On 10 and 11 June 2021 there were hearings in the News Group phone hacking litigation before the new managing judge, Mr Justice Fancourt.

On 10 June 2021 there was a unilateral statement in open court in the “Sun only” claim brought by Sir Simon Hughes.  We had an Inforrm post and there were pieces on Byline Investigates and in the Guardian.

There was a report on Byline Investigates concerning the CMC which took place on 11 June 2021

It was reported that The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have issued legal warnings against the BBC over a report that claimed the couple had not asked the Queen’s permission before naming their baby Lilibet.

The Press Gazette reports that News Group Newspapers, publisher of The Sun titles, has reported a £201m pre-tax loss on turnover of £324m for the year to the end of June 2020. The Guardian reports that Rupert Murdoch has written down the value of the Sun newspapers to zero as a result.

The Guardian has a post about defamation law in Australia: “Defamation nation: why are Australian politicians so quick to sue?”  It is suggested that the litigation business is booking that the social media has added fuel to the fire.

The long awaited report of the Daniel Morgan Independent Panel will finally be published on Tuesday 15 June 2021.

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

Internet and Social Media

Google agreed to a series of commitments with the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority over its plan to phase out cookies via its Privacy Sandbox proposal, Adweek reports. The commitments include limits on how Google can use user data for digital advertising after third-party cookies are removed and informing the CMA 60 days before it starts to remove cookies to give the agency an opportunity to reopen its investigation.  There was also a report on Bloomberg.

The U.S. Law Library of Congress published a report exploring children’s data protection standards in 10 European Union jurisdictions, including the EU’s own overarching regulations and policies.  There was a piece on the Library of Congress blog.

The New York Times reports that Google is changing its algorithm to prevent certain websites, which enable unverified or slanderous claims about certain individuals, from appearing in search results. The company also created a “known victims” concept through which people can report online attacks on sites that charge to remove content and Google will automatically suppress that content in a search of their name.

The ICO blog has a piece about fines imposed on three separate companies a total of £415,000 for sending nuisance marketing to people about car finance, solar panels and funeral plans.

Inside Privacy reports that On June 9, 2021, the French Supervisory Authority (“CNIL”) published recommendations to help strengthen the protection of minors online (see here, in French).

Data Privacy and Data Protection

The Privacy Matters blog has a post “Article 28 Standard Contractual Clauses”.  The Data Protection Report has a post “A deeper dive into the new Standard Contractual Clauses”.

Newspapers Journalism and Regulation

The Hacked Off blog has a post “Racism and Trivialisation of Racism are wrong. The Times should be held Accountable“.

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

New Cases

There were 14 new cases issued in the Media and Communications List between 7 and 14 June 2021:  10 data protection cases, 3  defamation cases and one pre-action application.

Last Week in the Courts

On 9 June 2021 Griffiths J heard an application in the case of Webb v Jones.

On 10 June 2021 Griffiths J heard a committal application in the case of Bonnier v Johnson.

As already mentioned, on 10 and 11 June 2021 there were hearings in the managed News Group Phone Hacking litigation before Fancourt J.

On 11 June 2021 Murray J heard an application in the case of ZY v Twitter UK Ltd.

Media Law in Other Jurisdiction


The trial of the Ben Roberts-Smith libel claim against various newspapers has begun.  There was a report the ABC website. There were a reports of Day 1 and Day 2 

The Guardian has a report that Christian Porter made two offers to settle the ABC defamation case that cost broadcaster $780,000, senators told.


In the case of Alberta Computers.com Inc v Thibert, 2021 ABCA 213 the Court of Appeal of Alberta dismissed an appeal, inter alia, against a defamation judgment in favour of Mr Thibert and an award of damages of $60,000.


The Bar and Bench blog has a post about a case in which the Madras High Court quashed a criminal defamation case against a person who published a cartoon on his Facebook page.

There is a piece in the Press Gazette charting the decline of press freedom under prime minister Narendra Modi.


The Independent reports that Denis O’Brien has won his appeal over a judge’s refusal to order Red Flag Consulting public relations firm to disclose to him certain documents for his defamation and conspiracy action against the firm.


The Times of Israel reports that New Hope MK Yifat Shasha-Biton seeks NIS 500,000 in damages from Yair Netanyahu over interview in which he claimed ‘people died because of her populist decisions’ as head of COVID committee

Northern Ireland

Irish Legal News reports that a private members bill has been introduced to replicate the reforms of the English Defamation Act 2013.


The Government is seeking to introduce a new press law intended to consolidate government oversight of the media.  Media groups have complained that this is a step to state control.

United States

The Justice Department’s Civil Division told a federal appellate court that it will continue to try and defend former President Donald Trump in a libel suit brought by E. Jean Carroll, a journalist who said Trump raped her in a department store dressing room in the 1990s.

Research and Resources

Next Week In the Courts

On 14 June 2021 Murray J will  hear the trial in the case of Bukhari v Bukhari.

On 18 June 2021, Steyn J will hear an application in the case of Vardy v Rooney.

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.