On 4 April 2012 the first “legal term” of 2012 (the “Hilary term”) came to an end.  The High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court will resume sittings on 17 April 2012 (the “Easter term”).   We thought that it would be interesting to have brief review of the media law judgments of the past 3 months (the term started on 11 January 2012). 

The Inforrm “Table of Media Law Cases” has all the available judgments in cases decided over this period – we have listed 63 English cases – 2 in the Supreme Court, 5 in the Court of Appeal and 56 at first instance.  These are set out in the table – with links to the cases and the case comments from Inforrm, 5RB, One Brick Court and other sites.

This list is incomplete in that it does not cover ex tempore judgments which have not be transcribed and made public or judgments which, although handed down, have not yet been publicly released.  We have not included Court of Appeal permission hearings.

Over the last term there was one libel case in the Supreme Court (Flood v Times Newspapers) and two in the Court of Appeal (Cambridge v Makin and Ashcroft v Foley).  It is interesting to note that all were cases in which the judgments of the first instance “media judges” were upheld.

At first instance, there were two libel trials (Rothschild v Associated and Cairns v Modi) – the defendant succeeded in one and the claimant in the other.   There was also one assessement of compensation under the “offer of amends procedure” (KC v MGN).  One judgment was given after a privacy trial (WXY v Gewanter).

Of the first instance judgments 15 were in libel cases and 10 in privacy cases.  There were a total of 9 judgments in privacy injunction cases.  Only one privacy injunction was granted against the media (Spelman v Express Newspapers) – but this was discharged on the return date. Privacy injunctions were granted in 6 “non-media” cases.

Finally, judgments were given by nine different first instance judges as follows: Tugendhat J – seventeen; Eady J – three; Bean J – two; HHJ Parkes QC – two; Sharp, Slade, Vos, Hildyard and Lindblom JJ, one each.

Full details of the judgments – along with case comments – can be found in the Table of Media Law Cases.