The media, as we are often reminded, plays the vital role of “public watchdog” – holding the powerful in society to account. There are, however, limits to the way in which it performs this function. One of the most striking of these concerns the failure of the media to hold itself to account. News which does not fit with the media’s own view of its role in society and how it should be regulated is either distorted or ignored. This gives rise to serious concerns about the way in which the Leveson Inquiry report is likely to treated. Continue reading
This is the final Inforrm Law and Media Round Up before the summer. The Parliamentary recess has begun and the Trinity legal term ends tomorrow – the Michaelmas legal term does not start until October. Over the next couple of months the courts and parliament will be quiet and Inforrm will be taking a summer break. Continue reading
This week, part one of the Leveson inquiry ended with an update from the Metropolitan Police on ongoing investigations into alleged press illegality, and closing submissions from the majority of the core participants. Continue reading
The future of press regulation, freedom of the press and the public interest test are just some of the issues that will be addressed at Conference5RB 2012 on 27 September 2012 at Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9AG. Continue reading
The appeal by way of case stated in the “Twitter joke” case (Chambers v DPP) has been allowed. The appeal was heard, for the second time, on 27 June 2012 and judgment was handed down on 27 July 2012 ( EWHC 2157 (QB)).
A small child whose father is alleged to be a philandering politician has won £15,000 privacy damages at the High Court. The mother of the girl, identified only as AAA, has not named the father on her daughter’s birth certificate and wants to find the “right time” to reveal his identity to her.
Mrs Justice Nicola Davies (pictured), in a judgment ( EWHC 2103 (QB)) handed down after a six-day private hearing in London, said the professional position of the supposed father, a married elected politician, spoke for itself. Continue reading
As readers may recall from earlier posts, extensive Case Management Directions were given in Tranche 2 of the Voicemail Interception Litigation on 27 February 2012. These included a procedure whereby an individual contacted by Operation Weeting could obtain disclosure from the Metropolitan Police without the need for a formal application.
This week has felt like another seminal one in the phone hacking saga. Eight people have been charged – including Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson, Rupert Murdoch has resigned from News International’s Board – another step in the process of Murdoch-ian withdrawal from UK newspapers, and the oral hearings of the Leveson Inquiry Part 1 concluded. Continue reading
Earlier this month, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights handed down judgment in Mouvement Raelien Suisse v Switzerland (Application no.16354/06). The case concerned the Swiss authorities’ refusal to allow a billboard campaign by the applicant movement on grounds that its activities (including the promotion of human cloning and sensual meditation) were immoral and contrary to public order. By a majority of 9 to 8, the Grand Chamber upheld the earlier Chamber judgment that the Swiss decision was within the margin of appreciation, among other things because the poster campaign was closer in its nature to commercial speech rather than political speech. Continue reading
The Leveson Inquiry has had its final hearing in its inquiry into “the culture, practices, and ethics of the press”. The first hearing was on 6 September 2011 and the Inquiry has has received evidence in 26 weeks of sittings. Lord Justice Leveson now has the summer to write his report on Part 1 of his inquiry. Continue reading