The International Forum for Responsible Media Blog

Law and Media Round Up – 11 June 2018

The most widely covered media news of the week was the announcement that the Editor of the Daily Mail, Paul Dacre, was stepping down after 26 years and was being appointed Chairman and Editor in Chief of Associated Newspapers Limited.

This was the subject of widespread media comment and analysis of Mr Dacre’s career and influence.  For example

Hacked Off suggested that Mr Dacre’s resignation provided no comfort for victims of Daily Mail misconduct.

The announcement about Mr Dacre was closely followed by the announcement that his replacement would be Geordie Greig the current Editor of the Mail on Sunday.  This was generally welcomed by what Breitbart News described as the “Left-liberal press”.  The Guardian suggested that Mr Greig has the task of “detoxifying” the Daily Mail. The FT suggested that senior Daily Mail staffers were nervous about the new editor.

The Culture Secretary has made a statement on the Fox/Sky merger review.  The CMA’s Final statement can be found here [pdf]. The Media Reform Coalition cautiously welcomed the Culture Secretary’s statement.

The Brett Wilson Media Law Blog has considered the case of Mezvinsky & Anor v Associated Newspapers Ltd [2018] EWHC 1261 (Ch) which provides guidance to claimants as to which division of the High Court is most appropriate to issue a privacy claim. The Panopticon Blog has also considered the case.

The Injunctions Blog notes that an injunction was granted to prevent the disclosure of documents in the ongoing Edinburgh Tram Inquiry.

It is reported that actor Johnny Depp has brought a defamation claim against the Sun in relation to an article which described him as a “wife-beater”.

Internet and Social Media

Facebook has apologised to 14 million users following a bug in their system caused privacy settings on their posts to be changed. The social media outlet has also protested against the New York Times claim that its sharing of users personal data with smartphone firms’ constituted a breach of their privacy rights.

The Panopticon Blog has considered a recent judgement involving a Facebook Fan Page handed down by the European Court of Justice, the case addresses a number of pertinent issues around the jurisdiction of data protection regulators in cross border matters and the responsibilities’ of data controllers in relation to cookies. The judgment can be found here.

Google has recently published its seven principles for dealing with AI. Stanford’s Cyberlaw Blog has noted Google’s forays into artificial intelligence and the consequential debate this has generated.

The Cyberlaw Blog also covers how AI can be made free from bias and how AI development can implement morality into AI programming.

Reuters reports that Yahoo has been subject to scrutiny by Ireland’s Data Protection Regulator who has stated that the companies data processing operations do not meet the standards set by EU laws,.

The Cyberleagle Blog has a piece on the regulation of the internet given the House of Lords Communications Committee Inquiry, “The Internet: to regulate or not to regulate?” The Blog offers a critical view as to how the regulation of the internet is a necessity and examines legal frameworks which are currently or could be put in place.

Norton Rose Fulbrights Social Media Law Bulletin has covered the most critical elements of the GDPR and e-Privacy-Regulation in the context of online advertising and marketing on social media.

Privacy and Data Protection

Privacy International has considered the developments around the movement for an e-Privacy Regulation.

IAPP has reviewed the necessary provisions of data processing agreements given the implementation of the GDPR.

BlackBerry’s new phone has been reviewed by the Telegraph, which focuses on its conscious privacy and user data settings.


Following Which? critically reporting on the future of consumer data, the ICO has responded with a statement acknowledging the need for a promotion of consumer awareness around the value of their data and the transparency of the data collection and dissemination.

Swindon-based British Foreign Bible Society has been fined £100,000 by the ICO following their computer network being compromised by a cyber-attack in 2016. Security risks included insufficient security of their internal network which was accessible by inappropriate remote access.


Stanford’s Cyberlaw Blog highlights drones as the next initiative in police surveillance, noting that police equipment supplier Axon has already made significant inroads in developing drones for police use.

Newspapers, Journalism and Regulation

The Scottish Daily Record has been fined £80,000 for contempt following its publication of two stories involving individuals facing criminal allegations. The pieces involved pictures of the individuals and sensational headlines.

The Transparency Project has noted the perils of reporting cases in a way which sensationalises the underlying facts, the case at issue can be found here. The Project has requested a correction to the title of the piece- ‘Nurse’s one-year-old son is taken from her care after she let him sit in a Bob The Builder toy car that was ‘inappropriate’ for his age’.


The IPSO Blog has provided guidance on how journalists can approach the topic of suicide responsibly and with due sensitivity. The guidance comes following the death of designer Kate Spade, which prompted the Regulator to receive a high volume of queries as to best practice.


IPSO has published a series of rulings from the Complaints Committee:

Statements in Open Court and Apologies 

There were no statements in open court last week.

Last Week in the Courts

The judgment in the case of Barclay v Tuck [2018] EWHC 1125 (QB) – handed down on 14 May 2018 – has recently become available.  It deals with some interesting issues concerning contempt and orders to take down URLs.

On 6 June 2018, Nicklin J dealt with the Pre Trial Review in the case of Specialist Hygiene Solutions v Marsh.

On 7 June HHJ Parkes QC heard an application in the long running case of Otuo v Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society (originally issued in July 2013).

On the same day the same judge heard an application in the case of Gahir v Bansai.

On 8 June 2018 Nicklin J heard an application in the case of Bokhova v Times Newspapers.  Judgment was reserved.


  • The State of Tobacco Control in Ireland with a focus on Trademarks, 2:00pm to 4:00pm on Tuesday 12 June 2018 in the Neill Lecture Theatre in the Trinity Long Room Hub Arts & Humanities Research Institute, Trinity College Dublin
  • Information Law and Policy Centre’s Annual Conference on 23 November 2018 at IALS, London

Media Law in Other Jurisdictions


The Government of New South Wales has recently released its statutory review of the Defamation Act 2015 [pdf]. This is considered by the Sydney Morning Herald. The piece mainly focuses on the reactions of interested parties to the recommendations made by the review, particularly one which proposes overhaul the current law that for-profit companies with ten employees or more cannot sue for defamation. The Guardian also has commentary.


The Bangkok Post has considered the Court of Appeal’s ruling which quashed defamation charges against human rights activist Andy Hall and used the action to advocate for the decriminalisation of defamation.


On 6 June 2018 the Supreme Court handed down judgment in the case of Haartz v Goldhar 2018 SCC 28.  The appeal was allowed by a majority of 6:3.  There was coverage in the Globe and Mail and on the CBC website.  There was an Inforrm post about the case in February.

Michael Geist has considered recent moves by the CRTC including its historical approach to regulation and recommendation that the Canadian Government implement new regulations and taxation on internet services.

Geist’s commentary on the Canadian Governments consideration of proposals to tax internet services can be found here, his analysis is in the context of the Governments latest telecoms and broadcaster review.

Hugh Stevens notes Google’s recent refusal to comply with a court order to supress details and remove content related to a local murder trial. The grounds for doing so were, surprisingly, Google’s status as a legal entity incorporated in the US and that it is therefore not subject to the law of New Zealand and therefore the order of the court.


A man accused of being a drug dealer by a director of Eurospar Lucan Limited has been awarded €25,000 in damages following a successful defamation lawsuit.


The Hoot considers the impact of NGO’s on the media and their place in bringing issues to light. The recent role of Bangla Sanskriti Mancha activists as sources for many Indian media publications contextualises this analysis.

New Zealand

Sir Bob Jones has filed a defamation lawsuit against a filmmaker, Renae Maihi, following Maihi accusing Jones of hate speech.

United States

Stanford’s Cyberlaw Blog comments on the high volumes of data processed by federal agencies and the US government’s comments regarding its inability to adequately track such high volumes of data.

The Blog also notes Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is seeking to break the encryption of messaging apps.

The Standard notes that a new Data Protection Bill is set to be introduced to the Senate.

Research and Resources

Data Privacy and Data Protection

Internet and Social Media


Next Week in the Courts 

On 11 June 2018 Nicklin J will hear an application in the case of LZS v Instagram LLC. 

On the same day HHJ Parkes QC will begin hearing the trial in the case of Gahir v Bansai, listed for 2 days.


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

Sir Cliff Richard v BBC, heard 12 to 13, 16 to 20, 23-26 April and 8 and 9 May 2018 (Mann J)

Economou v Freitas, heard 17 and 18 April 2018 (Lewison, Ryder and Sharp LJJ)

TLT v Home Office, heard 17 May 2018 (Gross, Macfarlane and Coulson LJJ)

Lloyd v Google LLC, heard 21 to 23 May 2018 (Warby J)

Lisle-Mainwaring v Associated Newspapers Ltd, heard 24 May 2018 (Newey and Coulson LJJ).

Bokhova v Times Newspapers, heard 8 June 2018 (Nicklin J)

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

1 Comment

  1. daveyone1

    Reblogged this on World4Justice : NOW! Lobby Forum..

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