Case Law, Strasbourg: OOO “Vesti” v Russia, defamation judgment in favour of public official, no Article 10 violation – Hugh Tomlinson QC

31 05 2013

kirovIn a judgment handed down on 30 May 2013 in the case of OOO ‘Vesti’ v Russia ([2013] ECHR 485) the Court of Human Rights has held that an award of damages and an order for the publication of a retraction in a defamation claim brought by the Chief Federal Inspector of the Kirov Region did not breach the Article 10 rights of the newspaper or the journalist.  The interference was not disproportionate to the legitimate aim of protecting the reputation and rights of others. Read the rest of this entry »

Event: “Our Media, Not Theirs – Rally for Media Reform” – Media Reform Coalition

31 05 2013

rallyThe Media Reform Coalition has organised a “Rally For Media Reform – Our Media, Not Theirs!”, which is taking place at 7pm on Monday 17 June 2013 at the University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1.

This is the Media Reform Coalition’s explanation of the purpose of the rally: Read the rest of this entry »

Google’s brave new world – Dina Shiloh

30 05 2013

0514-google-street-view-car_full_600In April 2013, Google was fined by the German data regulator £125,000 for recording and storing data illegally from homes using unsecured Wi-Fi networks. The information was collected by Google whilst it was gathering material for its Streetview project.  The Hamburg data regulator Johannes Caspar was clear:  “In my opinion, this case constitutes one of the biggest known data violations in history” he said.  Read the rest of this entry »

Case Comment: R (M) v Parole Board – No anonymity for convicted child killer – Edward Craven

29 05 2013

David McGreavyIn R (M) v Parole Board [2013] EWHC 1360 the High Court held the media should be free to identify a convicted murderer who brought judicial review proceedings challenging a Parole Board decision that he must remain in closed prison conditions. The case is an example of the need for judicial vigilance whenever parties agree that anonymity is appropriate. Read the rest of this entry »

Event Report: A Talk by Strasbourg Judge Boštjan Zupančič on Privacy and Freedom of the Press

28 05 2013

Judge ZupancicOn Thursday 23 May 2013, the British Institute of International and Comparative Law hosted an event entitled “The Right to Privacy and the Freedom of the Press: From the European to Domestic Perspectives … and Back“. Judge Boštjan Zupančič, the Slovenian judge at the European Court of Human Rights, gave a presentation, Sir Geoffrey Nice responded and Sir Stephen Sedley chaired the event.  The recently retired English judge at the Court of Human Rights, Sir Nicholas Bratza, participated in the discussion. Read the rest of this entry »

Leveson, Arbitration and the Local Press: Three Misconceptions – Hugh Tomlinson QC

27 05 2013

DCMS Newspaper SocietyRepresentatives of the local and regional press continue to express concern about the key Leveson recommendation that a self-regulator must offer an “arbitration service”.  The purpose of this recommendation is to provide “access to justice” for complainants whilst reducing the burden of legal costs for publishers. Read the rest of this entry »

Law and Media Round Up – 27 May 2013

27 05 2013

New Round UpThe most high profile media case of the week was Lord McAlpine’s claim against Sally Bercow.  After Mr Justice Tugendhat’s ruling that Ms Bercow’s tweet made a serious defamatory allegation against Lord McAlpine ([2013] EWHC 1342 (QB)), a settlement of the claim was announced.  Read the rest of this entry »

Sex, death, brass bands and libel by photograph – David Banks

26 05 2013

Screen_Shot_2013-05-13_at_10.54.55If you want to find mistakes in papers look at the pictures.  The Sun on Sunday has just paid out in a libel settlement after running a story about a man discovering he was the son of Fred West – but the picture they printed on the front page was the man’s half-brother who was entirely unconnected to the serial killer. It has been reported that a five figure sum has changed hands as a result. Read the rest of this entry »

Hackgate – The Met – Red Flags And Red Tops

25 05 2013

15142490_BG1Looking back at the early ‘red flags’ of corruption and the tabloids is instructive. This post will look at warning signs at the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS or MET) in the period, roughly 2000-2005. It’s a convenient timespan as it coincides with three top level rank constants – Read the rest of this entry »

Case Law: McAlpine v Bercow (No.2), Sally Bercow’s tweet was defamatory – Hugh Tomlinson QC

24 05 2013

Lord McAlpineSally BercowIn a judgment handed down on 24 May 2013 ([2013] EWHC 1342 (QB)) Mr Justice Tugendhat ruled that a tweet sent by Sally Bercow bore the “natural and ordinary” defamatory meaning that Lord McAlpine “was a paedophile who was guilty of sexually abusing boys living in care“.  In the alternative, he held that the tweet bore an “innuendo meaning” to the same effect.   The Guardian reports that Ms Bercow said she was “surprised and disappointed” by the ruling but accepted it as the end of the matter.  A settlement has now been agreed between the parties. Read the rest of this entry »