The trial of the year, Depp v News Group Newspapers, continued before Nicol J on Monday 13 July 2020 with more sensational evidence from Mr Depp’s witnesses.  We had posts about the hearing on Days 5 & 6, and a post about Days 7 & 8.

We again draw attention to journalist Nick Wallis’ live-tweeting of the trial (supported by crowd-funding).  He explains the background in a blog post. Mr Wallis has obtained an uploaded the Court documents, witness statements and the trial transcripts – which are available here.  This is a valuable resource which enables interested readers to read the full details of the evidence which has been given.

The Press Gazette had a number of pieces about the case:

The Guardian had a summary of the week’s evidence Money, mess and Machiavelli: Johnny Depp libel trial week two roundup.  The Observer had a piece entitled Hollywood nervously awaits fallout from explosive Johnny Depp trial

The Press Gazette had a piece Johnny Depp versus The Sun: What are the media law issues?

As usual, updates on the Coronavirus guidance can be found on the Courts and Tribunal Judiciary.

Legal Cheek reports that the Sun deleted a story revealing the result of the Shamima Begum case before the judgment was handed down.  Such a report could be a contempt of court.

The Jewish Chronicle reports that the Labour Party is “poised to settle” the Panorama whistleblowers’ libel claim.

Internet and Social Media

It is reported that a number of virtual private network providers in the U.S. and Canada have shut down their servers in Hong Kong, citing concerns over the national security law.

Data Privacy and Data Protection

On 16 July 2020 the CJEU handed down judgement in the case of Data Protection Commissioner v Facebook Ireland, Case-311/18 – generally known as “Schrems II”. It struck down the so-called “EU/US Privacy Shield”.  We had a post by Lorna Woods

The ICO issued a statement about the decision, as did EDPS, EDPB and CNIL.

There were many comments on the decision on the data protection blogs including:

The ICO issued updates on its regulatory approach during COVID-19 and beyond

Newspapers Journalism and Regulation

The Transparency Project’s Blog has its latest “Family Court Reporting Watch Round Up“.


IPSO has published two rulings and resolutions statements since our last Round Up:

01130-20 Freeley v breach – after investigation
01129-20 Freeley v, No breach – after investigation
01128-20 Freeley v, No breach – after investigation
00583-20 Giblin-Jowett v, Breach – sanction: publication of correction
00116-20 McDonald v The Sunday Times, No breach – after investigation


Last Week in the Courts

As already mentioned, the trial in the case of Depp v News Group Newspapers continued before Nicol J on Monday 20 July to Friday 24 July 2020 and will continue this week.

On 13 to 16 July 2020 the trial in the case of Nwakamma v Umeyor took place before HHJ Lewis. Judgment was reserved.

Media Law in Other Jurisdictions


In the case of Cosco v Hutley (No.2) [2020] NSWSC 893 Rothman J held that lawyer Vanessa Hutley of Balmain had bullied her neighbour, builder Anthony Cosco, and defamed him in an A Current Affair broadcast in which she accused him of putting “my family through hell”.  Libel damages of $300,000 were awarded.  There were news stories in the Sydney Morning Herald and

The Sydney Morning Herald has a piece about the strict guidelines that will be in place for the Ben Roberts-Smith defamation case against two newspapers.

It is reported that Chinese-Australian businessman Chau Chak Wing’s defamation case against the ABC and Nine is likely to be heard remotely.


CBC has a piece “Why hundreds of Quebecers are turning to social media to make sexual misconduct accusations“.


Irish Legal News has a piece “Court of Appeal slashes damages in ‘offer of amends’ defamation case”.


The Gleaner Reports that State Minister for Education Alando Terrelonge has filed a defamation lawsuit against Ainsley Parkins, the councillor for the Southboro division in his constituency.


The Times of Malta reports that a mother condemned to pay libel damages to an obstetrician after her scathing email to a pre-natal class group ended up in the surgeon’s inbox has been cleared on appeal.

Trinidad and Tobago

The High Court has awarded defamation damages of $100,000 to Emir Crowne against former colleague Julie Macfarlane, a University of Windsor Law professor.

United States

Blog Law Online has a post “Trump Hits the Wall of Courts’ Prior Restraint Precedents”.

Justin Bieber has won the first round of his action against two women who accused him of sexual assault when a Los Angeles Superior Court Judge gave him permission to subpoena Twitter to identify the two anonymous accusers.

Liberty University has brought a defamation claim against the New York Times for defamation over a claim that it had suffered a Covid-19 outbreak.


The Mast reports that Southern Province PF youth chairman Obby Mweemba has lost his defamation case against The Mast newspaper in the Livingstone High Court.

Research and Resources

Next Week in the Courts

The trial in the case of Depp v News Group Newspapers will continue before Nicol J on Monday 20 July 2020 and is now expected to take another two weeks.

On the same day the libel trial in the case of Gubarev v Orbis Business Intelligence will begin before Warby J.  This is a  claim arising out of the so-called “Trump Dossier”.  It is listed for 5 days.


The following reserved judgment after a public hearing in a media law case is outstanding:

Nwakamma v Umeyor, heard 13 to 16 July 2020 (HHJ Lewis)

Please let us know if there are other reserved judgments which we should be listing.