The Trinity Legal Term will begin on Tuesday 8 June 2021 and will finish on 30 July 2021.  It is likely that this term will see a return to “in person” hearings in most media cases with a number of high profile matters due for hearing.

Privacy International, together with three other organisations has filed a series of legal complaints against Clearview AI, Inc – the facial recognition company that claims to have “the largest known database of 3+ billion facial images”.  CPO magazine had a piece.

The Hacked Off website has a powerful piece by Jacqui Hames “My Line of Duty” about her experiences of being placed under surveillance by the News of the World, giving evidence at the Leveson inquiry and the impact on her life.

The JMW media law blog had a post “Sex and the Watershed: Max Mosley’s Privacy Legacy“.

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

Internet and Social Media

There is a post by Michael Douglas on the Bennett+Co website entitled Suing Google, Facebook or Twitter for defamation.

SkyNews reports that the Nigerian government has said it will ban Twitter indefinitely after the social media platform deleted a controversial tweet by the country’s president.  The country’s information minister, Lai Mohammed, said the step was taken because Twitter was being used “for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence”. Nigeria will prosecute anyone found to have breached the country’s ban on the social media firm Twitter, a government spokesperson has told the BBC.  The ban was condemned by the EU and the US.

Data Privacy and Data Protection

On 26 May 2021 the Court of Appeal handed down judgment in R (Open Rights Group) v Secretary of State for Home Department [2021] EWCA Civ 800. It held that the government’s “immigration exemption” in the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 18) was unlawful, overturning a High Court decision from 2019.

The European Data Protection Board has issued its Annual Report 2020: Ensuring data protection rights in a changing world

The Hawktalk blog has a post “Missing data protection safeguards with respect to NHS Digital’s national database of medical records“.

The ICO has fined the Conservative Party for sending 51 marketing emails to people who did not want to receive them.

A Dutch parents group is suing TikTok for €1.4 billion alleging that it is putting children at risk with its content and is collecting too much data.

The Mischon de Reya website has a post “New Standard Contractual Clauses from the European Commission Heralds a New Dawn for Data Transfers“.  There is also a post about these on the Privacy Matters blog.

The Mischon de Reya website also has a post “ICO Code of Practice sets out best practices for data sharing“.

Forbes has an article Why America Needs A Comprehensive Data Protection Strategy but Politico suggests that the prospects for a new federal law are fading fast.


The Information Law and Policy Centre blog has a post “Not So Grand: The Big Brother Watch ECtHR Grand Chamber judgment”.

The Mischon de Reya website has a post about the CJEU decision in WS v. Bundesrepublik Deutschland (C-505/19) that examined the potential for conflict between INTERPOL Red Notices that contain the personal data of the person whose arrest and detention is sought, and the relevant data protection principles that apply in the state where that personal data is being processed by law enforcement when registering such notices in their information systems.

Newspapers Journalism and Regulation

HoldtheFrontPage reports that Ministers have urged journalists to share threats and abuse they have faced in their work as part of a UK Government bid to better protect those working in journalism.

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


The BIICL has an event at 6pm on 8 June 2021, “Damages claims for mass data breaches: UK and European Perspectives

New Cases

There were 13 new cases issued in the Media and Communications List between 1 and 7 June 2021:  8 data protection cases, 4  defamation cases and one pre-action application.

Last Week in the Courts

Last week was the legal vacation, however on 4 June 2021 Master Thornett handed down judgment in the case of Mirza v Ali [2021] EWHC 1494 (QB).  Damages totalling £100,000 were awarded.

Media Law in Other Jurisdiction


The settlement of former Attorney General Christian Porter’s claim against ABC was announced.  Mr Porter discontinued his claim and recovered no damages but the parties agreed no order as to costs.  There was no retraction of apology.  Mr Porter tried to spin this as a victory and some media outlets were taken in.  The Guardian had a report.

The Sydney Morning Herald has an “explainer” podcast about the forthcoming claim by Ben Roberts-Smith against the Age and the Sydney Morning Herald over reports he allegedly committed war crimes in Afghanistan.  The Guardian has a piece The case in courtroom 18D: Ben Roberts-Smith defamation case set for momentous 12-week trial.

Perth Now reports that Federal MP Peter Dutton‘s comments about Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins’s rape allegations will be relied on in court as an activist defends a tweet labelling the Defence Minister a “rape apologist”.


The Modern Ghana website has a piece Determining jurisdiction in internet defamation suits: The Ghanaian perspective.


The Times of India reports that the Supreme Court is to consider the law of sedition, in the context of the rights of the electronic and print media.


The Irish Examiner reports that Lidl has failed to get a High Court injunction preventing the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) from republishing advertisements which the supermarket chain says are misleading and defamatory.

The Irish Times reports that a defamation action brought by the late Galway businessman Ian Quinn against a neighbour has been formally settled.  Mr Quinn had claimed his neighbour erected defamatory signs regarding photographing of children

The Times reports that the GAA pundit and barrister Joe Brolly has begun a High Court defamation case against RTÉ.

New Zealand

In the case of Staples v [2021] NZHC 1308 [pdf] Doogue J awarded $350,000 in damages following allegations made by Winston Peters and a gang-linked debt collector which were then broadcast on TV show Campbell Live.  There was a report on Star News.

The Stuff reports that former politician Colin Craig is taking his decade-long legal fight against the press secretary he sexually harassed to the Supreme Court. In May, the Court of Appeal threw out Craig’s bid to overturn a 2019 High Court decision which found he harassed Rachel MacGregor for years, while she worked for him in the lead-up to the 2014 general election.


The Scottish Legal News blog has a piece ‘You can’t say that about me’ – an overview of the new defamation law in Scotland.


Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is seeking an unspecified amount of damages, including aggravated damages, from Ms Rubaashini Shunmuganathan, a Malaysian who wrote an article published on sociopolitical website The Online Citizen about the 38 Oxley Road saga. There was also a report on Reuters.

South Africa

In the case of Ramos v Independent Media [2021] ZAGPJHC 60 the South Gauteng High Court held that an article in The Star published on 9 December 2020 was defamatory.  The newspaper was ordered to apologise to the plaintiff for saying she “fixed the rand”.  There was a report on fin24.

Fin24 reports that Noseweek editor Martin Welz has won an application for leave to appeal a R330 000 damage order made against him and the investigative magazine he runs in a defamation suit.

Research and Resources

Privacy by Default, Abuse by Design: EU Competition Concerns About Apple’s New App Tracking Policy, Hausfeld Competition Bulletin, Spring 2021, Thomas Hoppner and Philipp Westerhoff, Technical University Wildau and Hausfeld RA LLP.

(mis)Informed Consent in Australia, Report (UNSWorks), Kayleen ManwaringKatharine Kemp and Rob Nicholls, UNSW Law & Justice, University of New South Wales (UNSW) – Faculty of Law and UNSW Business School

An Early Evaluation of the Privacy Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic, David Sella-Villa, An Early Evaluation of the Privacy Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Annual Survey–Cyberspace Law, 76 Bus. Law. 261 (2021), David Sella-Villa, William & Mary Law School.

Group Privacy – A Defense and an Interpretation, Luciano Floridi, University of Oxford – Oxford Internet Institute

Emerging Applications on Smart Phones: The Role of Privacy Concerns and its Antecedents on Smart Phones Usage, International Journal of Computer Science & Information Technology (IJCSIT) Vol 13, No 2, April 2021, Waleed Al-Ghaith, Shaqra University – Department of Information Systems

The New Privacy Law, UC Davis Law Review, Vol. 55, 2021, Ari Ezra Waldman, Northeastern University

COVID-19 and the Media: A Pandemic of Paradoxes, Hugh Macleod, The University of Oxford

Grounds for Debate: The Challenges to Free Speech in Universities, Institute of Economic Affairs Monographs, Forthcoming, Stephen Davies, Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA)

Next Week In the Courts

This week is the legal vacation and we are not aware of any cases listed in the High Court.

Reserved Judgments

The following reserved judgments after a public hearing are outstanding:

Bindel v PinkNews Media Group Ltd, heard 26 May 2021 (Nicklin J)

Riley v Murray, heard 10 to 12 May 2021 (Nicklin J)

Lloyd v Google, heard 28 and 29 April 2021 (UKSC)

Hijazi v Yaxley-Lennon, heard 21-23 and 26 April 2021 (Nicklin 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)

Ansari v Amini, heard 10-11 November 2020 (Julian Knowles J)

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