCC 47, written up here for Inforrm by Paul Schabas and Jon Goheen, has been hailed as a victory for free speech online. The judgment offers the first definitive answer in the common law world to the question of whether linking to defamatory material online attracts liability for the publication of that material. That answer is a resounding and seemingly definitive ‘no’. Read the rest of this entry »

Opinion: “Lord Judge’s misjudged references to press self-regulation” – Martin Moore

25 10 2011

You do not become Lord Chief Justice without being very bright indeed and awfully judicious. But if I may be so bold, I’d like to suggest that he might have made quite an important error in his speech last week about reform of press self-regulation.

Lord Judge, in his defence of the current system of press self-regulation, said: Read the rest of this entry »

Case Law: Kordowski v Hudson – Slander claim brought by the owner of the ‘Solicitors from Hell’ website is struck out Sara Mansoori

25 10 2011

Rick Kordowski, who owns the ‘Solicitors from Hell’ website, attempted last week to persuade Tugendhat J that he should be granted summary judgment on his slander claim against Des Hudson, the Chief Executive of the Law Society.  This failed and instead the Court granted Mr Hudson’s cross application and struck the slander claim out as an abuse of process ([2011] EWHC 2667 (QB)). Read the rest of this entry »

Law and Media Round Up – 24 October 2011

24 10 2011

The Leveson Inquiry was not the only media law show in town this week, with the publication of the Joint Committee on the Draft Defamation Bill’s first report.  It accepts most of the government’s draft bill’s contents, but proposes a test of “serious and substantial harm” in clause 1 and some amendments to clause 2 (responsible publication) and to other clauses. It recommends that qualified privilege should be extended to fair and accurate reports of academic and scientific conferences and peer reviewed articles. Read the rest of this entry »

Inforrm – Top Posts of the Last Quarter and Two Polls

23 10 2011

Since our launch in January 2010 we have had nearly 900 posts and 700,000 page views.   In the first ten months of 2011, we have had nearly 450 posts on Inforrm on the usual range of topics – privacy, libel, media regulation and international.  Read the rest of this entry »

News: Joint Committee on Privacy and Injunctions: First Evidence Session – Straw, Wakeham, Sedley and Phillipson

23 10 2011

The twenty six member Joint Committee on Privacy and Injunctions held an evidence session on 17 October 2011.   The witnesses were Jack Straw MP, Lord Wakeham, Sir Stephen Sedley, and Professor Gavin Phillipson.  The uncorrected transcript of their evidence is now available and the Session can also be seen on Parliament TV.  A number of interesting points emerged in the course of the session. Read the rest of this entry »

Supreme Court of Canada Protects Hyperlinkers – Paul Schabas and Jon Goheen

22 10 2011

Should defamatory material accessible by hyperlink from a blog be taken to have been incorporated as part of the blog?  That question was raised last year in Ali v. Associated Newspapers Inc., [2010] EWHC 100 (QB).  In that case, Mr. Justice Eady suggested in obiter that it was unlikely that a general rule of thumb would be adopted, and that the question would depend on the circumstances of the particular case. Read the rest of this entry »

Opinion: “The Lord Chief Justice, the law and the PCC” – Brian Cathcart

21 10 2011

As the Inforrm blog noted yesterday, the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, has joined the debate about press reform with a speech warning of the risk of throwing the baby of freedom of expression out with the bathwater of cruel and unfair journalism.

Read the rest of this entry »

Opinion: “Role models and hypocrites” – Max Mosley

21 10 2011

The tabloids advance two main arguments for invading privacy to reveal someone’s sex life. The first is that their victim is a role model who must be exposed if he has not behaved impeccably. The second is that it’s their job to expose hypocrites who mislead the public by saying one thing and doing another.   Both arguments are flawed. Read the rest of this entry »