On 26 April 2021, Nicklin J heard the last day of the Hijazi v Yaxley-Lennon trial. The English Defence League founder (aka Tommy Robinson) is being sued by Jamal Hijazi, 17, who was filmed being attacked at his Huddersfield school in October 2018.
At the end of the four days trial, in her written closing argument, Catrin Evans QC, representing Jamal, called for “substantial damages” between £150,000 and £190,000 for the teenager if he wins the claim. Addressing Robinson, the judge commend the way that he presented the case as a litigant in person. Judgment was reserved. The Press Gazette had a piece.
On 27 April 2021 the Court of Appeal heard the appeal in Riley v Sivier. The judgment under appeal is  EWHC 79 (QB). Mike Sivier, a pro-Corbyn blogger launched an appeal against a defamation judgment in a claim brought against him by Jewish Countdown star Rachel Riley after he described her as a “serial abuser”. Collins Rice J struck out Mr Sivier’s defence in January adding that Mr Sivier had “no prospect” of mounting a successful defence in a full libel trial, but the blogger is now arguing for a review of the decision and for the case to be reheard at the High Court, possibly by a jury. The Jewish Chronicle had a piece.
On 28 and 29 April 2021, the Supreme Court (Lord Reed, Lady Arden, Lords Sales, Leggatt and Burrows) heard the Google appeal against the Court of Appeal’s 2 October 2019 decision ( EWCA Civ 1599). We had a post on Inforrm. Mishcon de Reya Data Matters had a post “Google’s appeal in a landmark data protection case begins in the Supreme Court”.
Hold the Front Page published a comment on the Millett v Corbyn case by Sam Brookman.
The Irish Times has a piece “Russian billionaires file lawsuits over book on Putin’s rise“.
As usual, updates on the Coronavirus guidance can be found on the Courts and Tribunal Judiciary.
Internet and Social Media
The Guardian had a piece “Sports bodies to boycott social media for bank holiday weekend over abuse”.
Reuters had a piece “Facebook to pay $5 mln to local journalists in newsletter push”.
Data Privacy and Data Protection
JD Supra had a piece on the European Commission’s work on the adequacy decision concerning the UK, which will be announced before the end of June 2021. This should make transfer of personal data from the European Economic Area (“EEA”) to the UK much more straightforward and will mean that there are no additional safeguards or documents for businesses to put in place to legitimise the flow of personal data to the UK. The most likely outcome is that the UK is granted an adequacy decision for four years, which is subject to ongoing review.
DLA Piper Privacy Matters had a post “European Commission publishes long-awaited draft Regulation on Artificial Intelligence”.
Europe Data Protection Digest had a post “Zuckerberg outlines e-commerce response to Apple’s privacy change”.
The New York Times had a piece “National Security Surveillance Plummeted Amid Pandemic and Russia Inquiry Fallout”.
Newspapers Journalism and Regulation
The Press Gazette had a piece “Reporter challenges coroner over four-minute inquest into hanging death of 12-year-old boy”.
IPSO has published a number of rulings and resolutions statements since our last Round Up:
- 29919-20 Hall v Express.co.uk, 1 Accuracy (2019), Breach – sanction: action as offered by publication.
- 28851-20 Tomlin v Mail Online, 1 Accuracy (2019), No breach – after investigation.
- 27994-20 Odewale and Yadav v Mail Online, 1 Accuracy (2019), 12 Discrimination (2019), Breach – sanction: publication of correction
- 27841-20 Dainton v Bristol Post, 1 Accuracy (2019), 2 Privacy (2019), 6 Children (2019), No breach – after investigation
- 06077-20 Henderson v Sunday Life, 1 Accuracy (2019), Breach – sanction: publication of correction
There were 36 new cases issued in the Media and Communications List between 26 and 30 April 2021: 33 data protection cases and 3 defamation cases.
Statements in Open Court
On 29 April 2021 there was a statement in open court [pdf] in the case of Al-Khair Foundation and another v Times Newspapers Limited before Johnson J. There was a press release [pdf] by the claimant’s solicitors, Carter Ruck, and a report in Middle East Eye.
Last Week in the Courts
The trial in Hijazi v Yaxley-Lennon concluded on 26 April 2021 before Nicklin J. Judgment was reserved
On Tuesday 27 April 201 the Court of Appeal (Sharp P, Henderson and Warby LJJ) heard the appeal in case of Riley v Sivier. Judgment was reserved.
On 26 to 28 April 2021 Freedman J heard the trial in the slander case of MUSST Holdings Limited -v- Astra Asset Management UK Limited and another
On 28 and 29 April 2021 the Supreme Court heard the appeal in the case of Lloyd v Google. Judgment was reserved.
On 28 April 2021 Nicklin will heard an application in the defamation case of Gwilliam v Freeman
Media Law in Other Jurisdictions
Concerns continue to grow in Armenia over a draft defamation law referred to the constitutional court after the country’s president refused to sign the “extremely problematic” legislation.
The draft law, which would triple the penalties for insult and defamation, was adopted by parliament on March 24. It increases the fine for insult from one million drams (1,800 US dollars) to three million drams (5,600 dollars) and for insult from two million drams (3,700 dollars to six million drams (11,200 dollars). The Institute for War and Peace Reporting had a piece.
ABC News had a piece “Ben Roberts-Smith allegedly threatened to sue his ex-wife over defamation case, court told”.
Lawyers for Shane Bazzi, a refugee activist being sued by Peter Dutton for defamation, say the case has serious implications for freedom of speech, and politicians should be more tolerant of criticism. The defence minister has made good on threats to sue social media users, seeking aggravated damages for alleged defamation by Bazzi over the criticism made on Twitter. The Guardian had a piece.
It is reported that a 51-year-old jobless woman, who claimed a bus driver had acted “like an a**hole” towards her and put her off his bus, has lost a defamation claim for €75,000 damages against Dublin Bus.
An industry group representing newspapers has called for the “urgent completion” of a Government review into Ireland’s defamation laws. Newsbrands Ireland said the ongoing review of the Defamation Act was now six years overdue. Ireland’s restrictive defamation laws have long been criticised by the media, as constraining investigative journalism. The Irish Times had a piece.
The Irish Times had a piece: “Newspaper in defamation case asks court to allow it inspect Garda report”.
The Committee to Protect Journalists raised an alert for Myanmar’s military junta to immediately and unconditionally release all of the journalists detained since the country’s February 1 coup, and to stop using legal threats to harass and intimidate the media.
The BBC reports that TV presenter Dr Christian Jessen is in the “last chance saloon” over his bid to defend a libel action over an unfounded rumour about First Minister Arlene Foster, a judge has warned.
In the case of Katz v Welz  ZAWCHC 76 Mayosi AJ ordered that Noseweek Editor Martin Welz and his publishing company, Chaucer Publications, pay R330,000 in damages to attorney Leonard Katz for the publication of articles and a front cover alleging he was the “man who stole justice”. There was a report in the Daily Maverick.
USA today had a piece “Newsmax apologizes for airing false allegations against Dominion worker, who drops company from suit”.
Research and Resources
- Beyond the Privacy Torts: Reinvigorating a Common Law Approach for Data Breaches 127 Yale L.J. Forum 614 (2018) , Alicia Solow-Niederman, Harvard University – Harvard Law School.
- Transposition Inertia at Tertiary Level: The Impact of Online Entertainment via Cell Phones on Privacy, Safety, Psychological Wellbeing and Academic Achievements of University Students Global Mass Communication Review (GMCR), Vol. VI, No. I (Winter 2021), Muhammad Farrukh, The University of Lahore (UoL) Pakistan, Wajiha Raza Rizvi, Film Museum Society | Beaconhouse National University Pakistan; Independent, Abul Hassan, Beaconhouse National University, Pakistan.
- Disease and Data in Society: How the Pandemic Expanded Data Collection and Surveillance Systems, American University Law Review, Vol. 70, Issue 5 (Forthcoming May 2021), Alan Butler, Electronic Privacy Information Center, Enid Zhou, Electronic Privacy Information Center.
- Global Data Privacy Laws 2021: Despite COVID Delays, 145 Laws Show GDPR Dominance, (2021) 169 Privacy Laws & Business International Report, 1, 3-5, Graham Greenleaf, University of New South Wales, Faculty of Law.
- Global Tables of Data Privacy Laws and Bills (7th Ed, January 2021) (2021) 169 Privacy Laws & Business International Report. 6-19, Graham Greenleaf, University of New South Wales, Faculty of Law.
- Sensitivity Context Awareness based Privacy Preserving Recommender System, A N Ramya Shree RNSIT, P Kiran, RNSIT.
- The Ontological Interpretation of Informational Privacy, Luciano Floridi, University of Oxford – Oxford Internet Institute
- Noise pollution. ECHR jurisprudence facing off Italian law and cases Quaderni del Dipartimento Jonico – Edizioni Digitali Dipartimento Jonico in “Sistemi Giuridici del Mediterraneo: società, ambiente, culture”, Giuseppe Losappio, Università degli studi di Bari “Aldo Moro”
- A Moderate Proposal for a Digital Right of Reply for Election-Related Digital Replicas: Deepfakes, Disinformation, and Elections in Cyber-Threats to Canadian Democracy, edited by Holly Ann Garnett and Michael Pal 2021, Elizabeth F. Judge, University of Ottawa – Common Law Section, Amir M. Korhani, University of Ottawa, Graduate Studies in Law, Students
- Regulating Social Media in the Global South, Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law, Forthcoming, Zahra Takhshid, Harvard Law School.
- Specious Jury of Social Media, The Daily Guardian; Issue of April 16, 2021, Saharsh Saxena, University of Delhi – Faculty of Law; University of Delhi – Department of Statistics.
Next Week In the Courts
The trial in the case of MUSST Holdings Limited v Astra Asset Management UK Limited and another will continue before Freedman J on 4 May 2021.
The following reserved judgments after a public hearing are outstanding:
Lloyd v Google, heard 28 and 29 April 2021 (UKSC)
Riley v Sivier, heard 27 April 2021 (Sharp P, Henderson and Warby LJJ).
Hijazi v Yaxley-Lennon, heard 21-23 and 26 April 2021 (Nicklin J)
Rondon v Lexis Nexis Risk Solutions UK Ltd, heard April 2021 (Collins Rice J)
Kumlin v Jonsson, heard 24 and 25 March 2021 (Julian Knowles J).
Junejo v New Vision TV Limited, heard 24 and 25 March 2021 (Murray J)
Miller v College of Policing and another, heard 9 and 10 March 2021 (Sharp P, Haddon-Cave and Simler LJJ)
Lachaux v Independent Print, heard 22 and 24 February and 1 March 2021 (Nicklin J)
Wright v McCormack, heard 16 and 18 February 2021 (Julian Knowles J)
Desporte v Bull, heard 9 February 2021 (Julian Knowles J)
Spicer v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis, heard 1 to 5 February 2021 (Julian Knowles J).
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.