Immediately following my client Luke Cooper’s win last Friday against the Evening Standard and Daily Mail, their lawyer came over to the claimant’s side of the court and said “I truly do hope that was the last ever jury libel trial“.
The submissions to the Inquiry as part of Module 4 aim to meet its Draft Criteria for an Effective Regulatory Regime. They reflect the broad range of interests of those who have participated in or commented on the Inquiry so far. The proposals range from an enhanced version of the PCC to radical reform which addresses media plurality in general, the future of regional and public interest journalism, and levies on internet businesses which profit indirectly from news online. Continue reading
Defamation is a rich man’s sport. Only the super-rich or those on “no win, no fee” agreements with their lawyers can begin to afford the astronomic cost of a libel action. Why? Because there are too many uncertainties in defamation actions. First and foremost amongst these is ‘trial by jury’, a quite extraordinary hang-over from the past, which in too many cases bears little or no resemblance to justice. Continue reading
How do you define public interest journalism? One of the great conundrums of the Leveson debate is how you protect the kind of journalism that everyone agrees is the lifeblood of democracy: the fourth estate’s watchdog role. Get it right – ideally, enshrine it in statute – and much else follows. But that depends on what it means. Continue reading
The discussion in the first part of this post clearly showed that domestic law did not provide Max Mosley with an effective remedy for his invasion of privacy of which he complained before the European Court. Strasbourg’s finding that art. 8 does not impose a positive obligation on Contracting States to implement a measure where individuals are provided with notification in advance of an intrusive publication being made so that they may seek an interim injunction is thus open to strong criticism. Continue reading
The jury award of £60,000 libel damages to PhD student Luke Cooper was a vindication not only of Luke Cooper’s reputation, it was a vindication of the jury itself and a reminder of what effective justice a jury can deliver. Events in Court 13 last Friday remind us that, when newspapers demonise individuals and refuse to admit they are wrong, there is no more appropriate and telling vindication than the unanimous verdict and award of damages by a jury. Continue reading
The Fourth Section of the European Court of Human Rights at Strasbourg handed down judgment in the case of Mosley v. The United Kingdom ((2011) 53 E.H.R.R. 30) on May 10, 2011. The applicant, Mr Max Mosley, argued that art. 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) imposed a positive obligation on Contracting States to enact a legal measure which required individuals to receive notification from the press in advance of them publishing information that interfered with their private lives. Continue reading
In a post published on Inforrm on 14 November 2011, I discussed the current state of the Voicemail Interception Litigation (“the Litigation”) and the proposed new Voicemail Interception Compensation Scheme (“the Scheme”). This post seeks to bring matters up to date.
The right to trial by jury was a fundamental feature of both criminal and civil procedure under the common law. While the right to trial by jury is seen, by most commentators, as a fundamental right in criminal cases, it has over the last century and a half been gradually eroded in civil cases. Continue reading
Parliament continues to consider the Defamation Bill 2012, with the public bill committee meeting on Tuesday 26 June (see below, “Next week in Parliament”). Last week the committee rejected an amendment which would have allowed a dead person’s close relatives to sue for defamation up to one year after the death (Ayes 5, Noes 11). The Hansard report can be found here. Continue reading