On 27 September 2017 Warby J gave a speech on “Media Litigation in the High Court” [pdf] to at the MLRC London Conference. He commented on the decline of the Jury, the increasing diversification of media law and the use of specialist judicial expertise in dealing with the cases. He went on to deal with the creation of the “Media and Communications List”. The speech concludes with some interesting observations about “discursive remedies” and the impact of data protection law.
Warby J also mentioned his speech that he will be joined, as from today, on the bench by another media specialist, Nicklin J.
Internet and Social Media
The Social Media Law Bulletin has a post about a Pennsylvania case “Unemployment Benefits Lost Over Social Media Post“.
A German court has held that the use of WhatsApp without the declaration of consent from every person in the user’s address book is not permitted.
The Center for Internet and Society blog has a piece entitled “On Social Media how can DHS tell who’s an immigrant?”
Data Privacy and Data Protection
The Cearta.ie blog has a post on “Compensation for breach of the proposed ePrivacy Regulation”
The Hawktalk blog has a couple of interesting pieces on the Defamation Bill
- Is the definition of “personal data” in new DP Bill correct?
- Definitions in new DP Bill weaken protection for data subjects
Panopticon has posts the “The DP Bill and Delegated Legislation” and “The Data Protection Bill: some initial observations”
Newspapers Journalism and Regulation
The mainstream press usually ignores the only independent regulator, Impress. However, this last week has seen a manufactured row resulting from tweets and retweets by board members. These were investigated and dealt with by Impress which published its report. However, a number of newspapers wrongly claimed that this could somehow lead to a loss of Royal Charter recognition (see for example, the Press Gazette).
The Media Blog has a piece entitled “Mail angry about Joy’s ‘hate funding’ crackdown”
We draw attention to a number of recent IPSO decisions finding breaches of the Editors’ Code:
- Complaints by Paul Hoyte against the Solihull News, the Birmingham Mail, the Coventry Telegraph and the Sunday Mercury. These were reported in the Press Gazette.
- Max Hill v Mail on Sunday,
- A Man v The Gazette (Paisley)
- Ward v Mail on Sunday. There was a report of this ruling in the Press Gazette.
Statements in Open Court and Apologies
There were no statements in open court last week.
Recent decisions in the Courts
News from last term, we draw attention to the fact that the Supreme Court has refused the defendant permission to appeal in the case of HH Prince Moulay Hicham Ben Abdallah Al Alaoui of Morocco v Elaph Publishing Ltd (which permitted concurrent libel and data protection claims)
In other data protection news, on 13 September 2017 the Court of Appeal gave the claimant permission to appeal in the case of Stunt v Associated Newspapers (see the Inforrm post on the first instance decision).
We are not aware of any media law hearings during the last week of the vacation.
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
It is reported that a libel claim by Simone Farrow, a former Penthouse pet who was accused of being a prostitute and running a drug syndicate, has been dismissed because a judge said the claims were partly true.
The Canberra Times reports that Ali Bilal, the former president of the Rebels Outlaw Motorcycle Club ACT, is suing the Nine Network over a story about a father who joined the outlaw motorcycle club to “protect his daughter”.
The Hoot has a piece on The glacial pace of delivering defamation rulings – it reports on a criminal defamation case in which judgment has just been given 10 years after the complaint was made and civil case in which judgment was given nearly 20 years after the case was filed.
It is reported that the Standard Group has been ordered to pay Canada-based barrister Miguna Miguna Ksh6 million after the Court of Appeal ruled in his favour in a defamation suit he had filed over a story alleging he had assaulted his house help in 2013.
The former opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was awarded RM150,000 general damages for defamation in 9 year old claim against Minister Khairy Jamaluddin over a “homosexual insinuation”.
It is reported that two of the defendants in the case of Newton v Dunn  NZHC 2083 is to appeal. The Judge recommended that they publish a correction and apology – with a damages award of NZ$100,000 in default.
The Media Law Journal has a post about political advertising, “BSA and ASA to political parties: “sure, lie all you like”
A new analysis by researchers at Madrid’s Complutense University and published today by the International Press Institute (IPI) offers the first systematic look at the levels of compensation awarded by Spanish courts in civil defamation cases involving the media.
Government Senator Dr Lester Henry has been ordered to pay former Central Bank Governor Jwala Rambarran TT$550,000 damages for defamation. The claim arose out of false statements by the defendant that the plaintiff had used bank funds for work on his private residence.
A New Hampshire jury has found the owner of mortgage company who used electronic billboards to accuse three businessmen of crimes liable for defamation damages of $274.5 million.
Billionaire Sheldon Adelson has lost his defamation claim against the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC), after the Nevada Supreme Court ruled this week that the political organization is immune from civil liability in the defamation case.
A Connecticut college student whose name and images from spring break in Miami were used on Snapchat Discover has sued the social media platform and the Daily Mail for defamation and invasion of privacy.
Research and Resources
- Accountability challenges confronting cyberspace governance, Jacqueline Eggenschwiler, Internet Policy Review, Vol 6, Issue 3.
- Hiding in Plain Sight? The ‘Right to Be Forgotten’ and Search Engines in the Context of International Data Protection Frameworks, Forthcoming in Report of the 2017 Internet Governance Forum (IGF) Dynamic Coalition on Platform Responsibility, Krzysztof Kornel Garstka and David Erdos, University of Cambridge – Trinity Hall and University of Cambridge – Faculty of Law.
- Our Imperiled Absolutist First Amendment, University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law, Vol. 20, Forthcoming, Zachary S. Price, University of California Hastings College of the Law.
- Government Speech and Circumvention of the First Amendment, 44 Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly 37-60 (2016), Mark Strasser, Capital University – Law School.
- Human Rights Extraterritoriality: The Right to Privacy and National Security Surveillance, Francesca Bignami & Giorgio Resta, Human Rights Extraterritoriality:The Right to Privacy and National Security Surveillance in Community Interests Across International Law (Eyal Benvenisti & Georg Nolte,eds., Oxford University Press, Forthcoming), GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 2017-67, GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2017-67, Francesca Bignami and Giorgio Resta, George Washington University – Law School and Università degli Studi di Roma Tre, Law Department.
- The Internet, the Crisis of the Written Press and Why Should We Care, Romanian Journal of Communication and Public Relations, Bucharest, NUPSPA, 2013, Nicolae Urs, FSPAC
Next Week in the Courts
On 5 October 2017 the Court of Appeal will hear the claimant’s appeal in the case of Bukovsky v Crown Prosecution Service
The following reserved judgments after public hearings in media law cases are outstanding:
R (News Media Association) v Press Recognition Panel. 29 and 30 June 2017 (Rafferty LJ and Popplewell J).
Washington-Carty v Fisher, heard 14 July 2017 (HHJ Moloney QC)
David v Hosany, heard 20, 21 and 24 July 2017 (HHJ Moloney QC)