Round up of the Media Law Cases in the 2018-2019 legal year: Six libel and privacy trials – Nataly Tedone

11 09 2019

The legal year in England and Wales ended on 31 July 2019.  The High Court, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court are now on vacation until Michaelmas Term begins on 1 October 2019. Our Table of Media Law cases records 57 judgments in media law cases this legal year.

On our analysis, there were four judgments after full trials in libel cases. The claimant was successful in all four cases

Only one of these (Burgon) was against the mainstream media

There was also one assessment of damages after default judgment in a libel case, Suttle v Walker [2019] EWHC 396 (QB) – damages of £40,000.

There were 11 judgments after the trials of preliminary issues in libel cases

The Court of Appeal gave judgments in four libel cases.

The defendant was successful in the first three cases and the claimant in the fourth (which is now subject to an appeal to the Supreme Court).

The Supreme Court heard two libel cases: Lachaux v Independent Print [2019] UKSC 27 and Stocker v Stocker [2019] UKSC 17.  The claimant was successful in Lachaux and the defendant in Stocker.

 The Privy Council gave judgments in two libel cases, Nugent v Willers [2019] UKPC 1 and Simon v Lyder [2019] UKPC 38. In both instances the defendant was successful.

There were trials in two privacy cases.  In both cases the claimant was successful.

The Court of Appeal heard two privacy appeals.  In the first the claimant succeeded, in the second the defendant:

There was one full data protection trial, Rudd v Bridle [2019] EWHC 893 (QB). There was also a judgment on a service out application in the case of Lloyd v Google [2018] EWHC 2599 (QB) – an appeal in this case was heard this years and judgment is awaited.

In terms of judges, the position of Warby J as the leading High Court media law specialist was confirmed, hearing a total of 18 cases followed by Nicklin J giving judgment in 12 cases. Julian Knowles J gave judgments in three cases and Nicol J and Dingemans J gave judgments in two cases each.

Nataly Tedone is an LPC student with a particular interest in media law


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