Protests supporting the movement Black Lives Matter have been held across the US,  the UK and the rest of the world following the spread of a video of George Floyd, a black man in Minneapolis dying after a white policeman knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

During the protests in the US, there have been episode of attending civilians and journalists covering the events being attacked by police forces and even sustaining serious injuries. The Guardian had a piece. The Guardian also had a piece “I’m getting shot’ : attacks on journalists surge in US protest”.

The Committee to Protect Journalist had a piece disclosing that “more than 300 press freedom violations are reported nationwide by journalists covering demonstrations against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, according to data collected by the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, of which CPJ is a founding partner.”

LSE Media Policy Project had a post “George Floyd, racism, white privilege and the media”.

As the Government continues to gradually ease the Covid-19 lockdown, the Courts continue to work remotely, and updates on the Coronavirus guidance can be found on the Courts and Tribunal Judiciary.

The Law Society Gazette had a piece “Virtual justice is working – but should not become permanent”.

On 3 June 2020 the Supreme Court handed down the judgement in Serafin v Malkiewicz & Ors [2020] UKSC 23. The Court upheld the ruling of the Court of Appeal that the trial judge had conducted the trial unfairly and ordered a retrial of the whole case.  The initial claim was brought in 2017 by businessman Jan Tomasz Serafin seeking damages for an article in Polish-language newspaper Nowy Czas. The Supreme Court judges have decided not to rule on the merits of the Defendants’ s.4 defence or the merits of any part of the truth defence but remitted these for trial, as a result of the original trial being unfair to Serafin. There were pieces in the Guardian, the Press Gazette, on the Out-Law and 5RB websites.

The Press Gazette had a piece “UK Madeleine McCann suspect front pages censored in caution over strict German laws”.

The Law Society Gazette had a piece about the decision in Wright v Ver entitled “Court of Appeal deals blow to libel tourists“.

Byline Investigates had a piece entitled “Prince Harry’s Legal Move Over ‘Cash for Briefings’ claims at the Sun”.  This concerns a claim that the Sun paid the partner of a Royal Aide for sensitive briefings and is said to be based on new Whistle Blower information.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are initiating legal aciton against Tatler magazine over a story entitled “Catherine the Great”

Internet and Social Media

Yvette Cooper MP, chair of Parliament’s Home Affairs Committee, challenged Youtube over recommendations she received for fake news content. Speaking at a Parliamentary hearing Cooper told how her searches for “David Icke”, the British conspiracy theorist, had led to subsequent homepage recommendations for conspiracy theories relating to 5G technology and anti-vaccination messaging. The Press Gazette had a piece.

Mark Zuckerberg has said Facebook will review its content policies after facing widespread backlash, including from its own employees, over the decision to leave up controversial posts from Donald Trump. The Guardian had a piece.

Data Privacy and Data Protection

The European Commission has launched a public consultation on the Digital Services Act. The consultation seeks to gather views, evidence and data from people, businesses, online platforms, academics, civil society and all interested parties to help us shaping the future rulebook for digital services. There was a news on the European Commission’s website and Mishcon de Reya Data Matters.

Hunton Andrews Kurt Privacy & Information Security Law Blog had a post “EDPB Releases Statement on Restrictions on Data Subject Rights in Connection with the State of Emergency in Member States”.

New Europe had a piece “GDPR watchdog challenges Hungary’s data protection rights suspension amid pandemic”.


Infosecurity had a piece “Do Privacy Rights Override #COVID19 Surveillance Measures?

BuzzFeed News had a piece “Lawmakers Call For Halt To Covert Surveillance Of Protesters By DEA”.

Newspapers Journalism and Regulation

Byline Investigates had an excluisve “£35m  Covid Cash Fund Dominated by Big Media While Small Publishers Struggle“.  Hacked Off has a press release “Government ad deal is ‘rewarding the fat cats while starving quality, independent local journalism”

The Press Gazette had a piece “Dozens of journalists attacked and arrested at US George Floyd protests”.


IPSO has published a number of rulings and resolutions statements since our last Round Up:

00665-20 Enticknap v The Gazette (North East, Middlesbrough & Teeside), 1 Accuracy (2019), Breach- sanction: action as offered by publication.

00624-20 Oldfield v North Wales Pioneer, 1 Accuracy (2019), No breach- after investigation

00464-20 Goodwin v County Times, 1 Accuracy (2019), No breach- after investigation

Last Week in the Courts

As already mentioned, on 3 June 2020 the UK Supreme Court handed down judgment  in the case of Serafin v Malkiewicz [2020] UKSC 23 (heard 17 and 18 March 2020).

On 4 and 5 June 2020 there was a hearing the  case of Various Claimants v News Group Newspapers.  Mann J gave three judgments, (1) “Disclosure of documents relating to ‘Nigel” [2020] EWHC 1435 (Ch); (2)  On Amendment of GPoC re Limitation [2020] EWHC 1436 (Ch); (3) Amendments re periods of claim [2020] EWHC 1437 (Ch).

Media Law in Other Jurisdictions


On  1 June 2020, judgment was handed down in the case of Fairfax Media v Voller [2020] NSWCA 102.  The appeal was dismissed.  The Court held that the defendant newspapers were liable for comments published on Facebook  pages which they maintained. There was a piece in the Guardian and a post on Inforrm. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the media defendants were considering an a appeal to the High Court of Australia. Mondaq had a piece “Why the Voller defamation appeal is a pretty good outcome for news publishers”.

The former Fairfax newspapers claim they have found four new eyewitnesses to the alleged murder of an Afghan villager by Australian special forces, which they hope will bolster their defence against a defamation claim brought by the decorated soldier Ben Roberts-Smith. The Guardian had a piece.

A Sydney lawyer who was smeared in online reviews by a man who threatened to defame him “again and again” after a legal fight has been awarded $84,000 in damages. The Sydney Morning Herald had a piece.  The judgment in the case of Smith v Jones [2020] NSWDC 262 was given on 28 May 2020.


In the case of The College of Pharmacists of Manitoba v Jorgenson 2019 MBQB 87 Rempel J ordered a Winnipeg pharmacists to pay $150,000 in damages to his regulatory body which he accused of covering up the deaths of 24 indigenous people.  There was a report of the decision in the Winnipeg Free Press.


The Sunday Times had a piece “Beijing threatens to jail doctors who ‘defame’ traditional Chinese medicine”.


PR Nigeria had a piece ”PRNigeria Publisher Slams N500m Libel Suit against Military Apologist, Terrence Kuanum”.


A sessions court in Lahore issued notice to Prime Minister Imran Khan on the Rs10 billion suit for damages filed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif. The case started in 2017, when Shehbaz, who was then the chief minister of Punjab, sent a defamation notice to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman, stating that the latter had falsely accused the former of having “offered to pay a sum of Rs10,000,000,000 to the defendant in exchange for his withdrawing/backing-off from, or remaining silent on the issue of the Panama Papers’ case”. Pakistan today had a piece.

United States

Ron Darling successfully defended himself from a libel suit filed by his former Mets teammate Lenny Dykstra. Darling claimed in his latest book that Dykstra hurled a vulgar diatribe of racial insults at Red Sox pitcher Dennis (Oil Can) Boyd during the 1986 World Series. A New York Supreme Court Judge In his decision wrote, “Dykstra had a reputation – largely due to his own autobiography – of being willing to do anything to benefit himself and his team, including using steroids and blackmailing umpires”. Forbes had a piece.

Oberlin College filed a wide-ranging appeal, asking an appellate court to overturn the libel verdict against it that was based on student protests of alleged racism by a prominent town business. Forbes had a piece.

Research and Resources

Next Week in the Courts

On 8 June  2020 Nicklin J will hand down judgment in the case of  Tinkler v Ferguson & ors, (heard 31 March and 1 April 2020)


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

Warnes v Forge. heard 20 May 2020 (Elisabeth Laing J).

Aven v Orbis Business Intelligence, heard 16 to 19 March 2020 (Warby J)

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

This Round Up was compiled by Nataly Tedone who is a media and entertainment paralegal.


The Coronavirus lockdown is an ideal time for Inforrm readers to compose all those blog posts they have been thinking about for many months but been too busy to write.  This is an ideal opportunity to keep in touch with the media law world.  We can be contacted at