News: Serious Harm, Supreme Court grants permission to appeal in Lachaux v Independent Print

23 03 2018

On 21 March 2018 the Supreme Court (Lords Kerr and Reed and Lady Black) granted the defendants permission to appeal in the case of Lachaux v Independent Print.  The Supreme Court will now consider the meaning and effect of the “serious harm” requirement in section 1(1) of the Defamation Act 2013 for the first time. Read the rest of this entry »





Will veiled threats from the EU tackle the disinformation problem or can the UK get tough alone? – Damian Tambini

23 03 2018

The EC high level group on ‘fake news’ has done what it was asked to do: it has set out a problem definition and mapped out some policy principles and broad recommendations. Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law, Strasbourg: Sinkova v Ukraine, Conviction for performance art war memorial protest did not violate Article 10 – Ronan Ó Fathaigh and Dirk Voorhoof

22 03 2018

The European Court’s Fourth Section has held, by four votes to three, that a protestor’s conviction, including a suspended three-year prison sentence, for frying eggs over the flame of a war memorial, did not violate the protestor’s freedom of expression. The judgment in Sinkova v. Ukraine prompted a notable dissent, which highlighted “inconsistency” with the Court’s prior case law, and a disregard for the principle that criminal penalties are likely to have a “chilling effect on satirical forms of expression relating to topical issues.” Read the rest of this entry »





#MeToo exposes legal failures, but ‘trial by Twitter’ isn’t one of them – Christy Clark

21 03 2018

File 20180316 104671 12l78mb.png?ixlib=rb 1.1Critics have raised concerns that #MeToo has turned into a “trial by Twitter”, suggesting it has turned the legal principle of innocent until proven guilty on its head. The Australian’s opinion columnist Janet Albrechtsen argued this point on the ABC’s #MeToo Q&A special last month. Read the rest of this entry »





Event: Joining The Circle: capturing the zeitgeist of ‘Big Tech’ companies, social media speech and privacy

20 03 2018

Professor Robin Barnes (Global Institute of Freedom and Awareness) and Peter Coe (Aston University) have organised a panel session at the Inner Temple, London, on Wednesday 23 May 2018. The session is entitled: ‘Joining The Circle: capturing the zeitgeist of ‘Big Tech’ companies, social media speech and privacy’. Read the rest of this entry »





Before you write that scathing online review, beware of defamation – Michael Douglas

20 03 2018

File 20180313 30989 1ppzbt.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1Having suffered some terrible product or service, there is something darkly satisfying about publishing a scathing online review. This may not be virtuous or kind, but it can be cathartic. However, if your online review is disparaging of a person’s reputation, that person could sue you for defamation. Read the rest of this entry »





Law and Media Round Up – 19 March 2018

19 03 2018

The biggest media and information law story of the week concerns the activities of Cambridge Analytica.  The story appear in The Observer, The New York Times and on Channel 4 News.  A whistleblower has revealed that the company harvested 50 million Facebook profiles and was “pivotal” in Donald Trump’s presidential victory.   Read the rest of this entry »





Silencing the President: the Free Speech implications of censoring hateful political speech online – Paul Wragg

17 03 2018

Something incredible is happening in modern politics.  The shackles of propriety, diplomacy, and discretion have been released.  Politicians are speaking their minds.  This has not resulted, as so many commentators tell us it has, in statesmen ‘telling it like it is’.  Instead, political debate is awash with vacuous, bewildering, abrasive guff. Read the rest of this entry »






Technology and regulation must work in concert to combat hate speech online – Andre Oboler

14 03 2018
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Online bullying, hate and incitement are on the rise, and new approaches are needed to tackle them. As the Australian Senate conducts hearings for its Inquiry into cyberbullying, it should consider a two-pronged approach to combating the problem. Read the rest of this entry »