The UK Supreme Court has announced that it will hand down judgment in the case of PJS v News Group Newspapers Limited at 9.30am on Thursday 19 May 2016. The “hand down bench” for the judgment will be Lord Neuberger, Lady Hale and Lord Mance.
The issue on the appeal is whether the publication overseas of the identity of PJS and details of PJS’s sexual encounters has resulted in the protected information no longer being confidential or private, such that the injunction preventing publication should be set aside.
The injunction was originally granted by the Court of Appeal on 22 January 2016 ( EWCA Civ 100). We had a post about this decision by Sara Mansoori and Aidan Wills in March 2016, shortly after a redacted version of the judgment was made public.
On 6 April 2016 a magazine in the USA published an account of PJS’s sexual activities, naming those involved. Over the next few days, other publications in America, Canada and Scotland published similar articles. On 15 April 2016, News Group Newspapers made an application to set the injunction aside on the ground that the information was no longer private or confidential.
The claimant made an urgent application to the Supreme Court and, on 21 April 2016 that court (Lord Neuberger, Lady Hale, Lord Mance, Lord Reed, Lord Toulson) held a “rolled up hearing” (permission and appeal). That hearing can be viewed on the Supreme Court’s website. Judgment was reserved.
The judgment is now being handed down, some 4 weeks after the appeal hearing. The hand down (at which one of the Justices will read a short summary of the judgment) will be streamed on Supreme Court live.