Inforrm – Easter Break until 8 April 2013

31 03 2013

EasterThe Inforrm blog is taking a break from regular posting over Easter.  The English law courts are closed until 9 April 2013, the House of Commons is not sitting again until 15 April 2013, and the House of Lords until 22 April 2013.  Inforrm will have a more modest break – until 8 April 2013. Read the rest of this entry »

News: Animal Defenders “political advertising” judgment to be handed down on 22 April 2013

30 03 2013

Court of Human RightsOn 22 April 2013 the Grand Chamber of the Court of Human Rights will hand down judgment in the “political communication” case of Animal Defenders International v United Kingdom.  The case was heard over a year ago, on 7 March 2012.  The case concerns the ban on the broadcasting of political advertising in sections 319 and 321 of the Communications Act 2003 which the applicant contends is a violation of its Article 10 right to freedom of expression. Read the rest of this entry »

News: Mrs Justice Sharp promoted to the Court of Appeal

29 03 2013

Mrs Justice SharpMedia law judge Mrs Justice Sharp was among ten new appointments to the Court of Appeal which were announced yesterday. She was one of the small number of High Court judges who regularly deal with defamation and privacy cases, having practised at the Bar from the specialist media law chambers 1 Brick Court.

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Press regulation: the international aspect – Carl Gardner

28 03 2013

International PressAn exchange in Monday’s House of Lords debate on the new press regulation clauses in the Crime and Courts Bill revealed a little-noticed – and no doubt to some, astonishing – aspect of the proposed system: it covers foreign publishers. Read the rest of this entry »

Case Law Australia, Monis v The Queen: Offensive communications and freedom of expression – Eloise Le Santo

28 03 2013

untitledIn the case of Monis v The Queen ([2013] HCA 14) the High Court of Australia considered familiar issues concerning offensive communications and freedom of expression.  The defendant, Man Haron Monis, is alleged to have written letters to the families of soldiers killed in action in Afghanistan. While expressing sympathy to the families, the letters were critical of Australia’s involvement in Afghanistan and of the soldiers and the part they had played in the war, referring to the soldiers in ‘a denigrating and derogatory fashion’. Read the rest of this entry »

EU Commission opens consultations on media freedom and pluralism and audiovisual media regulator independence

27 03 2013

logo_enOn 22 March 2013 the European Commission launched  two public consultations, open until 14 June 2013.  The consultations formalise a debate started by recommendations made in January 2013 by an independent High Level Group (HLG) on Media Freedom and Pluralism convened by the Commission. Read the rest of this entry »

Why extending exemplary damages is the best approach for public interest journalism – Hugh Tomlinson QC

27 03 2013

News of the WorldThere has, over the last few months, been widespread criticism from the press of Lord Justice Leveson’s recommendations about exemplary damages.  These recommendations have been widely misreported and misunderstood.  Many have been misled by words like “punitive” and “fines” into thinking that such damages would be imposed as a matter of routine on publishers who make mistakes. In fact, properly understood, exemplary damages are the best available approach for protecting the rights of victims and public interest journalism.  Read the rest of this entry »

News: New Zealand Law Commission releases report “The News Media meets ‘New Media'”

26 03 2013

image1The New Zealand Law Commission has today released its report ” “The News Media Meets New Media: Rights, Responsibilities and Regulation in the Digital Age.”   The report recommends the establishment of a “News Media Standards Authority” (NMSA) to provide a one-stop shop for adjudicating complaints against all news media.  Membership would be voluntary but would bring significant benefits. Read the rest of this entry »

Leveson: Inquisitorial Arbitration – Ned Beale and Cara Gillingham

26 03 2013

LevesonLord Justice Leveson’s “inquisitorial” arbitration scheme for media claims is moving closer to implementation.  The word inquisitorial conjures up images of medieval magistrates acting as prosecutor and jury, and the scheme was recently criticised by David Allen Green in The New Statesman as leaving parties with “no safeguards”.  Is this concern justified? Read the rest of this entry »

Leveson: another poll shows public in favour of press reform – Gordon Ramsay

25 03 2013

Opinion Poll

In a recent post on the Media Standards Trust website I wrote that eight consecutive opinion polls have shown that the press has been completely out of step with public opinion on press reform. That number can now be revised up to nine, after another Sunday Times/YouGov poll (full results here) shows that the public favours the proposals for the reform of press regulation.
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