The Supreme Court today heard the application and appeal in the case of PJS v News Group Newspapers – following the decision of the Court of Appeal on Monday ( EWCA Civ 393) to discharge the injunction it had granted in January because it had ceased to have practical effect.
The panel of five justices (Lord Neuberger, Lady Hale, Lords Mance, Reed and Toulson) reserved its decision until a later date and said the injunction in the case would remain in place in the meantime.
PJS’s counsel, Desmond Browne QC, told the Supreme Court today that discharging the injunction would have “devastating consequences” for the celebrity and his children and lead to a “storm of harassment”. The purpose of the injunction was not just to protect the secrecy of information but also to protect the claimant and his family from intrusion and harassment.
Mr Browne said that the English media had embarked on a campaign to ridicule the grant of the injunction with the twin aims of encouraging their readers to find the prohibited information online and to put pressure on the court to lift the injunction.
Gavin Millar QC, for NGN, said the position had changed from January when no information about the matter was available to the public. He said that the story had taken off on 6 April 2016 and the English mainstream media had reported the story. The dissemination was not something a court could prevent he said.
He argued that it was unlikely, given the information available to the public, that a permanent injunction would be obtained at trial.
We had a post about the original Court of Appeal decision and one about Monday’s decision to discharge the injunction.
The hearing was widely reported in the media. Reports include:
- Celebrity injunction case: Supreme Court delays decision, BBC.
- Supreme court reserves decision on ‘celebrity threesome’ injunction, The Guardian.