The long Inforrm summer break ends today. Although we have had regular postings over the summer the new legal term begins on 1 October so we will be resuming regular weekly round ups and “term time” posting.
We will have a preview of the Michaelmas Term and a weekly round up later in the week but we would like to remind readers of some of the important developments over the summer months.
There were a number of judgments handed down in courts England and abroad including:
- On 5 August 2014, judgment was handed down in Hong Kong in the case of Yeung v Google ( HKCFI 1404) – the most important common law judgment on Google and publication issues in 2014.
- On 13 August 2104 judgment was handed down by Mr Justice Bean in the libel case of Cooke and Anor v MGN ( EWHC 2831 (QB)) – the first case on the “serious harm” threshold in section 1 of the Defamation Act 2013. We had a post on the decision by Kirsten Sjøvoll and there was a case note on the 5RB website.
- On 20 August 2014, Mr Justice Warby handed down judgment in the case of Yeo v Times Newspapers ( EWHC 2853 (QB)) dismissing an application by the newspaper for a trial by jury. He also determined the meaning of the words complained of. We had a post about the judgment and there was a report in the Press Gazette.
Other media and law developments included
- On 3 September 2014 the Australian Law Commission released its report “Serious Invasions of Privacy in the Digital Era [pdf]”. It recommends that a statutory cause of action for serious invasion of privacy be introduced (there is a Summary Report here [pdf]). Bearing in mind the influence of the Murdoch press on the new Australian government it seems inevitable that these recommendations will be rejected.
- On 4 September 2014, the Information Commissioner published his guidance on ‘Data Protection and Journalism: A Guide for the Media’. There is a post summarising the guidance on the Panopticon Blog.
- On 8 September 2014 the discredited Press Complaints Commission closed down and was replaced by the “Independent Press Standards Organisation” –operating from the same offices, with (it appears) the same staff. In an interview with the Press Gazette IPSO Chairman, Sir Alan Moses, admitted it was not Leveson compliant but insisted it would be independent. We had a post by Brian Cathcart on the history of IPSO. Roy Greenslade had a post “Why Peter Wright should not be sitting on Ipso’s complaints body”.
- On 24 September 2014, Triniity Mirror announced that its subsidiary MGN Limited had admitted liability to four individuals who had sued over allegations of interception of voicemails. We had a post about the announcment. It was subsequently disclosed that payments had been made to settle 6 other claims. The Hacked Off blog reported that the Mirror was a close second in the contest for least column inches about the story.
- On 25 September 2014, the former New Zealand all-rounder Chris Cairns has been charged with perjury in a 2012 libel action he brought against former Indian cricket administrator Lalit Modi.
The most popular posts of the summer covered a variety of themes:
- The Police Tip-Off and Cliff Richard – Dominic Crossley
- Phone Hacking, So they think it’s all over – Julian Petley
- The Perils of “Revenge Porn”, Part 2 – Alex Cochrane
- How Daily Mail Editorial Standards are still Falling Through the Floor – Tom Rowland
- Case Law: Cooke and Midland Heart Ltd v MGN: A seriously harmful approach to serious harm? – Kirsten Sjøvoll
- Facebook’s Community Standards: Severed heads are okay, but nipples are bad (unless accompanied by a baby) – Gideon Benaim and Jon Oakley
- United States: Facebook, Cyberbullying and the First Amendment – Susan Brenner
So, welcome back to our readers. As usual, we would like to encourage contributions to debates in all areas of media related law. Please contact us firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in contributing.