Law and Media Round Up – 13 May 2019

13 05 2019

The President of Family Division has published draft guidance as to reporting in the Family Courts [pdf]. There is a consultation running until 30 June 2019. This covered on the Transparency Project blog and there are reports in the Law Society Gazette and in the Press Gazette.

The Times reports that a Judge has ordered Apple to give a widow access to her late husband’s online accounts to recover family photographs.  An order for access was made by HHJ Luba QC in the Central London County Court.

On 16 April 2019 the EU Parliament approved text of a new Whistleblower directive. There is a Parliament press release.  More details can be found in this briefing.

The Culture Secretary has told MPs that he aimed to bring forward legislation implementing the recommendations in the Online Harm White Paper in the next Parliamentary Session.

The website Coin Geek reports that Dr Craig Wright has filed Particulars of Claim in his libel claim against Peter McCormack.  These can be found here [pdf]. The claim concerns tweets by the defendant calling Dr Wright a fraud,

 Internet and Social Media

There are pieces by Daphne Keller on the CIS blog entitled “What platform operations are we regulating? platform product features, content removal, and content amplification” and “What online content are we regulating? illegal speech, offensive speech, and platform value”.

The LSE Media Policy Project blog has piece by Holly Powell-Jones entitled Online abuse: teenagers might not report it because they often don’t see it as a problem

The TGI de Paris ruled on 9 A;pril 2019 that Facebook’s T&Cs on user-generated copyright content were unclear and confusing and were were unfair under the consumer code.  As a result, they were null and void.  There is a post about the decision on IPKat.

Data Protection and Data Privacy

The Wall Street Journal has a report “Large GDPR Fines Are Imminent, EU Privacy Regulators Say”.

The Mischon de Reya blog has a post on the decision in Rudd v Bridle.  We also had a case comment on Inforrm.

ICO

The ICO has fined a PPI claims company £120,000 for millions of nuisance texts

The ICO Blog has a post “Using biometric data in a fair, transparent and accountable manner”

Newspapers, Journalism and Regulation 

The Press Gazette reports that IPSO has decided that Sun and Mail Online acted in the public interest by reporting a convicted sex offender’s gender change.

The Press Gazette also reports an IPSO ruling that The Sun was within its rights to name Jamelia in two stories linking the pop star to her stepbrother’s murder conviction as she was “genuinely relevant” to the story.  The IPSO decisions are:  00168-19 Jamelia v thesun.co.uk and 00149-19 Jamelia v The Sun

IPSO has issued a number of rulings and resolution statements since our last Round Up:

Resolution Statement 07537-18 A woman v mirror.co.uk, 1 Accuracy (2018), Resolved – IPSO mediation

Resolution statement 02388-19 Osman V The Sunday Telegraph, 1 Accuracy (2018), Resolved – IPSO mediation

01114-19 King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust v The Sun, 1 Accuracy (2018)

8 Hospitals (2018), No breach – after investigation

06781-18 Jordon v The Sun, 2 Privacy (2018), 9 Reporting of crime (2018), 1 Accuracy (2018)

6 Children (2018), 15 Witness payments in criminal trials (2018), No breach – after investigation

07858-18 The Labour Party v The Sun, 12 Discrimination (2018), 1 Accuracy (2018), No breach – after investigation

00154-19 Stirling v The Daily Telegraph, 1 Accuracy (2018), Breach – sanction: publication of correction

Statements in Open Court and Apologies

There were no statements in open court last week.

Last Week in the Courts

On 8 May 2019 Nicol J heard an application in the case of Tinkler v Ferguson.

On 9 May 2019 Warby J heard the trial in Allen v Times Newspapers Ltd.

Events

Social Context of the Law event: Is Anything More Needed to Ensure Freedom of Speech?, Temple Church, 13 May 2019, 5.45pm

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

Media Law in Other Jurisdictions

Australia

The Guardian has a piece entitled “Australia’s Murdoch moment: has News Corp finally gone too far” concerning the reaction to a media attack on Labor leader Bill Shorten.

The order prohibiting the disclosure of the identity of “Witness X” in the Geoffrey Rush defamation case has been lifted.  The witness is actor Yael Stone.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Online publisher Daily Mail Australia ois attempting to halt defamation action brought by washing machine repairman Bill Spedding, after he was wrongly called a “convicted paedophile” in two of its news stories in 2016.

The Guardian reports that the first person has been charged under Western Australia’s new revenge porn laws.

Canada

In the case of Zoutman v Graham 2019 ONSC 2834, the Ontario Superior Court granted summary judgment for general and aggravated damages in the sum of $50,000 to a doctor defamed on a website known as RateMDs.com.  There is a report about the case in the Ottawa Citizen.

Ireland

The Sunday Times reports that Goffs, the bloodstock sales company, has claimed in the High Court that it is being defamed by the part-owner of a horse that was sold in 2011.

The Irish Times reports that a woman who claimed she was blamed for deliberately putting insects in takeaway meals she bought at a chip shop in Dublin has been awarded €10,000 damages in the Circuit Civil Court for defamation.

RTE reports on a trial in a defamation claim brought by solicitor Gerald Kean over an article in the Irish Daily Star. There is also a report on Extra.ie. The case is proceeding before Mr Justice Bernard Barton and a jury.

The Sunday Times reports that Dana Rosemary Scallon, the former Eurovision winner, has instructed lawyers to apply to have defamation actions taken by her sister and niece against her struck out from the High Court, after they failed to comply with a court order to lodge €150,000 as security for ongoing legal costs.

Malta

The Independent reports that Toni Bezzina has lost his appeal from a judgment that had cleared the Prime Minister of making false and defamatory statements against him.

Singapore

Human Rights Watch has described the new fake news law as a “disaster” for freedom of speech

United States

A US District Judge has held that a defamation case filed last year against Tesla  and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk  after he repeatedly called a British cave diver “pedo guy” will go to trial on 22 October 2019.

Research and Resources

Next Week in the Courts

On Monday 13 May 2019 Soole J will hear the meaning trial in the case of Morgan v Times Newspapers Ltd.

On Tuesday 14 May 2019, Mann J will hear a third party application for the redaction of a witness statement in the case of Various Claimants v News Group Newspapers.

On Wednesday 15 May 2019, there will be a preliminary issues trial of meaning and opinion in the case of Travel Insurance Facilities v Times Newspapers Ltd.

On the same day, the Court of Appeal (Longmore, Sharp and Bean LJJ) will hand down judgment in the case of Tinkler v Ferguson (heard 3 April 2019).

On 16 May 2019 there will be a hearing in the case of Siddiqi v Aidiniantz & ors.

On 17 May 2019 there will be a hearing in the case of Desporte v Bull.

Judgments

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

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)

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

Serafin v Malcewicz, heard 5 March 2019 (Lewison, McCombe and Haddon-Cave LJJ)

Bull v Desporte, heard 25 to 28 March 2019 (Julian Knowles J)

Sadik v Sadik, heard 2 April 2019 (Julian Knowles J).

Otuo v The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (heard 12-14 and 25 to 29 March, 1 and 15 April 2019 ( Richard Spearman QC).

Please let us know if there are reserved judgments which should be added to this list.


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