The International Forum for Responsible Media Blog

Month: November 2011 (Page 1 of 5)

Case Law: Davison v Habeeb & Ors – the liability of blog platforms in defamation cases – Gervase de Wilde

A blog offers unprecedented scope for self-publication. But can the providers of blog platforms, whose business model is to make the process as easy as possible, be held liable for their contents in English law? This question was addressed in the case of Davison v Habeeb ([2011] EWHC 3031 (QB)) handed down on 25 November 2011 by HHJ Parkes QC (sitting as a judge of the High Court). The decision was made on an application by Google Inc. to set aside an earlier order in a defamation action in which it had been named as a party. This was due to its ownership and control of  popular blog publishing tool Blogger, which had been used to publish material about the claimant, Ms Andrea Davison. Continue reading

Practice Guidance on Interim Applications to Restrain the Publication of Information – Brid Jordan

In July 2011 the Master of the Rolls issued Practice Guidance on “Interim non-disclosure orders“.  This included a Model Order which it is now recommended should be used as the starting point for any privacy injunction.  We have made this is available as a “Word” document in order to assist practitioners.  In the post below, which originally appeared on the RPC Privacy Blog, Brid Jordan analyses the guidance in detail. Continue reading

Law and Media Round Up – 28 November 2011

Last week was once again dominated by the Leveson Inquiry, with oral evidence from a variety of high profile figures: some famous for their role in entertainment and sport; others thrown into the limelight by traumatic circumstances.  Written statements from the witnesses can be found here. Video archive can be found here.

This week’s witnesses included Hugh Grant; Steve Coogan; Garry Flitcroft; Bob and Sally Dowler; Margaret and Jim Watson; Joan Smith; JK Rowling; Max Mosley and Gerry and Kate McCann. Inforrm published reports for day one (Monday 21 November); and days two and three (Tuesday 22 November; Wednesday 23 November). Continue reading

Case Comment: Sawant v Times Global Broadcasting Limited – an extraordinary award of compensatory damages by an Indian court

We had a post last week about the extraordinary defamation case of Sawant v Times Global Broadcasting Co Ltd – where a petition for stay was recently rejected by the Supreme Court.  We have now located a copy of the Judgment [pdf] of the Judge of Pune District Court, V K Desmukh, in which she awarded the plaintiff, retired Indian Supreme Court justice, Parshuram Babaram Sawant, the sum of Rs 100 crore (£12 million).  Continue reading

Should journalists have privileges? Part One: Journalists and Citizens – Hugh Tomlinson QC

The boundary between the journalist and the citizen is becoming increasingly blurred.   As the mainstream media downsizes, the “citizen journalist” has become an increasingly important figure.   On one view, the absence of clear boundaries between journalist and citizen is a positive, democratic, development.  Freedom of expression is something that everyone enjoys – it has the same positive social benefits whether exercised by a “journalist” or anyone else.

Continue reading

Leveson Inquiry: Evidence Days 2 and 3, more evidence from victims, Mary-Ellen Field to the McCanns

On the second and third days of evidence at the Inquiry, Lord Justice Leveson has continued to hear evidence from victims of press misconduct.  This included powerful evidence on Wednesday afternoon from Kate and Gerry McCann.  This was the main front page story in the “Guardian” under the headline “‘Lives are being harmed by these stories’, say McCanns” – which describes it as “damning two hour testimony”. Continue reading

News: El Naschie v MacMillan – science on trial? – Gervase de Wilde

Egyptian academic Mohamed El Naschie’s libel claim against prominent scientific journal Nature continues in the High Court in London this week. Nature and their publishers Macmillan are represented by Andrew Caldecott QC and Aidan Eardley of One Brick Court, while El Naschie is a litigant in person.

The Claimant was editor-in-chief and founder of Chaos, Solitons and Fractals (‘CSF’), which is a journal “in the interdisciplinary field of Nonlinear Science, and Nonequilibrium and Complex Phenomena” and is published by Elsevier, the dominant force in the publication of scientific journals. Continue reading

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