On 15 June 2021 the Daniel Morgan Independent Panel published its final report [pdf] following their inquiry into the murder of private investigator Daniel Morgan and the series of failed police investigations which followed.
Private Investigator Daniel Morgan was reportedly on the brink of exposing police corruption in 1987, but before he could do so he was brutally murdered. The report on the 1987 murder finds “significant” and “unlawful” interactions between the media and the police. Inforrm had a piece.
The Byline Times had a series of pieces about the Report including
- Press Criminality? – Nothing to see here … Brian Cathcart
- Metropolitan Police: the corruption lives on – Hardeep Matharu.
- Untold Stories: The Daniel Morgan Murder – Peter Jukes
On 18 June Steyn J heard an application to strike out part of the Defence in the high profile claim of Rebekah Vardy v Coleen Rooney. The libel claim is over a post on social media that alleged Ms Vardy had secretly informed The Sun newspaper of Ms Rooney’s private posts and stories from Instagram. 5RB had a post.
Business and Human Rights Centre published a report stating that bar associations should update their ethics codes to ensure that strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPPs) are a sanctionable offence, stipulating that lawyers who use ‘abusive tactics’ will face sanctions. The report says SLAPPs have become ‘a staple in the manipulation of the judicial system by business actors to stop legitimate human rights work, restrict civic space, and repress dissenting voices’. The Law Society Gazette had a piece.
The Law Society Gazette discusses a report which says that the number of class actions brought in Europe has risen ‘relentlessly’ over the past five years, with US firms and litigation funders tapping into an increasingly lucrative market.
Hold the Front Page had a piece “Editors air contrasting views over GB News ad boycott”.
The Press Gazette had a piece “Transparency concerns over BBC rehiring of Bashir but decision made ‘in good faith’, review finds”.
As usual, updates on the Coronavirus guidance can be found on the Courts and Tribunal Judiciary.
Internet and Social Media
Indian police have registered a case against Twitter and prominent journalists for allegedly trying to spark communal tensions. The BBC had a piece.
The Guardian had a piece “Coca-Cola’s Ronaldo fiasco highlights risk to brands in social media age”.
Data Privacy and Data Protection
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has fined Papa John’s (GB) Limited £10,000 for sending 168,022 nuisance marketing messages to its customers without the valid consent required by law. The ICO received 15 complaints from Papa John’s customers about the unwanted marketing they were receiving by text and email. The complaints noted the distress and annoyance the messages were causing. There was a news piece on the ICO’s website.
DLA Piper Privacy Mattes had a post “EU: Second wave of noyb complaints targets cookie banners”.
Bloomberg had a piece “FCC Proposes Ban on Chinese Surveillance Cameras, Other Products”
Newspapers Journalism and Regulation
IPSO has published a number of rulings and resolutions statement since our last Round Up:
- Resolution Statement – 03148-21 Williams v The Times, 1 Accuracy (2019), Resolved – directly with publication.
- Decision of the Complaints Committee – 00927-21 A man v Mail Online, 9 Reporting of crime (2019), No breach – after investigation.
- Decision of the Complaints Committee – 00914-21 Open Labour v The Mail on Sunday, 1 Accuracy (2019), No breach – after investigation
- Decision of the Complaints Committee – 00913-21 Open Labour v The Sun, 1 Accuracy (2019), Breach – sanction: action as offered by publication.
- Decision of the Complaints Committee – 00661-21 Liberadzki v The Sunday Times, 1 Accuracy (2019), No breach – after investigation.
- Decision of the Complaints Committee – 00275-21 Goodger v dailystar.co.uk, 1 Accuracy (2019), Breach – sanction: publication of correction.
- Decision of the Complaints Committee – 28831-20 Ross v thejc.com 1 Accuracy (2019), 2 Privacy (2019), Breach – sanction: publication of correction.
- Resolution Statement – 02635-21 GB Snow Sports Limited (GBSS) v Daily Mail , 1 Accuracy (2019), Resolved – IPSO mediation
New Issued Cases
There were 10 new cases issued in the Media and Communications List between 14 and 21 June 2021: 5 data protection cases, 3 defamation cases and 2 classified as “miscellaneous”.
Last Week in the Courts
On 15 and 16 June 2021 Julian Knowles J heard an application in the case of Masarir v Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
On 17 June 2021, Griffiths J handed down judgment in the case of Webb v Jones  EWHC 1618 (QB). This Facebook libel claim was struck out.
As already mentioned, on 18 June 2021 Steyn J heard an application in the case of Vardy v Rooney. Judgment was reserved.
Media Law in Other Jurisdiction
The defence minister, Peter Dutton, has been ordered to attend mediation after a federal court judge said his defamation case was not among the court’s biggest and could be settled pre-trial. Dutton is suing a refugee activist, Shane Bazzi, over the tweet, after vowing in March he would take a more aggressive stance against false and defamatory statements made about him online. The Guardian had a piece.
In the Brisbane District Court, Judge Reid in BeautyFULL CMC Pty Ltd v Hayes  QDC 111 found former Beautyfull Cosmetic Medical Clinic employee Clare Hayes defamed the clinic’s owners in an Instagram story, which is a post on the social network generally only visible for 24 hours. Judge Reid found that despite Ms Hayes’ assertion that she was not naming and shaming “it appears to me that is exactly what was intended by her story”.
In awarding damages Judge Reid found the post about Dr Scruton’s work during COVID-19 and a further post about an alleged assault on Ms Hayes were “clearly designed” to cause hurt and distress. The Sydney Morning Herald had a piece.
A prominent political commentator is asking a court to dismiss a defamation lawsuit from a former member of Parliament who is now leader of a fringe federal political party. A lawyer for Warren Kinsella argued Friday in Ontario Superior Court the suit from People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier is a strategic action intended to silence expression in the public interest. The Globe and Mail had a piece.
On Thursday 17 June hundreds of officers from the Hong Kong police national security department raided the homes of the employees of the Apple Daily newspaper, including editor-in-chef Ryan Law, and the Apple Daily newsroom for the second time in less than a year.
Police said the raid and arrests were due to alleged breaches of the national security law’s clause against foreign collusion, via more than 30 articles calling for international sanctions against Hong Kong and China. Media and rights groups said authorities were using the law to crackdown on a vocal critic. The Guardian had a piece.
Dublin’s Beaumont Hospital is seeking High Court injunctions against activist Gemma O’Doherty over three “clearly defamatory” videos posted on the internet, including one describing the hospital as “a death camp”. The Irish Times had a news.
Italy’s public broadcaster Rai has come under fire for broadcasting leaked CCTV footage of a fatal cable car crash that killed 14 people near Stresa, in the north of Italy. Prosecutors in the city of Verbania – who have opened an investigation into suspected involuntary manslaughter and negligence – said the decision to publish the video was “an absolute inappropriateness”. The Guardian had a piece.
The manager of a New York City Shake Shack restaurant said he was unlawfully detained by police and “taunted” after he was falsely accused last year of poisoning three officers’ milkshakes.
The manager, Marcus Gilliam, is now suing members of the New York Police Department, the City of New York, as well as the unions that represent police and detectives. Gilliam’s lawsuit is seeking damages for alleged defamation and deprivation. NBC News had an article.
Research and Resources
- Data Privacy Considerations for Telehealth Consumers amid COVID-19 Journal of Law and the Biosciences, Volume 7, Issue 1, January-June 2020, lsaa075, https://doi.org/10.1093/jlb/lsaa075, Sharon Bassan, DePaul University
- The Right To Be Forgotten in Digital Age: A Comparative Study of the Indian Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018 & the GDPR, Shimla Law Review, Volume-II (2019), Ashwinee Kumar, LSTS, Faculty of Law and Criminology, VUB
- Privacy in the Age of Contact Tracing: An Analysis of Contact Tracing Apps in Different Statutory and Disease Frameworks, University of Pennsylvania Journal of Law and Innovation, Vol. 5, 2021, Christopher S. Yoo, University of Pennsylvania Law School; University of Pennsylvania – Annenberg School for Communication; University of Pennsylvania – School of Engineering and Applied Science, Apratim Vidyarthi, University of Pennsylvania Law School – Student/Alumni/Adjunct.
- Is Hidden Safe? Location Protection against Machine-Learning Prediction Attacks in Social Networks, MIS Quarterly, 45(2), pp. 821-858 (2021), DOI: 10.25300/MISQ/2021/16266, Xiao Han, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, Leye Wang, Peking University, Weiguo Fan, University of Iowa.
- Unfair Collection: Reclaiming Control of Publicly Available Personal Information from Internet Data Scrapers, Forthcoming, 120 Mich. L. Rev. (2022), Andrew Parks, University of Michigan Law School
Next Week In the Courts
On 21 June 2021 Linden J will hear an application in the case of Alim v Mohamed
The following reserved judgments after a public hearing are outstanding:
Vardy v Rooney, heard 18 June 2021 (Steyn J)
Masarir v Kingdom of Saudi Arabia., heard 15 and 16 June 2021 (Julian Knowles J)
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.