The International Forum for Responsible Media Blog

Law and Media Round Up – 19 June 2017 [Updated]

The horrors of the Grenfell Tower fire dominated the media last week.  A number of issues were raised about the conduct of journalists pursuing stories about the tragedy.

It was alleged that a Sun reporter had impersonated a relative of an injured victim in an attempt to obtain an interview in a hospital.  The hospital has complained to IPSO but the Sun has “completely refuted” the allegation.  There are discussions of this story on iMediaEthics and Zelo Street.

A Mail Online article about a man whose faulty fridge allegedly started the fire has has prompted around 1,300 complaints to IPSO. Most complaints have related to the privacy and harassment clauses of the Editors’ Code, and some have focused on intrusion into grief or shock.

It is report that Germany will use its presidency of the G20 summit this year to call for global tech regulation.

There is a 5RB case comment on the decision of the Court of Appeal  in R v Markham upholding the removal of anonymity from two children convicted of murder.

The IPKat blog has a post on Stichting Brein v Ziggo, C-610/15 (also known as The Pirate Bay case) entitled  CJEU says that site like The Pirate Bay makes acts of communication to the public

The Strasbourg Observers blog has a post about the case of “Skorjanec v. Croatia: victims of racist hate-crime “by association” protected by ECHR”.

Internet and Social Media

The Brett Wilson Media Law Blog has looked at what to do when revenge porn is uploaded to Facebook.

LSE’s Sonia Livingstone and Western Sydney University’s Amanda Third have prepared a special issue of New Media and Society: Children and young people’s rights in the digital age: An emerging agenda.

Social Media Law Bulletin have published a post on how to use social media, and how using social media may have consequences for someone’s career. They have also discussed how private social media posts can ‘get you kicked out of University, or worse,’ and looked at a case where a California court of appeals prohibited the disclosure of an individual’s identity after the individual anonymously posted negative information about his former employer on the website Glassdoor.

Socially Aware has published a summary of some of the biggest stories in social media news this week.

Data Privacy and Data Protection

The PWC Data protection and privacy global insights blog has examined the question of whether the GDPR will apply in the UK after Brexit.

Morrisons supermarket chain has been fined for breaking the law on how people’s personal information should be treated when sending marketing emails.

Bob Miller has written a guest blog post for Peep Beep about the GDPR and ICO.

Panopticon has examined “What factors should be taken into account when setting the amount of a monetary penalty for serious contraventions of data protection and privacy laws?”


The Information Law and Policy Centre has re-published the submission in response  to the Law Commission’s consultation report on ‘official data protection’ by Public Concern at Work.

MEPs have tabled laws that would forbid countries in the EU from breaking the electronic protection that prevents security services from reading messages sent via WhatsApp.

Newspapers Journalism and Regulation

The Media Blog has a post entitled Newspapers disown busted flush May.


A complaint of harassment against a local newspaper journalist has been dismissed by IPSO after it was revealed she was on holiday in Spain when some of the allegations were made.

Statements in Open Court and Apologies

There were no statements in open court last week

[Update] Previous Media Law Hearings 

On 8 June 2017 there was an application in the case of Alsaifi v Amunwa before Warby J – judgment was reserved and will be handed down on 27 June 2017.

On 9 June 2017 the Court of Appeal Criminal Division (Sharp LJ, Popplewell and Warby JJ) heard an  appeal by News Group against a reporting restriction order under section 4(2) of the Contempt of Court Act 1981 in the case of Re B.  The appeal was allowed and the order quashed for the reasons given in an ex tempore judgment delivered by Sharp LJ.

Last week in the Courts

On 12 June 2017 judgment was given in the case of Makin v News Group Newspapers Ltd [2017] EWHC 1386 (Ch). The case concerned the breach of an undertaking given by the Sun in a case brought by Ian Brady’s executor.  The Judge had refused an injunction to restrain publication of information relating to the will, in part on the basis that the Sun had given an undertaking not to name certain charities.  There was a report on the judgment in the Press Gazette.

On 13 June 2017 there were applications in Alsaifi v Trinity Mirror before Warby J.  Judgment was reserved.  [Update]  Judgment will be handed down on 27 June 2017.

On 15 June 2017, there was an application in the appeal of Economou v Freitas.

Three applications for permission to appeal have been lodged in the case of Hourani v Thomson (here, here and here).


6 July 2017, “The Legal Challenges of Social Media,” Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, 17 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DR

6 July 2017, IPSO Annual Lecture, John Whittingdale, 6pm Church House, Westminster.

26 February 2018, “Global Internet and Jurisdiction Conference,” Ottowa, Canada.

Please let us know if there are any media and law events which you would like us to list. 

Media Law in Other Jurisdictions


Rebel Wilson has been successful in her libel claim against Bauer Media. The actor said “I had to stand up to a bully, a huge media organisation, Bauer Media, who maliciously took me down in 2015 with a series of grubby and completely false articles.”

On 16 June 2017, the High Court of Australia granted leave to appeal in the case of Trkulja v Google Inc.  The decision appealed is [2016] VSCA 333 in which the Court of Appeal had set aside the service of a writ on Google.  We had a post on this decision.

In the case of Accommodation Pty Ltd v Aikman [2017] WASC 157, Kenneth Martin J dismissed an action for libel.  The large majority of the defamatory imputations were rejected.  The few imputations which were established were protected by qualified privilege.

The president of the Australian National Imams Council has filed a defamation claim against News Corp over articles describing him as a hate preacher who “preaches hatred of homosexuals, women and other minorities”.

Ten Network has gone into administration after failing to win financial backing from its leading shareholders.


Michael Geist has said that the government was right abandon the “ill-advised” Internet Tax.

CBC News has looked at the recent arrest of the man connected to the “CanadaCreep” Twitter account, and whether laws surrounding public photography should be changed in light of technological advances.


The draft ‘Facebook law,’ which would fine social media sites for failing to remove offensive or racist content, has been rejected by a German parliamentary body over fears it infringes on freedom of expression.


The Star Online has examined the question of whether social media should be regulated.


The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has upheld a complaint that a €1.25m libel award to PR consultant Monica Leech was in breach of the right to freedom of expression. The Department of Justice has said that it will carefully study this “significant” ruling. Independent News & Media has described the ruling as as ‘very positive’.

A member of the Hutch family has instituted defamation proceedings against the publishers of the Sunday World after the paper made the false assertion that Jonathan Hutch was charged with murder.

The Court of Appeal has reduced the damages in a case concerning defamation by TV3 of a solicitor, Mr David Christie, from €140,000 to €36,000.

The Republican Party has urged for revenge porn and cyberstalking legislation to be fast-tracked to protect victims and their families.

The Press Council of Ireland has issued a statement saying that an independent regulatory body should be established to resolve social media complaints.

There was an article  in the Sunday Times by Brenda Power entitled “If libel is never about the money, let’s scale back the award lottery“.


The UN’s special rapporteur on freedom of expression has accused Japan of eroding media freedoms and stifling public debate of issues such as the Fukushima nuclear meltdown and the country’s actions during the second world war.


Education Minister Evarist Bartolo has been awarded €4,000 in damages after filing successful libel claims against local newspapers in-Nazzjon and il-Mument.

A Magistrate has rebuked Judge Toni Abela for having, before his appointment to the bench, greatly delayed a civil libel case, putting off sitting no less than 22 times over four-year period.

New Zealand

Defamation Update has published a post about Section 19 of the Defamation Act 1992, particularly relating to the concept of malice.


A Nigerian High Court has ordered former Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Abubakar Tsav and a newspaper to pay N10 million, jointly and severally, as damages to Governor Samuel Ortom’s aide, Mr. Abrahams Kwaghngu, for libel.


Businessman Sergey Mikhailov has filed a 500,000 ruble defamation claim against activist Alexei Navalny over an article published on the Anti-Corruption Foundation’s website, which called Mikhailov a gangster.

United States

Rolling Stone magazine is to pay the University of Virginia’s chapter of fraternity Phi Kappa Psi a settlement of around $1.65 million in its libel claim over debunked “Rape on Campus” story.

Eric P. Robinson has written a column for the South Carolina Press Association about ‘legal responses to attacks against the media.’

Sarah Palin has threatened to file ‘libel and slander’ claims against the New York Times for an op-ed that seemed to blame her for the shooting of former Republican Gabby Giffords.

Three defamation claims have been filed against Chinese real estate businessman Guo Wengui by companies and people in China who have claimed he made defamatory statements tying them to corruption.

Commentary magazine has published the responses they received from a wide variety of writers and broadcasters to the question ‘is free speech under threat in the United States?’

Former Putnam County, New York, District Attorney Adam Levy has received a $150,000 settlement in his defamation case against Putnam Sheriff Don Smith.

Research and Resources

Next Week in the Courts

On Monday 18 June 2017, Warby J will hand down judgment in Brown v Bower (heard 7 June 2017).  [Update] the judgment is now available ([2017] EWHC 1388 (QB)).  The trial of the issues of meaning and defamatory tendency will take place on 18 July 2017.

[Update] On 20 June 2017 Macfarlane LJ will hear an application for permission to appeal and a stay in the case of Lokhova v Tymula.

We are not aware of any other media and law cases due for hearing this week.


The following reserved judgments after public hearings in media law cases are outstanding:

Mionis v Democratic Press heard 27 October 2016 (Gloster, Sharp and Lindblom LJJ)

Lachaux v Independent Print, heard 29 and 30 November and 1 December 2016 (Macfarlane, Davis and Sharp LJJ).

Lisle-Mainwaring v Associated Newspapers heard 12 December 2016 (HHJ Moloney QC).

PNM v Times Newspapers, heard 17 and 18 January 2017 (UK Supreme Court)

Guise v Shah, heard 2-3, 5, 8 and 11 May 2017 (Dingemans J)

Alsaifi v Trinity Mirror Plc & anr, heard 13 June 2017 (Warby J)

This Round Up was compiled by Georgia Tomlinson who is a researcher.


  1. daveyone1

    Reblogged this on World4Justice : NOW! Lobby Forum..

  2. printingcafe

    Reblogged this on Print In London.

Leave a Reply

© 2023 Inforrm's Blog

Theme by Anders NorénUp ↑

%d bloggers like this: