The Easter Legal Term begins tomorrow, 10 April 2018.  The term ends on 25 May 2018.  The media law highlight of the term seems likely to be the trial in the case of Sir Cliff Richard v BBC which begins on Thursday 12 April 2018.  We will have a “case preview” later in the week.

On 28 March 2018, in the high profile “Black Cab Rapist” case, the Divisional Court held that Rule 25 of the Parole Board Rules 2016 which prohibits the making public of information about proceedings before the Board was ultra vires (R (DSD and NBV) v Parole Board [2018] EWHC 694 (Admin)). The Court held that the claimants’ right of access to court entitled them to information about the decision.  Because Rule 25 prevented such information being given it was ultra vires.

The Court did not consider the Article 10 arguments against Rule 25 relied on by News Group Newspapers.  There was a report of Sun’s press release about the decision in the Press Gazette.  The Sun later described the Parole Board’s proposals to increase transparency as “an insult”.

The Guardian reports that UKIP has avoided insolvency by raising the money to cover the £175,000 costs bill in the case of Barron v Collins.

 Wired has a piece entitled “Fake news laws are threatening free speech on a global scale”.

As noted on Inforrm, on 21 March 2018, the UK Supreme Court gave permission to appeal in the case of Lachaux v Independent Print.  There is a post about the decision on the Out-law blog.

Internet and Social Media

Amid the misuse of users Facebook information by Cambridge Analytica Mark Zuckerberg has released a statement promoting his ability to continue to lead the social media giant. The Press Gazette also notes that Matt Hancock will be meeting with Facebook to discuss the incident whereas the IAPP considers the greatening degree of scrutiny directed towards the social media outlet.

Data Privacy and Data Protection

Dentons Privacy and Cybersecurity blog has a summary of the mandatory data-breach notification rules which come into force on 01 November 2018.

The RPC Blog has an interesting post on the vicarious liability of data controllers for data breaches.

The IAPP has conducted research into the staffing levels of privacy professionals and considers solutions to the shortfalls.

Privacy Lives considers the data protection implications of the use of fitness apps.


The ICO has published a statement in response to Facebook’s announcement that it will be shutting down its partner category service.

The Regulator also reported on the conviction of a former housing worker for data protection offences.

Humberside Police has been fined £130,000 following its loss of a rape victim interview. The Panopticon Blog has more analysis here.

ICO statement: investigation into data analytics for political purposes.

The Royal Mail Group Ltd has been fined £12,000 after sending more than 300,000 nuisance emails.

Newspapers Journalism and Regulation

The Press Gazette reports that the Sun has admitted it got the calculations wrong over potential Brexit savings but says it was an “honest mistake”.  The Sun subsequently published a “clarification” (but no apology).

The Chartered Institute of Journalists has suggested that there should be collaboration between journalists and judges to protect open justice.


IPSO has ruled that a Kent Live article describing a rape charge was inaccurate due to confusion over police press releases.

Ian MacGregor, Telegraph editor emeritus and Society of Editors president, has joined the IPSO Board.

Statements in Open Court and Apologies

There were no statements in open court this last week.

Last Week in the Courts

We are not aware of any media law hearings in the last week.


23 March 2018, Joining The Circle: capturing the zeitgeist of ‘Big Tech’ companies, social media speech and privacy, Inner Temple, London, Wednesday 23 May 2018.

 Media Law in Other Jurisdictions


Lawyers for actor Geoffrey Rush have said that he is “virtually housebound” and believes his career has been irreparably damaged as a result of an allegation of sexual harassment against him which now forms the basis of a defamation claim.  The Daily Telegraph has appealed after substantial parts of its defence were struck out.


In the case of Bondfield Construction v Globe and Mail 2018 ONSC 1880 E M Morgan J dismissed a libel claim under the new “SLAPP” statute whilst expressing serious concerns as to whether this conclusion fulfilled the legislative purpose.  There was a report of the decision in the Globe and Mail. There was also a report on iMediaEthics.


The Hoot has a compelling post regarding the media policy of the Indian government.


Novye Kolesa, an independent Russian magazine, has announced its closure, allegedly due to “unacceptable persecution” by the Russian government, the Press Gazette reports.

 United States

CNN Politics reports that President Trump is seeking a stay of the defamation claim brought by former Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos pending the determination of the President’s appeal.

Meanwhile, Reuters reports that the porn actress Stormy Daniels is suing President Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen for defamation.

The Las Vegas Sun suggests that President Trump is, indeed, changing libel law “but not as he wished”

A judge in Alabama has refused to dismiss a defamation claim against failed Senate candidate Roy Moore by one of the women who had accused him of sexual misconduct.

 Research and Resources


Data Protection

 Next Week in the Courts 

The privacy and data protection trial in the case of Sir Cliff Richard v BBC will begin on Thursday 12 April 2018 before Mann J.  The hearing is expected to last 10 days.


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

NT1 v Google, heard 27-28 February and 1, 6 and 7 March 2018 (Warby J).

NT2 v Google, heard 12 and 14 March 2018 (Warby J)

This Round Up was compiled by Suneet Sharma, a junior legal professional with a particular interest and experience in media law