Law and Media Round Up – 16 October 2017

16 10 2017

On 12 October 2017 the Administrative Court dismissed a judicial review application brought by the News Media Association (“NMA”) challenging the Press Recognition Panel’s (“PRP”) recognition of Impress as an independent press regulator (R (NMA) v Press Recognition Panel [2017] EWHC 2527 (Admin)).

The PRP published a press release about the case in which it said

‘This judgment categorically and bluntly rejects all of the NMA’s arguments, and confirms that the PRP board acted independently, transparently and correctly when we recognised IMPRESS.

There were also press releases from Impress and Hacked Off about the decision and Brian Cathcart had a post about the case. The NMA expressed itself to be “deeply disappointed” by the decision and indicated that it would be seeking leave to appeal.

On 11 October 2017 Karen Bradley, the Secretary of State for Digital [sic], Culture, Media and Sport gave evidence to House of Commons Committee which covers her department. She said that responses to the Leveson Consultation would be published “shortly” and that she stood by the Conservative manifesto on these matters (a position welcomed by the NMA). We had a piece by Brian Cathcart pointing out a number of errors she made when talking about section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013 and Leveson Part 2.  The Press Gazette reported on her evidence about the Government’s new “Internet Safety Strategy” (see below).

It is reported that former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson has won a civil claim over the Mazher Mahmood “sting” on him in 2006.

Internet and Social Media

The Government has launched a Green Paper on “Internet Safety Strategy” [pdf] Among other things this proposes a new tax on Google and Facebook to fund measures to crackdown on “cyber bullying, trolling and under-age access to porn”.  Responses to the consultation can be provided online.

Data Privacy and Data Protection

The Dutch privacy regulator has ruled that Microsoft has breached data protection law by processing personal data of people that use the Windows 10 operating system on their computers.

A police officer has been jailed for 5 years for misconduct in public office after admitting accessing and selling accessing personal and confidential data concerning road traffic accidents on 21,802 occasions

Newspapers Journalism and Regulation

Byline has a piece about allegations given concerning Trevor Kavanagh’s use of stolen phone records to “out” an MP.  Zelo Street also commented on the story.  Byline also reports on claims in the same hearing that News UK “lied, destroyed, concealed evidence”.

Statements in Open Court and Apologies

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

Last Week in the Courts

On 12 October 2017 the Court of Human Rights handed down judgment in the case Tamiz v UK.  The application was declared inadmissible.

We have already mentioned the decision in R (News Media Association) v Press Recognition Panel [2017] EWHC 2527 (Admin) handed down on 12 October 2017.

On 13 October 2017 the Court of Appeal (Gross, Simon and Peter Jackson LJJ) handed down judgment in Bukovsky v CPS [2017] EWCA 1529 Civ.  The appeal was dismissed and there was judgment for the defendant.


2 December 2017, Media Democracy Festival, Clore Management Centre, Malet Street, London WC1

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


On 10 October 2017 Applegath J handed down judgment in Wagner & Ors v Harbour Radio Pty Ltd & Ors [2017] QSC 222.  The plaintiff’s application that the proceeding be tried without a jury was granted.  There were reports of the decision in the Australian and the Sydney Morning Herald.

It has been reported that Bauer Media is to appeal the £2.7 million award to actor Rebel Wilson.

Hong Kong

On 8 September 2017 the Hong Kong Court of Appeal handed down judgment in the case of Chang Wa Shan v. Esther Chan Pui Kwan [2017] HKCA 387 overturning the dismissal of an extraordinary action for slander.  The Court held that the statements were not protected by absolute privilege.  There is a 5RB case comment.


The International Federation of Journalists has expressed concern over a criminal defamation case brought by the son of the BJP President against the Wire.


The Irish Times reports that costs estimated at some €1 million have been awarded against Wicklow County Council in the successful libel appeal brought by a councillor and a former councillor against the former manager, Eddie Sheehy.

Businessman Denis O’Brien has lost his appeal over the High Court’s refusal to make orders directing Red Flag Consulting to give him documents that might disclose the identity of its client for a dossier about the businessman.


A judge has dismissed an application by 24 members of the Singapore Chess Federation to strike out a libel claim by its treasurer as an abuse of the process of the court.

Research and Resources

Next Week in the Courts 

On 16 October 2017 there will be a statement in open court in the case of Osborn v Phillips & Anr, a libel claim relating to a poster, issued on 19 October 2016.

On 17 October 2017, Brown v Bower & anr  there will be a half day, trial of preliminary issue as to meaning and defamatory tendency (see [2017] EMLR 24)

On the same day there will be a trial of a preliminary issue in Butt v Home Office as to whether the words complained of are fact or comment.

On 18 October 2017 the trial in Soobhan v Bandal will begin.  This is listed for 3 days


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

Washington-Carty v Fisher, heard 14 July 2017 (HHJ Moloney QC)

David v Hosany, heard 20, 21 and 24 July 2017 (HHJ Moloney QC)



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16 10 2017

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