Law and Media Round Up – 2 December 2019 [Updated2]

2 12 2019

A permanent injunction has been granted to regulate protests against the teaching of “LGBT issues” at Anderton Park School in Birmingham.  After a 5 day trial in October, Warby J handed down a reserved judgment on Tuesday 26 November 2019 ([2019] EWHC 3217 (QB)).

The Court ruled that the exclusion zone around the school should be permanent.  An injunction was granted against named defendants but, following the Canada Goose case, and subject to further argument, a final order against persons unknown was refused.  [Update] Written submissions on this point are to be lodged and the Court will then make a final determination. There were reports of the judgment in the Guardian, the IndependentITV News and BBC News.

The incoming CEO of the Premier League, former Guardian newspapers CEO, David Pemsel has stepped down before taking office.  The Sun had published a number of text messages that he had allegedly sent to a former, female, colleague were published by the Sun (which has since removed the story from its website).

The Guardian has a piece by Jane Martinson on the TV coverage of the election entitled “Tory bullying is corroding public trust in journalism”.

The Daily Mail owner DGMT has bought the i Newspaper for £49.6m. The Guardian, BBC, New York Times and Reuters all have coverage.

The Press Gazette reports that The Bureau of Investigative Journalism has withdrawn its planned legal action to force the Government to release a report on purported Russian interference in the UK.

Internet and Social Media

The Social Media Bulletin reports on social media strategies which are grounded in deception.

The Economist [£] has an article on policing political advertising.

Forbes has posted on how to encourage internet security, focusing on the Internet of Things.

The Columbia Journalism Review has an insightful piece on building a more honest internet, how to prompt an internet that serves the public interest better.

Data Privacy and Data Protection

Donnees Personnelles considers the risks of prospecting under the GDPR.

The European Data Protection Board has published a final territorial guidelines for the GDPR. See analysis from the Hunton Andrews Kurth Blog here.

Hawktalk has a detailed analysis of the political manifestos and their stances on data protection issues.

Security Boulevard has considered the commonality between data privacy and data security.

Surveillance

Mass Private I has highlighted concerns over the implementation of “robocops”.

The Guardian considers how surveillance companies are assisting in state surveillance mandates.

The Economic Times Blog has considered the regulation of surveillance.

Newspapers, Journalism and Regulation

The Liberal Democrats have been accused of disguising political material in fake newspapers. The Press Gazette reports.

The Press Gazette notes that the Conservatives have repeated their manifesto commitments to repeal section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013.

Since establishing its legal claim for the release of a report into Russian inference in the previous UK election the Bureau of Investigative Journalism has dropped its claim, see the Press Gazette report here.

IPSO

The Press Gazette has a piece on the dismissal by IPSO of his complaint over a Daily Mail article

Rulings

IPSO has released several rulings this week:

Statements in Open Court and Apologies

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

Last Week in the Courts

As already mentioned, on 26 November 2019 Warby J handed down judgment in the case of Birmingham City Council v Afsar & Ors [2019] EWHC 3217 (QB).

On the same day Julian Knowles J heard the trial in the case of Kirkegaard v Smith. Judgment was reserved.

On the same day Saini J heard an application in the case of KOB v BTK.

[Update] On 28 November 2019 the Court of Appeal refused permission to appeal in the case of AAA v Rakoff. As a result, the judgment has now been re-issued in de-anonymised form as Lupu v Rakoff [2019] EWHC 2525 (QB).

On 29 November 2019 Davis LJ and Warby J handed down the reserved judgment in the case of R (Liberal Democrats) v ITV Broadcasting Ltd [2019] EWHC 3282 (Admin), giving the full reasons for the dismissal of the application for judicial review.

On the same day Steyn J handed down judgment after a meaning trial in the case of James v Saunders [2019] EWHC 3265 (QB).  The judgment is presently available only on Lawtel [£] Update: This is now available on Bailii [2019] EWHC 3265 (QB)

[Update] On 30 November 2019 the Court of Appeal gave permission to appeal in the Defamation Act 2013, section 9 case of Wright v Ver.  The “hear by” date is 23 November 2020.

Events                                      

6 February 2019, 5RB Manchester half day conference, Manchester Art Gallery.

Please let us know if you have any events which you would like to be listed.

Media Law in Other Jurisdictions

Australia

The Guardian has a report. A judge has found that Asic, which was being sued for defamation by a trader, was protected by qualified privilege

The Australian council of attorneys general have agreed a set of proposals [pdf] have agreed to a radical overhaul of Australia’s defamation laws to “put downward pressure on damages for hurt feelings”. The Guardian has a report.  The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the Government of Victoria has expressed concerns that the proposals need more work

In the case of Hanson-Young v Leyonhjelm (No 4) [2019] FCA 1981 White found that the plaintiff, a Green Senator, had been defamed by a former political opponent who had accused her of being a misandrist and a hypocrite.  She was awarded of damages of $120,000.There was a report in the Guardian.

The Federal Court has issued a Practice Note on Defamation claims.  There is comment about this on the Clayton Utz website.

China

South China Morning Post has considered how facial recognition has developed ahead of legislation.

Ireland

The Sunday Times reports that a company that supplies security services to about 80 stores across Ireland has claimed it is “open season” for people to bring defamation actions against retailers.

The Irish Legal News has a blog post “The future of the ‘offer to make amends’ in defamation law”.

Nigeria

Human Rights Watch considers the problems with Nigeria’s new Social Media Bill.

Scotland

In the case of In the Petition of Jo Swinson [2019] CSOH 98 the Liberal Democrat leader obtained an injunction to restrain the SNP from distributing a leaflet accusing her of being a hypocrite over fracking.  There is a report in the Daily Record.

United States

Democrats have proposed a new tough privacy bill which focuses on technology companies, the Guardian reports.

The libel claim brought by Johnny Depp against his ex-wife Amber Heard has been delayed until August 2020.

Reuters reports that the US Supreme Court has refused to hear appeals filed by National Review magazine and the Competitive Enterprise Institute seeking to overturn a lower court’s ruling that allowed the lawsuit filed by scientist Michael Mann to go forward. The claim arises out of article which compared him to a convicted child molester.

Zimbabwe

New Zimbabwe reports that War Veterans Pressure Group (WVPG) leader, Amos Sigauke has issued defamation proceedings against Zanu PF political commissar, Victor Matemadanda after the latter allegedly made statements tarnishing the organisation’s reputation.

Research and Resources

Next Week in the Courts

[Update] On 3 and 4 December 2019, Whipple J will hear a PTR  in the case of Feyziyev v The Journalism Development Network Association & anr

[Update] On 4 December 2019, Saini J will hear the trial of a preliminary issue as to meaning in the case of Banks v Cadwalladr, the claim by Brexiteer Aaron Banks against journalist Carol Cadwalladr (see the report in the Press Gazette at the time of issue).

On 5 December 2019 there will be a hearing in the case of Triplark v Northwood Hall & Ors. [Update2] This is a trial to be heard by Warby J.

[Update2]  On the same day Jay J will hear the trial in the case of Triaster Ltd v Dun & Bradstreet Ltd

Judgments

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

W M Morrison Supermarkets plc v Various Claimants, heard 6 and 7 November 2019 (Lady Hale and Lords Reed, Kerr, Hodge and Lloyd-Jones)

Turley v Unite the Union, heard 11 to 15 and 19 November 2019 (Nicklin J)

Kirkegaard v Smith, heard 26 November 2019 (Julian Knowles J).

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

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


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