The International Forum for Responsible Media Blog

Law and Media Round Up – 3 August 2020

The Trinity Legal Term ended on Friday 31 July 2020 and the summer legal vacation will last for 2 calendar months, with the Michaelmas term beginning on Thursday 1 October 2020.

The Inforrm blog is now taking a summer break until the end of September.  Our Law and Media Round Up will resume at the beginning of next legal term. We thank all our readers and contributors who have supported us over the past year. Posting will continue over the summer but will not be as regular as usual.

The trial in the case of Johnny Depp v News Group Newspapers concluded on Day 16, Tuesday 28 July 2020 with the Claimant’s closing submissions.  A transcript of Day 16 is available here. Judgment was reserved. We had a post on Inforrm.

The Jewish Chronicle had a piece “Tracy-Ann Oberman and Rachel Riley drop defamation case on Twitter harassment”.

On 29 July 2020 Mr Justice Warby heard an application in the case of the Duchess of Sussex v Associated Newspaper.  The Duchess applied to keep the identities of the five friends who gave an anonymous interview to a US magazine, confidential in reports of the proceedings. The Press Gazette had a piece.

On 31 July the Judge  in Charge of the Media and Communications List, Mr Justice Warby, became one of eight new appointments to the Court of Appeal.  He will take up his appointment later in the year. Inforrm had a piece.

Guardian columnist Owen Jones criticised the rise of far-right extremism as his attacker was jailed for two years and eight months. The Press Gazette had a piece.

The Press Gazette had a piece “Times pays damages after paywalled article’s preview showed ‘libellous imputation’”.

The Law Society Gazette had a piece “Court closures ‘hard to justify now’, say MPs”.

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

Internet and Social Media

President Donald Trump has announced he is banning the Chinese-owned video-sharing app TikTok in the US. There was a piece on the BBC.

The Press Gazette had a piece “Twitter users boycott platform over slow response to ‘anti-Semitic’ posts by grime star Wiley

Authorities have charged three men in a major Twitter breach this month that hacked the accounts of prominent politicians, celebrities and technology moguls to scam people around the globe out of more than $100,000 in bitcoin. The Guardian had a piece.

Data Privacy and Data Protection

The ICO’s website had an updated statement on the judgment of the European Court of Justice in the Schrems II case.

There was a post on the ICO’s blog “Blog: ICO launches guidance on AI and data protection”.

Hawktalk had a post “Valid or dodgy EU Referendum? Misuse of personal data is a constant factor”.

The Belgian DPA imposed a fine of EUR600,000 on Google Belgium SA/NV (Google Belgium) for not respecting a Belgian resident’s right to be forgotten. This is the highest fine ever imposed by the Belgian DPA. DLA Piper Privacy Matters had a piece.

Mishcon de Reya had Data Matters had a post “British Airways hints at massive reduction in proposed GDPR fine”.


Reuters had a piece “Senate Democrats want to grill Homeland Security over Portland protest surveillance”.

Statement in Open Court

On 30 July 2020 there was a statement in open court [pdf] in the case of Sheikh v Associated Newspapers read before Warby J.  There was a post on the 5RB website.

Last Week in the Courts

The trial in the case of Depp v News Group Newspapers will continued before Nicol J on Monday 27 July and concluded on Tuesday 28 July 2020.  Judgment was reserved.

On 27 July 2020 Nicklin J will heard a committal application in the case of Oliver v Javed Sheikh.

On 29 July 2020 there was an application in case of HRH The Duchess of Sussex v Associated Newspapers Ltd before Warby J.  Judgment was reserved.

On 30 July 2020 there was a Pre-Trial Review in the case of Various Claimants v MGN before Mann J.

Newspapers Journalism and Regulation


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

11836-20 The Metropolitan Police v Daily Mail, 1 Accuracy (2019), Resolved – IPSO mediation

06667-20 Bromley v The Spectator, 1 Accuracy (2019), No breach – after investigation

00939-20 Wilson v Bournemouth Echo, No breach – after investigation, No breach – after investigation

00041-20 Smith v, 1 Accuracy (2019), Breach – sanction: action as offered by publication

09304-19 A Woman v The Scotsman, 2 Privacy (2019),  Harassment (2019), 12 Discrimination (2019), No breach – after investigation

08413-19 Trump International Scotland v The Scotsman,1 Accuracy (2019) 3 Harassment (2019) 10 Clandestine devices and subterfuge (2019), No breach – after investigation

Media Law in Other Jurisdictions


Australian states have agreed to a dramatic overhaul of “outdated” defamation laws in a bid to protect public interest journalism and curb escalating damages payouts. The New South Wales attorney general, Mark Speakman, announced sweeping changes outlining a plan to “reset” laws which he said had resulted in “crippling damages payouts, chilling public interest journalism and clogging courts with minor claims”. The Guardian had a piece.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has published a first-of-its-kind draft code of conduct, which it said aims at “addressing acute bargaining power imbalances between Australian news businesses and Google and Facebook”. The Press Gazette had a piece.

The Sydney Morning Herald had a piece  “Defamation overhaul seeks to rein in ‘eye-watering’ payouts”.


The Indian government is clamping down on media coverage critical of its handling of the pandemic. More than 50 Indian journalists have been arrested or had police complaints registered against them, or been physically assaulted. The Guardian had a piece.


The Independent had a piece “Sinn Féin TD takes defamation case against RTÉ and broadcaster Joe Duffy”.


The Russian Legal Information Agency had a piece “Russian businessman’s $7K defamation claim against Navalny set for August 14”.

United States

The Committee to Protect Journalists issued an alert for the New York City Police Department which should refrain from subpoenaing journalists’ phone records or other information that could reveal sourcing.

Forbes had a piece “Ghislaine Maxwell Records Trove Names Jeffrey Epstein, Alan Dershowitz—And More Documents Could Be Released”.

Bloomberg Law had a piece “Trump’s Defeat of Stormy Daniels’ Twitter Defamation Suit Upheld”.

Next Week in the Courts

We are not aware of any media law cases listed this week.


The following reserved judgments after public hearing in a media law case are outstanding:

HRH The Duchess of Sussex v Associated Newspapers Ltd, heard 29 July 2020 (Warby J)

Depp v News Group Newspapers, heard  7 to 10,13 to 17, 20 to 24 27 and 28 July 2020 (Nicol J)

Gubarev v Orbis Business Intelligence, heard 20 to 24 July 2020 (Warby J)

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.

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


1 Comment

  1. Carol Croft

    Can someone please consider the ‘status’ of corrections/clarifications and the outcome of IPSO deliberations published behind a paywall as legitimate please?

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