The International Forum for Responsible Media Blog

Month: May 2012 (Page 1 of 6)

Cyber Bullying, Defamation, and the Right to Remain Anonymous: AB v Bragg Communications before the Canadian Supreme Court – Kirsten Sjøvoll

This case, argued before the Canadian Supreme Court on 10 May 2012, raises interesting issues in relation to the manner in which applications for anonymity are assessed in civil claims. The principle of open justice is constitutionally enshrined in Canada and anonymity orders are difficult to obtain. Should there nonetheless be a relaxation of this principle where a case involves a certain class of claimant, deemed vulnerable by virtue of their age? More particularly, is the protection of children a superior value which the courts must strive to preserve even at the expense of transparency? Continue reading

Journalism and the public interest: a Hacked Off initiative – Brian Cathcart

The case of Guardian reporter Amelia Hill is only the latest to show up the unsatisfactory state of the law when it comes to journalism and the public interest.  On the face of it the story is pretty straightforward. Hill was suspected of breaking the law when she received information from a police officer. She was questioned by detectives and a file was sent to the Crown Prosecution Service, which has now ruled that prosecuting her would not be in the public interest. Continue reading

A heroic – but slightly defective – plan to save the online world – Steven Price

There are times in the life of a mild-mannered reporter (and barrister and blogger) when he must shuck off his civilian garb, don his cape, and save the world. This is one of those times.

There are evil people online. They bully, they defame, they harass, they intimidate, they denigrate, they post naked pictures of their ex on Facebook. Their innocent victims must be protected. Continue reading

Comment: The Trouble with Tony – Brian Cathcart

Straight back into the old groove he slipped, like he had never left it: Tony Blair’s presentational trick has always been that he does reasonable, and before the Leveson inquiry he was all reasonableness.

The papers are powerful and politicians have to take account of them: that’s only reasonable. Labour in 1997 had lost four elections in a row and didn’t want unnecessary enemies: also reasonable. Once in power it tried to put the best possible gloss on what it was doing: who wouldn’t? Continue reading

News: “Twitter joke” case, rehearing ordered before a three judge court

The appeal by way of case stated in the “Twitter joke” case (Chambers v DPP) was heard on 8 February 2012 and judgment was reserved.  Now, nearly 4 months later, the Judicial Office has announced on Twitter that “Lord Justice Gross has ordered adjournment of case to be heard before constitution of three judges”.  In other words, there will be a re-hearing of the appeal (not, contrary to some newspaper reports, of the original trial). Continue reading

Law and Media Round Up – 28 May 2012

Chris Huhne MP’s partner Carina Trimingham has lost her privacy claim against Associated Newspapers, with Tugendhat J refusing permission to appeal ([2012] EWHC1296 (QB)). Her claim related to 65 articles and three separate statutes: misuse of private information pursuant to the Human Rights Act 1998 and ECHR Art 8; the Protection from Harassment Act 1997; and the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, s.97, as the RPC blog explains here. The judge found that “Ms Trimingham was not the purely private figure she claims to be” and that her “reasonable expectation of privacy has become limited“. Continue reading

News: Leveson Inquiry, Week 20 – Jeremy Hunt’s special adviser and the News Corp emails – Natalie Peck

This week much of the attention focussed on someone who has not yet given evidence – culture secretary Jeremy Hunt. His former special adviser – Adam Smith – and News Corporation lobbyist Frederic Michel gave evidence to the Leveson Inquiry, over allegations Smith acted as a backchannel to Rupert Murdoch’s company during the BSkyB bid.  The Inquiry also heard from Jonathan Stephens, the Permanent Secretary at the Department of Culture Media and Sport. Continue reading

News from India: Allegations of Bribery, Libel, the Army and the Constitution

A remarkable defamation case has been before the courts in India over the past few months.  Criminal and constitutional proceedings have been brought by  retired Lt Gen. Tejinder Singh (pictured) a former director general of Defence Intelligence Agency against the Army Chief of Staff, General V K Singh and four others over a press release making an allegations of bribery against him.  The criminal proceedings are continuing but the constitutional proceedings were not successful. Continue reading

Sunlight is the best disinfectant: open justice and company law proceedings in Ireland – Eoin O’Dell

SkyToursHot on the heels of McKillen v Misland (Cyprus) Investments Limited [2012] EWHC 1158 (Ch) (26 April 2012), about which I blogged in my previous post, the ever-wonderful Stare Decisis Hibernia blog draws attention to a 2010 open justice case in the Irish High Court. In In re Skytours Travel Ltd, Doyle v Bergin [2010] IEHC 531 (9 July 201o) Laffoy J refused to hear a dispute between shareholders in camera. Continue reading

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