The 2020-2021 legal year in England and Wales ended on Friday 30 July 2021.  The civil courts in England and Wales are now on “Summer Vacation” for 2 months until the Michaelmas term begins on 1 October 2021.

The Inforrm blog is now taking a summer break until the end of September. 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. 

We have now had nearly 6 million page views in the 11½ years we  have been publishing since February 2010.  There have been over 5,500 posts from dozens of different contributors.

There are a few matters to round up from the last week of legal term.

New Claims

There were 9 new claims issued in the Media and Communications List last week: 4 data protection claims,  3 defamation claims, 1 “breach of privacy” claim and 1 “miscellaneous” claim.

Last Week in the Courts

On 26 July 2021 it was announced that Ronan Keating had accepted substantial phone hacking damages from News Group Newspapers.

On the same day Saini J heard an assessment of damages application in the case of Aslani v Sobierajska.  He handed down judgment on 28 July 2021 [2021] EWHC 2127 (QB).  Damages of £40,000 were awarded in respect of  four Instagram publications.  There was a report in the Daily Mail.

On 27 July 2021, Saini J heard an application for summary judgment and/or strike out in relation to claims for breach of confidence, misuse of private information and negligence in the data breach case of Warren v DSG Retail. Judgment was handed down on 30 July 2021 [2021] EWHC 2168 (QB).  The challenged claims were all struck out.  The data protection claim continues and was transferred to the County Court.

On 28 and 29 July 2021 Tipples J heard a trial of preliminary issues in two cases,  Abramovich v HarperCollins and Roseneft v HarperCollins.  Judgment was reserved.  There were reports in the Law Society GazetteThe Guardian and the Press Gazette.

On 28 July 2021, Collins Rice J handed down judgment in the case of Miller & Anor v Turner [2021] EWHC 2135 (QB).  The judge determined the meaning of 16 tweets and a webpage and whether they comprised statements of fact or of opinion.

Other News

In Australia, the Ben Roberts-Smith defamation trial in the Federal Court was postponed until November 2021 due to Sydney Covid crisis.

In Ireland, the national broadcaster RTE has demanded defamation reform after disclosing that it has paid out €7.3 defamation damages since 2013.

Reserved Judgments

The following reserved judgments after a public hearing are outstanding:

Swan v Associated Newspapers, heard 15 July 2021 (Nicklin J)

Pryor v Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust, heard 14 July 2021 (Master Fontaine)

Masarir v Kingdom of Saudi Arabia., heard 15 and 16 June 2021 (Julian Knowles J)

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

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

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)

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.