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Law and Media Round Up – 26 June 2017

Last week saw a remarkable Daily Mail editorial attacking the Guardian. The language was strong, the complaint being that “hardly a day passes without another drip drip drip of mendacious vitriol and bile from Guardian writers attacking us and our readers”.

The Daily Mail accused the Guardian of being a hotbed of ‘fake news’ and a ‘purveyor of hatred’ after publishing a cartoon in the wake of the Finsbury park attack featuring a white van emblazoned with ‘Read The Sun & Daily Mail.’ Guardian journalist Owen Jones branded the Daily Mail an ‘open sewer’ after the paper’s attack on the Guardian. We had a post on the subject by Steven Barnett. 

Simon Neville who has worked for both papers, has written an open letter to Mail editor Paul Dacre. Zelo Street also published a blog post on the subject entitled Paul Dacre’s Guardian Meltdown. Joe also had a post of the subject.  

One of the accusations was that a Guardian writer had attacked the Daily Mail for carrying comments by Katie Hopkins – knowing that she had nothing to do with the newspaper but in fact worked for Mail Online “a totally separate entity”. This did not impress Jasper Jackson who had a piece in the New Statesman entitled “Give it up Daily Mail, you can’t pretend you’re nothing to do with Mail Online”

The Government has said it is committed to repealing Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act and scrapping part two of the Leveson Inquiry. However there was no mention of either in the Queen’s Speech. Tom Watson has said that the Conservative government has “absolutely no mandate” to do this.

The Schillings website has a post by Charlotte Watson entitled “The Death of the Libel Trial?” and the Brett Wilson blog tells us that “Number of defamation claims issued at a record low“.

Internet and Social Media

Google is to remove private medical records from search results after people request action.

Socially Aware has published Social Links, a round up of the most important stories in the world of social media this week.

Carolyn Pepper has written an article for Press Gazette about social media copyright lessons that journalists can learn from the Khloe Kardashian case.

Fast Company has questioned whether social media is too “dirty” for traditional journalism.

Data Privacy and Data Protection

The Queen’s Speech has confirmed that the GDPR will form part of UK law after Brexit.

Thousands of passwords from computer accounts belonging to British officials and law enforcement agencies are on the lists that cybercriminals are offering for sale on specialised sites.

Channel 4 news has broadcast an undercover investigation into a call centre used by the Conservative Party during the election campaign. The ICO has published a response.

The ICO has published an updated version of its Code of Practice on Subject Access Requests.  There were posts about this on the Panopticon Blog and the Privacy and Information Security Law Blog.  Stewarts Law has published a Litigator’s Guide to Subject Access Requests.

The University of East Anglia (UEA) has admitted to accidentally sending an email containing students’ highly sensitive personal information to 298 American Studies undergraduates.

A regional court in Germany has ruled that a law due to come into force in days on storing internet usage data breaks EU regulations.

The Irish State could be facing millions in claims for damages from citizens if public bodies  illegally process their personal information.

Privacy Europe has outlined some of the ways in which companies should be getting ready to implement the requirements of the GDPR before it comes into force next year.


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 Involve on behalf of the Open Government Network and the joint submission by English Pen, Reporters Without Borders and Index on Censorship.

Newspapers Journalism and Regulation

Roy Greenslade has written a blog post for the IPSO website entitled Media coverage of terrorism is essential in a free society.

The Media Reform Coalition has looked at the question of whether the ‘voices of mainstream media still dominate public conversation.’

The Hoot has also examined media bias in the election after Owen Jones criticised the “Tory press” in the UK for their treatment of Jeremy Corbyn.

Zelo Street has published two blog posts entitled Fawkes Backs Hacked Off BY MISTAKE and Daily Mail Profited From Torture.


Anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller has had numerous complaints against articles in the Daily Express and Mail Online dismissed by IPSO. However she met with the Sun who agreed to remove their article about her.

IPSO has received more than 1,500 complaints over a Mail Online story which names and pictures a Grenfell Tower resident whose fridge is reported to have started last week’s devastating London tower block fire.

King’s College hospital has withdrawn a complaint against the Sun that alleged a reporter from the newspaper impersonated a friend of an injured victim of the Grenfell Tower fire in order to get an interview with him.

Statements in Open Court and Apologies

There were no statements in open court last week

Last week in the Courts

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

On 20 June 2017 Macfarlane LJ heard an application for permission to appeal and a stay in the case of Lokhova v Tymula.  A final adjournment to 28 June 2017 was granted.

On 21 June 2017 Warby J heard an application in the case of RJH v News Group Newspapers.  Judgment was reserved.


28 June 2017, 24th Annual Defamation and Reputation Management Conference

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


Actor Rebel Wilson’s lawyers are calling for $7 million in damages in her defamation case against Bauer Media. Bauer has called this figure “extraordinary large.” Wilson has said in a Tweet that “And re my defamation case win, any $’s I receive will go to charity, scholarships or invested into the Aussie film industry to provide jobs”.


The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that a woman who wants to file a privacy claim against Facebook over its use of “sponsored stories” can pursue her case in British Columbia.

Hong Kong

The Hong Kong government’s social welfare provider has won a defamation case against a private charity that supports refugees.


B P Sanjay in the Hoot has asked whether the media in India is ‘under siege.’

New Zealand

Media Law Journal has examined the question of whether National MP Todd Barclay secretly recorded his former electorate agent Glenys Dickson or not.

Northern Ireland

It has been reported that former banker Frank Cushnahan tried get the Attorney General to instigate criminal proceedings against the media to stop the fact that he had was secretly recorded accepting £40,000 in a bag from a property developer.


Jillian C. York in the Hoot has argues that Qatar’s current crisis is about freedom of expression.

St Lucia

Castries East MP, Philip J. Pierre, who is the leader of the opposition, has been successful in two separate libel cases.  He was awarded damages of $40,00


The Singapore Rifle Association (SRA) has filed a defamation claim against Singapore Gun Club (SGC) president Michael Vaz Lorrain over two allegedly defamatory letters that Vaz had written to SGC members on the closure of the National Shooting Centre (NSC).

South Korea

Former JoongAng Media Network Chairman Hong Seok-hyun has filed a defamation claim against former South Gyeongsang Province Governor Hong Joon-pyo.

United States

Jurors have heard more videotaped testimony in the “pink slime” agricultural libel case brought by Beef Products Incorporated defamation case against ABC Broadcasting.

Reason has published a review of Netflix’s new documentary about Gawker entitled Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press.

Mining company Murray Energy Corporation has filed a defamation claim against John Oliver after comments he made  in a 24-minute segment on the decline of the coal industry and President Trump’s tenuous promises to bring it back.

Research and Resources

Next Week in the Courts

On 26 June 2017 the trial in Hanlon v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire will  begin before Warby J.  The case is listed for 2 days. This is a claim for libel based on the publication of a report to the Family Court and the Children’s Guardian.  The Particulars of Claim are available on Lawtel [£].

On 27 June 2017 Warby J will hand down judgment in the cases of Alsaifi v Amunwa  and Alsaifi v Trinity Mirror and Alsaifi v  Amunwa.

On 28 or 29 June 2017, the Court of Appeal will hear the appeal in the case of Brevan Howard Asset Management LLP v Reuters Ltd from a decision of Popplewell J [2017] EWHC 644 (QB).  We had a post about the original decision.  The case raises an important issue about the operation of the “public interest” defence in breach of confidence cases.


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)

RJH v News Group Newspapers, heard 21 June 2016 (Warby J)


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    Reblogged this on michaelsnaith.

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    Reblogged this on World4Justice : NOW! Lobby Forum..

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