New Round UpAs the post-Brexit political chaos begins to resolve itself into some kind of new order, the media are still trying to come to terms with what they have done.

The most immediate impact is on advertising revenue – which is predicted to decline over the next two years.  Media groups are facing revenue falls as a result with Enders Analysis suggesting a “dismal outlook” for the media.

Meanwhile, the debate about the impact of media bias and inaccurate reporting on the referendum result continues.  We had a post by Damian Tambini considering the impact of new news platforms.

In a piece on, Jeremy Evans of the website sets out the things he has learned from the campaign concluding that “we are no overdue a complete redesign for the way we receive news information”.

In terms of media law, the most important question concerns the impact of Brexit on data protection and the forthcoming General Data Protection Regulation.  We had a post from Dan Tench who, in common, with most commentators thinks that the GDPR will govern data processing after Brexit.

There are, however, also issues concerning intellectual property rights and freedom of movement, which are considered in a blog post from Fieldfisher.

The Internet Policy Review has a Q&A with Andreas Schwab, the European Parliament’s rapporteur for the Directive on Security of Network and Information Systems, which was adopted the EP on 6 July 2016.

The Sun has reported that it has won a legal battle with Sir Elton John to prevent it from publicising a settled Employment Tribunal case brought against him by a former employee.

Social Media

The Socially Aware blog has a roundup of recent news.

Microsoft won a major privacy legal victory for users today when the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Department of Justice (DOJ) can’t use a U.S. search warrant to access customer data stored overseas.  There was a post about the decision on Shear on Social Media Law and a post on the Panopticon Blog.

Data Protection and Data Privacy

On 12 July 2016, the EU Commission adopted the EU-US privacy shield.  The shield will be activated soon. There have been a number of comments on this on the data protection blogs:

Surveillance and Information Gathering

The Independent notes that Theresa May was labelled villain of the year by the internet industry and suggests that, as PM, she could launch a huge attack on privacy and internet surveillance protections.

The Press Gazette reports on the House of Lords debate on the Investigatory Powers Bill, noting suggestions that the Bill could put journalists and their sources in danger.

Statements in Open Court and Apologies

We are not aware of any statements in open court last week.

Newspapers Journalism and Regulation

The Hoot has a piece entitled “Let’s talk about Theresa May’s shoes”, noting that the way in which the appearance of women in public life is dissected by the media demonstrates a sexism which compares badly with the approach taken by the press in India,

IPSO has rejected a complaint by Lord Prescott about the attribution of the words “back on terra cotta” to him – words which he says he never said but were a quote from Del Boy.  There is a report in the Press Gazette.

Last week in the Courts

On 14 July 2016, Nicola Davies J ordered the hearing of a preliminary issue in the case of Baxmann v Etok. The Judge held that it would be sensible to have a hearing of the issue was to whether the defendant was responsible for a campaign of abuse against the claimant.

On 15 July 2016, Green J handed down judgment in the case of Smith v Unknown Defendant [2016] EWHC 1775 (QB).   He granted summary judgment against persons unknown in the sum of £10,000.  There was a report of the judgment in the Express.


29 September 2016, “Conference5RB“, at IET Savoy Place, Savoy Place, London WC2R 0BL, and will deal with current issues in defamation, privacy, Data Protection, harassment, reporting restrictions and contempt issues.

Please let us know if there are any events you would like to be included on this list by email:

Media Law in Other Jurisdictions


In the case of Kidu v Fifer [2016] NSWSC 982 Rein J discharged an interim injunction restraining the broadcast of eight minutes of footage in a documentary that showed the former PNG opposition leader protesting against a development company she later consulted for.


It is reported that Postmedia will not be appealing the result of a judgment for Can$200,000 in favour by former television war correspondent Arthur Kent.


It reported that a claim in a French court alleging that self-exiled Cambodian National Rescue Party leader Sam Rainsy defamed Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong in a Facebook post has been dismissed on a technicality.


EU Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner, and former government Minister Phil Hogan, has received an apology, undisclosed damages and costs under settlements of his separate High Court actions alleging defamation against TV3 and Associated Newspapers.  The actions concerns publications suggesting he was prejudiced against the Travelling community.


The Prime Minister’s chief of staff, Keith Schembri, has won a libel action against In-Nazzjon after the Nationalist newspaper had linked him to a man who fled Malta under a burden of debt.  Damages of €5,000 were awarded.


The BBC reports that a court in the Netherlands has sentenced a man to 30 days imprisonment for insulting the King on Facebook.  The defendant “intentionally insulted” the King by accusing him of being a murderer, thief and rapist.  The conviction was under the controversial lese majeste law.

United States

Former Minnesota Governor, Jessa Venture, is petitioning for a rehearing of the decision of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals overturning a jury verdict of $1.8 million in his favour against the estate of “American Sniper” author Chris Kyle.

A Federal Judge has denied a motion to dismiss a libel action by Enigma Software Group against Bleeping Commputer LLC over posts concerning the Spyhunter software programme.  There is a report on the Artstechnica website.

Research and Resources

Next Week in the Courts

On 18 July 2016, there will be a statement in open court in the case of Lisle-Mainwaring v Lisle & anr before Warby J.

On the same day Sir David Eady will hear applications in the case of David v Gabriel.  There was previously a hearing of this matter on 7 July 2016.

The trial in the case of Unnadkat v Patel.will not now commence on 18 July 2016 as the case has settled.  The appeal in the case of CA, RA, RB and RC v News Group Newspapers has been withdrawn and will not now be heard on 19 July 2016.

Dingemans J will hand down judgment in the case of Ghuman v Ghuman on 20 July 2016.


The following reserved judgments in media law cases are outstanding:

CG v Facebook Ireland Limited, heard 4 and 5 April 2016 (Morgan LCJ, Gillen and Weatherup LJJ)(Northern Ireland Court of Appeal)

Simpson v Mirror Group Newspapers, heard, 24 May 2016 (Laws, King and Lindblom LJJ).

Economou v De Freitas, heard 13-17, 20, 22 June 2016 (Warby J).