This marks the final law and media weekly round up for the summer. Many thanks to the readers who have sent updates during the year. A round up of the legal year will be published in due course: please get in touch with recommendations for inclusion – especially anything that has been missed in the weekly round ups – via the details at the bottom of this post.
On 26 July, judgment was handed down in McGrath v Independent Print Ltd, concerning an article reporting an earlier libel case involving the claimant. Mrs Justice Nicola Davies accepted the defendants’ submissions and found “that the article, as a whole, is not defamatory of the claimant“. The claim was struck out and judgment given for the defendant (McGrath v Independent Print Ltd  EWHC 2202 (QB)).
The Guardian reports that Nigella Lawson is “threatening to sue a London PR executive who published a blog claiming the pictures of her being grabbed by the neck by her estranged husband Charles Saatchi were staged for publicity purposes“.
The Financial Times reports (£) on a British businessman’s attempt to strike out the defamation claim being brought against him by a retired Russian police officer in Karpov v Browder & ors. Another report by the Independent can be found here.
The magazine Forbes has apologised to the President of Ireland following an article which contained a “serious error“. The Independent reports that the magazine “wrongly described President Michael D Higgins as an ‘acknowledged homosexual'”.
Statements in Open Court and Apologies
There will be a statement in open court on Monday, 29th July 2013 at 10:30am in Morris v Times Newspapers Ltd.
Journalism and regulation
The NUJ has criticised the Independent management’s response to a ballot for industrial action over proposed redundancies.
The Medway Messenger successfully challenged a Section 39 order in order to name a teenager who had been convicted of manslaughter, reports HoldtheFrontPage.
Press Gazette noted a correction by the Times to its front-page headline marking Andy Murray’s win at Wimbledon:
Two weeks after it declared “Murray ends 77-year wait for British win”, the paper has pointed out that there have been four female winners of Wimbledon since 1936.
There are no new adjudications to report, but a number of resolved cases, including:
A man v Sunday Mirror; Clauses 3,5, 26/07/2013; Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension UK (IIH UK) v Daily Mail, Clause 1, 25/07/2013; Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension UK (IIH UK) v The Daily Telegraph, Clause 1, 25/07/2013; A woman v The Sun, Clause 1 25/07/2013; Colin Ward v Cornish Guardian, Clause 1, 25/07/2013; Stephen McClay v Daily Mirror Clause 1, 25/07/2013; Mr David Kempton v Daily Mail, Clause 1, 25/07/2013; Mr Kevin Blunnie v Real People, Clause 5, 25/07/2013; Michaela Hewett on behalf of Nicki Myers v Cambridge Evening News, Clauses 1, 5, 25/07/2013; Ms Frances MacDonald v Hamilton Advertiser, Clause 1, 25/07/2013; Ms Lesley Stafford v The Scottish Sun Clause 1, 25/07/2013; Mr James Lattimore v The Daily Telegraph, Clause 1, 22/07/2013.
Research & resources
- PanGloss / Lilian Edwards: The death of data protection
- John Naughton: Why (most) Brits don’t seem to be overly concerned about NSA snooping
New article: Benkler, Yochai, Roberts, Hal, Faris, Robert, Solow-Niederman, Alicia and Etling, Bruce, Social Mobilization and the Networked Public Sphere: Mapping the SOPA-PIPA Debate (July 19, 2013). Berkman Center Research Publication No. 2013-16. Available at SSRN.
- New book: Media and Public Shaming: Drawing the Boundaries of Disclosure, edited by Julian Petley, Tauris Parke
- Jim Killock, Open Rights Group, Sleepwalking into censorship
- New article: Something rotten in the state of legal citation: the life span of a United States Supreme Court citation containing an internet link (1996-2010) Raizel Liebler and June Liebert, Current Issue: Volume 15, Issue 2 (2013) Yale Journal of Law and Technology
- New Law Journal: Chris Bryden & Michael Salter, Employers must get their social media policies in order
- [United States] U.S. Chief Information Officer and the Federal CIO Council, Privacy Best Practices for Social Media guide
- Legal Cheek, How anonymous social media sensations can avoid getting sued
- Digital Media Law Project: Metadata as a Public Record: What it Means, What it Does
- Charlie Brooker: Too much talk for one planet: why I’m reducing my word emissions
In the Courts
A judgment on meaning was handed down in Flood v Times Newspapers on 25 July 2013  EWHC 2182 (QB).
As noted, above judgment was handed down on Friday 26 July 2013 in McGrath v Indpendent Print  EWHC 2202 (QB).
Judgment was handed down in Waterson v Lloyd on 26 July 2013  EWHC 2201 (QB) (Nicola Davies, J). The defendant’s application summary judgment was granted
“upon the basis that their defence of honest comment, founded on the statement of facts identified by the Court of Appeal, satisfies the objective conditions of honest opinion and there is no realistic prospect of the defence failing for a lack of honest belief”.
The claimant’s application for summary judgment was dismissed.
There are two updates to report, on cases noted in previous round ups:
On 17 July 2013 Tugendhat J gave a short ex tempore oral judgment in NNN v Ryan. The application to discharge the injunction was dismissed and directions were given.
An appeal in Makudi v Triesman is due to be heard on 28/29 November 2013 (see case tracker).
Wednesday 31 July, 6pm, BPP Law School: After the Leveson Report – where next for Press Regulation?, BPP Waterloo, London.
17 September 2013, IBC Legal’s Protecting the Media 2013, London.
26-27 September 2013, Jersey Law Via the Internet 2013, Radisson Blu Hotel, Jersey
8-9 April 2014, “1984: Freedom and Censorship in the Media – Where Are We Now?“, Centre for Research in Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Sunderland
Know of any media law events happening later this summer or in the autumn? Please let Inforrm know: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Media Law in Other Jurisdictions
Somalia: A joint letter from Ifex members, organised by the National Union of Somali Journalists, calls on the Prime Minister of Somalia to order a review of a draft media law passed by the Council of Ministers, which is due to be approved by Parliament in August.
Next week in the courts
Judgment in Cruddas v Calvert, 2 to 5 and 8 to 12 July 2013 (Tugendhat J) is due to be handed down on Tuesday 30 July 2013.
The Trinity legal term will end on Wednesday 31 July. The Michaelmas term dates are Tuesday 1 October – Friday 20 December 2013.
Next week in Parliament
Tuesday 30 July 2013, 11am, Oral Questions – Defining electronic communications sent from the UK to a UK addressee but routed outside the UK – Lord Strasburger, Main Chamber, House of Lords.
Tuesday 30 July 2013, 11am, Legislation – Intellectual Property Bill [HL] – Third reading – Viscount Younger of Leckie, Main Chamber, House of Lords.
Tuesday 30 July 2013, 11.30am, House of Lords Communications select committee. Subject: Media plurality. Witness(es): (at 11.45am) Mr David Elstein. Location: Committee Room 1, Palace of Westminster.
The House of Commons is in recess. The House will next sit on Monday 02 September 2013.
From Wednesday 31 July the House of Lords will be in recess. The House will next sit on Tuesday 08 October 2013.
The following reserved judgments after public hearings remain outstanding:
Tamiz v Guardian News and Media, 24 June 2013 (Sharp J)
Hodgins v Squire Sanders (UK) LLP, 28 June 2013 (Sharp J)
Shathri v Guardian News and Media, 4 July 2013 (Nicola Davies J).
Karpov v Browder & ors, 24-25 July 2013 (Simon J)
Also on Inforrm last week
- Byline Banditry: A Call to Reform – Jonathan McCully
- What next for the PCC? – Brian Cathcart
- Leveson: Opinion Poll shows that 50% of public back cross-party charter and 69% favour tougher press regulation
- A tale of two British summers: phone hacking and a royal baby – Des Freedman
- Tulisa, Mercer and Yeo: the Journalistic Sting and the Public Interest
- Libel, Damages and the “Remedial Gap”: a declaration of falsity?
- Reporting Restrictions and Anonymity Orders in Northern Ireland – Olivia O’Kane
This week’s Round Up was compiled for Inforrm by Judith Townend, a freelance journalist and PhD researcher examining legal restraints on the media, who runs the Meeja Law blog. She is @jtownend on Twitter. Please send suggestions, tips and event listings for inclusion in future round ups to email@example.com.