The tables [xls] published with most recent Ministry of Justice, Civil Justice Statistics Quarterly Bulletin state that there were three applications for privacy injunctions in 2016, with two being granted and one refused. It is clear, however, that these official statistics underestimate the number of injunction applications.
The Civil Justice Statistics Quarterly, October to December 2016 [pdf], published in March 2017, includes Privacy Injunction Statistics for the whole of 2016. They relate to applications for injunctions prohibiting the publication of private or confidential information made in the High Court or the Court of Appeal at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.
According to the statistics, in 2016 there were 3 applications for a new privacy injunction (2 between January and June, 1 between July and December), one application to continue or vary an existing injunction (between January and June) and no applications for final injunctions.
This is the Table of Privacy Injunctions included in the most recent statistical bulletin.
These statistics are clearly incomplete as there are public judgments in five privacy injunction applications in 2016
- PJS v News Group Newspapers , Cranston J, 18 January 2016, refused, granted by the Court of Appeal on 22 January 2016 ( EWCA Civ 100)(see Inforrm Case Comment) – this was, of course, later subject to an application to discharge which was dismissed by the Supreme Court.
- DMK v News Group Newspapers Ltd  EWHC 1646 (QB) (5 May 2016)
- Middleton & Anor v Person Or Persons Unknown  EWHC 2354 (QB) 28 September 2016 (see Inforrm case comment)
- ERY v Associated Newspapers Limited ( EWHC 2760 (QB))) 4 November 2016 (see Inforrm case comment)
- TRK & Anor v ICM  EWHC 2810 (QB) (8 November 2016)
In addition, there have been reports of number of other cases in which privacy injunctions have been granted but where there has been no public judgment – see, for example, the case referred to in the Press Gazette in February 2017, referring to a variation of an injunction granted in December 2016. We would be interested in hearing from readers about any other applications – just the fact and date of the application, without any identifying details.
It is difficult to ascertain the true figure as many injunctions are never the subject of publicity – often because they relate to threatened “privacy disclosures” by private individuals who subsequently agree to permanent undertakings. It seems likely that there were at least four times as many applications for privacy and confidentiality injunctions in 2016 than those recorded Civil Justice Statistics Quarterly. The reasons for this under reporting are unclear.