The International Forum for Responsible Media Blog

Month: December 2011 (Page 1 of 4)

Media Law Review of the Year 2011: Defamation, Contempt, Privacy and a Public Inquiry – Jude Townend

Lord Justice Leveson has heard his final witness of the year; the Parliamentary recess has begun; the Royal Courts of Justice is having its Christmas break.  It’s time to look back at some of the biggest moments in the remarkable media law year that was 2011: Super Injunction spring, phone hacking summer, Leveson autumn and all the events in between. Continue reading

South Africa: Media freedom’s roller coaster ride in 2011 – Pamela Stein and Dario Milo

There can be no doubt that media freedom in South Africa suffered some major blows in 2011, not least by the lower house of Parliament, the National Assembly, passing the Protection of State Information Bill, known in some quarters as the Secrecy Bill.  Much has been written about that draft official secrets legislation, and it suffices to say that if it is passed in its current form, it will have a chilling effect on media freedom and access to information. Continue reading

News: Leveson Inquiry, Evidence Week 5, Tabloid stories, from Sean Hoare to Piers Morgan

Lord Justice Leveson is taking a well earned Christmas break.  His Inquiry completed its hearing of evidence for 2011 on 19, 20 and 21 December.  The highlight of the week was an unconvincing performance from former newspaper editor Piers Morgan whose recollection of specifics was remarkably limited.  He sought to explain away his various statements about phone hacking in the past – in books and interviews – on the basis that he was simply repeating rumours and had no personal knowledge.  It will be interesting to see what Lord Justice Leveson makes of his evidence in due course. Continue reading

Inforrm is taking a Winter Break

The Inforrm blog will be taking a short winter break again this year to allow our editorial team to relax in the sun and on the slopes.  We will have a few “seasonal” posts over the next fortnight – in particular Jude Townend’s “Media Law Review of the Year” and the eagerly awaited and hotly contested “Inforrm Quiz” – but normal service will not be resumed until the second week in January 2012. Continue reading

No presents this Christmas for the Press! – Alastair Brett

Santa Claus will be bringing few presents for the Press this year.  After the recent vicious attack by Associated Newspapers on Hugh Grant, the horror of the McCann’s ordeal in Portugal and Paul McMullan and Richard Peppiatt rounding on their former bosses, Lord Justice Leveson will be a brave man indeed if he decides that the Press is NOT a feral bunch – borderline criminals rather than the informative, well meaning newspapers of record they would like to be. Continue reading

Case Law: Raab MP v Associated – confidentiality agreements and libel proceedings – Gervase de Wilde

Confidentiality agreements frequently play a part in the resolution of legal disputes outside the courts. The relationship between such agreements, the interests of parties to libel proceedings, and the wider public interest was considered in a decision on a strike out application given by Tugendhat J on December 15 ([2011] EWHC 3375 QB). The application to stay or strike out was made on the basis that the Claimant’s behaviour in relation to a confidentiality clause in a settlement interfered with the Defendant’s ability to defend the claim. Continue reading

Law and Media Tweets and Tweeters Updated – 105 people to follow – Judith Townend

Last week we published a list of 90 useful media law tweeters. Since then we have received more suggestions for more people to follow. The updated list of 105 is not intended to be comprehensive and is alphabetical by first name. The list includes mainly UK-based tweeters who write about media-related legal issues, but international accounts are featured too. A list on Twitter [here] will continue to be updated – add your own suggestions for additional tweeters to follow in the comments below or tweet @jtownend. I’ve also created a list of Leveson/phone hacking related tweeters here to track people specifically tweeting the ongoing Inquiry. Continue reading

Case Law: Berezovsky v Terluk, £150,000 libel damages upheld on appeal – Claire Gill and Lucy Middleton

A decision of the Court of Appeal on 15 December 2011 ([2011] EWCA Civ 1534) finally brought to an end one of the most fascinating libel cases in recent years.  The case, concerning a Russian State television broadcast on the RTR satellite channel about the murder in November 2006 of Alexander Litvinenko, had all the hallmarks of a cold war thriller. Continue reading

You say regulate, we say delegate, let’s call the whole thing off? EU and US privacy law – Kirsten Sjovoll

It is common ground that there is relatively little common ground between the US and the EU in their approach to data protection and privacy legislation. While the EU operates perhaps the most stringent and comprehensive system of data protection in the world, the US has opted for a more piecemeal approach with a focus on industry self-regulation over a centralised system of legislation. This divergent approach has resulted in some transatlantic turbulence over the years, with the Safe Harbour Agreement which requires US corporations seeking to trade with EU member states to guarantee that they will comply with the stricter EU rules on data protection. Continue reading

Case Law: Law Society v Kordowski, “Solicitors from Hell” shut down – Eddie Craven

The ‘Solicitors From Hell’ website has been a notorious thorn in the side of the legal profession since its inception in 2005. Despite a slew of libel actions against its founder, Rick Kordowski, the website continued to publicly vilify hundreds of solicitors and law firms. However on 15 November 2011 Mr Justice Tugendhat granted an injunction permanently closing down the website (see our post here).

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