This week saw the announcement of the dissolution of the long established media law set, 1 Brick Court, headed by Lord Garnier QC.  We had a post about this and there were also stories in the Law Society Gazette and on Legal Cheek.

The Canadian government has announced the details of how it will offer financial assistance to the country’s struggling news media industry — a controversial policy that will lead to suggestions that journalistic independence is compromised by government funding. This has generated considerable comment.  The National Post suggests that this will politicize the press. The Conversation has a post about this “Government funding for journalism: To what end?” However, new research suggests that journalists’ loyalties are tough to buy.

The ICLR blog has a post by David Burrows, “Publicity and Jon Venables: application to vary a confidentiality injunction”

Internet and Social Media

IPKat has a post about two recent Italian Supreme Court decisions concerning the liability of intermediaries for third party infringements of intellectual property rights.

The LSE Media Policy Project blog has a post by Sonia Livingstone, Rethinking the rights of children for the internet age.

The Open Rights Group has a post by Jim Killock, “Jeremy Wright needs to act to avert disasters from porn age checks”.

Data Protection and Data Privacy

Mishcon de Reya reports that their FOI request has revealed that the ICO have issued no “notices of intent” to serve GDPR fines, nearly ten months on from it coming into effect.

The Hawktalk Blog has a post asking the question: Do the DPA2018 exemptions work properly?

On March 12, 2019, the European Data Protection Board adopted an opinion on the interplay between the EU Directive on Privacy and Electronic Communications and the General Data Protection Regulation. There is a post about this on the Privacy and Information Security Law Blog.

The European Parliament (EP) and the Council have approved a Regulation (amending Regulation (EU, Euratom) 1141/2014 on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations) which introduces financial sanctions for European political parties that deliberately misuse personal data and breach data protection rules to gain illegal campaigning advantages in political campaigns for election to the EP.

The Information Law and Policy Centre has a piece by the Surveillance Camera Commissioner, Tony Porter, entitled “The debate on automatic facial recognition continues”.

KrebsonSecurity reports that for years hundreds of millions of Facebook users had their account passwords stored in plain text and searchable by thousands of Facebook employees

Nottinghamshire Live reports that Uber drivers have started legal action against the company after claiming it had failed properly to respond to subject access requests under the GDPR.


The ICO blog reports that the ICO has fined Vote Leave Limited £40,000 for sending out thousands of unsolicited text messages in the run up to the 2016 EU referendum.

Freedom of Information

The Panopticon Blog has a post by Anya Proops QC, “The end of the line for Kennedy v Charity Commission”, reporting on the decision of the ECtHR finally to dismiss the long running FOI claim by journalist Dominic Kennedy.

Newspapers, Journalism and Regulation 

Huffpost has a piece by Tasnim Nazeer entitled “We need to call out the Double Standards in Media Reporting that continue to fuel Islamophobia” and openDemocracy has a post by Simon Dawes, “Islamophobia in Christchurch”. The Press Gazette has a piece by Editor, Dominic Ponsford entitled “Anger at tabloid coverage of the Christchurch mosque massacre is misplaced”


IPSO has published a number of other recent rulings:

Statements in Open Court and Apologies

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

Last Week in the Courts

On 22 March 2019 Nicklin J handed down judgment in the case of Hewson v Times Newspapers [2019] EWHC 650 (QB).

On the same day Warby J heard the trial in the case of Alexander-Theodotou v Kounis. The claim form and Particulars of Claim are available on Lawtel [pdf] [£]


3rd Global Conference of the Internet & Jurisdiction Policy Network, Berlin, Germany, 3-5 June 2019.

Media Law in Other Jurisdictions


9News reports that Mohamed Nizamdeen, who was cleared of terrorism charges, is suing One Nation candidate Mark Latham for defamation, claiming he has been subjected to “hatred, ridicule and contempt” because of the comments.


In the case of Fort McKay Métis Community Association v Morin, 2019 ABQB 185 the court refused to set aside a default defamation judgment in respect of a 5 minute video posted on Facebook.

Global News reports that New Brunswick artist Ryan Livingstone has been ordered to pay Fredicton gallery owner Ingrid Mueller general damages of $2,500 for calling her a thief in a Facebook post. There was also a report in the Vancouver Sun.

The same website has a piece about NDAs entitled “Should Canada restrict the use of gag orders in sexual abuse cases?”


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would sue two of his main political rivals for libel, claiming that they labelled him a traitor over a graft scandal involving a German submarine deal.

New Zealand reports that Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater has abandoned his appeal against a High Court decision which found he defamed businessman Matthew Blomfield.


The Scotsman has a piece, Kezia Dugdale’s defamation case puts spotlight on power of new media bloggers


The Straits Times reports that a judge has dismissed a defamation claim against a swimming club by a visitor for putting up a notice with her picture declaring she had trespassed and was to be treated as persona non grata.

United States

Wired suggests that the state of Utah has become a leader in digital privacy with the passing of a new privacy law.

Research and Resources

Next Week in the Courts 

On 25 March 2019 Richard Spearman QC will resume hearing the trial in Otuo v The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (previously heard 12-14 March 2019).

On the same day Julian Knowles J will hear the trial in the defamation case of Bull v Desporte.  The case is listed for 5 days. The Claim Form and Particulars of Claim are available on Lawtel [£]

On 26 March 2019 Dingemans J will hear the trial in the libel, slander and malicious falsehood claim of Rochester v Ingram House. The Claim Form and Particulars of Claim are available on Lawtel [£]

[Update] On 28 March 2019, there will be a statement in open court in the case of Poroshenko v BBC before Julian Knowles J.


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

Kennedy v National Trust for Scotland, heard 25 and 26 July 2018 (Sharp and Asplin LJJ and Sir Rupert Jackson).

Butt v Secretary of State for the Home Department, heard 17 October 2018 (Underhill V-P, Sharp LJ and Sir Rupert Jackson).

Lachaux v Independent Print, heard 13 and 14 November 2018 (UKSC)

ZXC v Bloomberg, heard 27-28 and 30 November 2018 (Nicklin J)

R (on the application of Privacy International) v Investigatory Powers Tribunal, heard 3 and 4 December 2018 (UKSC)

Ali v Channel 5, heard 4 December 2018 (Irwin, Newey and Baker LJJ).

Stocker v Stocker, heard 24 January 2019 (UKSC)

Serafin v Malkiewicz & Ors, heard 5 March 2019 (Lewison, McCombe and Haddon-Cave LJJ) [Update]

Rudd v Bridle, heard 7-8 and 11 March 2019 (Warby J)