The Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (Acoba) said former Prime Minister Boris Johnson has broken government rules by failing to adequately consult them about his new job as a columnist with the Daily Mail.

An Acoba spokesperson explained “the Ministerial Code states that ministers must ensure that no new appointments are announced, or taken up, before the committee has been able to provide its advice. An application received 30 minutes before an appointment is announced is a clear breach.” The Media Law Podcast Newscast’s latest episode explains what free speech implications truly apply with Johnson’s new job and his response to the Commons Privilege Committee’s report, which found that he knowingly misled Parliament.

Ofcom, Transport for London (TfL) and Ernst & Young (EY) have confirmed they are the latest victims of the cyber-attack by Russian ransomware group Clop. The firms join British Airways, the BBC and Boots on the list of those affected by the software breach. The mass hack breached software called MOVEit, which is designed to move sensitive files securely and is used by companies around the world. Clop has started to follow through on its threat to begin publishing data of companies that did not email them to begin the negotiations by last Wednesday, 14 June 2023. TechCrunch, BBC and Sky News report the breach.

Barrister Adam Wagner has published his legal opinion on the potential impact of the Public Order Act 1986 (Serious Disruption to the Life of the Community) Regulations 2023 on protest activities. Wagner was instructed by Friends of the Earth. The Guardian coverage can be read here.

Internet and Social Media

Former Facebook data scientist Francis Haugen’s new book argues that social media companies are still not being held accountable for the harms they cause users, especially young people. Haugen previously leaked internal company research to that effect in 2021. Facebook did not respond directly to Haugen’s claims and instead provided CBS “with a list of tools and privacy features they’ve implemented to protect young people.” Haugen said a number of the features were already in place before she leaked company research and their efficacy remains unknown.

The Cyberleagle blog has an article on the platform regulation in the context of the Online Safety Bill.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is paying greater attention to how companies use cookies on websites and how they allow users to configure their settings. In a comment to Mishcon de Reya, the ICO said “having a ‘reject all’ button on a cookies banner that is just as prominent as an ‘accept all’ button helps people to more easily exercise their information rights.” The ICO is closely monitoring how cookie banners are used in the UK and says it will use fine websites where banners breach the law.

The ICO has also called for businesses to address the privacy risks generative AI can bring before rushing to adopt the technology, with tougher checks on whether organisations are compliant with data protection laws.

Data Privacy and Data Protection

The HawkTalk blog has an article summarising a presentation delivered to the Data Protection Forum, which asked why the Data Protection and Digital Information No 2 Bill removes “guard-rails” for AI when the political agenda appears to be in favour of greater protection.

Newspapers Journalism and Regulation

The UK has one of the lowest levels of trust in news as well as one of the highest levels of news avoidance, according to the 2023 Digital News Report from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. The Press Gazette has more information here.


Statements in Open Court and Apologies

On 14 June 2023, TalkTV and Mike Graham published an apology to the refugee and migrants rights charity Migrants Organise in settlement of their defamation claim against the TalkTV presenter and broadcaster. Migrants Organise were also paid “substantial damages” in settlement of the claim. Press Gazette, Doughty Street and Civil Society have more information.

New Issued Cases

There were three defamation (libel and slander) claims, three Breach of Confidence claims, one Data Protection claim and one Norwich Pharmacal Order application filed on the media and communications list last week.

Last Week in the Courts

The trial in the case of Various Claimants v MGN continued before Fancourt J.

On 12 June 2023 Nicklin J dealt with directions in the committal application in Davies v Carter.

On Tuesday 13 June 2023, there was pre-trial review in the case of Gammon v Riley before Nicklin J.

On the same day judgment was handed down by Julian Knowles J in the case of Christodoulides v Christou & Holbech (heard 6 December 2022).

On 13 to 20 June 2023 there will be a trial in the misuse of private information case of Bekoe v LB Islington.

On Wednesday 14 June 2023 there was a hearing in the case of WFZ v BBC before Collins Rice J.  This was adjourned part heard.

On 14 and 15 June 2023 there was a hearing in the data protection case of YSL v Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust before Julian Knowles J.  Judgment was reserved.

On 15 June 2023, the Court of Appeal (Singh, Andrews and Warby LJJ) heard the claimant’s appeal in the case of Wright v McCormack.   Judgment was reserved. The hearing can be seen on YouTube, here and here.

On the same day, judgment was handed down in Nasir Mehmood v Up and Coming TV Ltd [2023] EWHC 1426 (KB) by Heather Williams J. Mr Mehmood was awarded £35,000 in damages for libel. The Doughty Street summary can be read here.

Also on the 15 June 2023, HHJ Lewis handed down judgment on preliminary issues in Coghlan & Anor v Lexlaw Ltd [2023] EWHC 1453 (KB). The defamation element of this claim related to a letter sent between two sets of litigation solicitors.  It was held that the letter was not defamatory of the claimants at common law and the defamation claim dismissed [26-27].

On Friday 16 June 2023 there was a pre-trial review the case of Zhurba v Person(s) Unknown before Nicklin J.   On the same day there was an application in the case of Brachers LLP and another v Lingard before Collins Rice J.

Media Law in Other Jurisdictions


The disgraced former soldier Ben Roberts-Smith has called the judgment that found, on the balance of probabilities, he had committed war crimes a “terrible outcome” in his first public comments since the decision. The Guardian has more information here.

A large Australian law firm hit by the Clop cyberattack, mentioned above, has obtained an injunction from the Supreme Court of NSW preventing hackers from disclosing its stolen information. The firm claims the order has a secondary effect of also preventing media from reporting any details from the data. The Sydney Morning Herald has more information here.

A Sydney judge has thrown out a defamation case brought by a man against a former partner over a Facebook post accusing him of stalking and harassment. The Brisbane Times has more information here.


Spotify, Sony Music and Streamz have brought a challenge against Belgium’s copyright law reform in front of the Constitutional Court. The copyright reform introduced a new, non-waivable right to obtain remuneration from streaming for authors and performers who have assigned their communication to the public right by streaming platforms. IPKat has an article explaining the effect of the reform on the equitable remuneration right for streaming and the legal challenge brought by the streaming platforms.


The Fei Change Dao blog has published a translation of Ding Jiaxi’s Appeal Petition. Jiaxi is a Chinese civil rights activist advocating for political change in China. Ding was one of five dissidents detained after a secret meeting in Fujian.


On 13 January 2023, the European Parliament voted to adopt its annual competition policy report. The report includes a provision appearing to endorse the idea that websites and apps should pay internet service providers for delivering the movies, websites and data that Europeans customers request. Press reports, including from Euractiv and Politico, claim that through this vote the Parliament endorsed the radical proposal by Europe’s largest telecoms to force some of the largest websites to pay fees to every European ISP. The Centre for Internet and Society has a blog piece explaining how these press reports are wrong.

Google’s generative AI tool Bard will not debut in the EU until the company satisfies privacy concerns raised by Ireland’s Data Protection Commission, Politico reports.


On 14 June 2023, Nigeria Data Protection Bill was signed into law. A digital rights lawyer and data protection advocate in Nigeria Solomon Okedara called it the birth of a new era for digital rights in the country. BioMetric update has more information here.

Saint Lucia

On 13 June 2023, the Privy Council handed down judgment in Hilaire v Chastanet [2023] UKPC 22. The central issue in these proceedings was whether the Defamation Act 2013 is imported into the law of Saint Lucia by Article 917A. Held, Article 917A imports both English statute law and English common law into St Lucia [47]. The appellant’s case that such importation is precluded by inconsistencies between specific aspects of English defamation law and the law of Saint Lucia was dismissed [71].

United States

The Evan Law blog has published a summary of McCall v Amazon, No. 22-11725 (11th Cir.), handed down on 12 June 2023. The claimants sought to hold Amazon liable for failing to take down the defendant’s review of its product. Held, section 230 immunised Amazon as the publisher of that information.

Research and Resources

Next Week in the Courts 

On 19 June 2023 Collins Rice J will continue hearing the application in the case of WFZ v BBC.

On 19 and 20 June 2023 Steyn J will hear the harassment case of Clarke v Rose.

On 21 June 2023 there will be a hearing in the defamation case of Naseer v Raja

On  23 June 2023 there will be hearings in the cases of Dube v Warwick and MBR Acres v Curtin.

Reserved Judgments

YSL -v- Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, heard 14-15 June 2023 (Julian Knowles J)

Wright v McCormack, heard 15 June 2023 (Singh, Andrews and Warby LJJ)

Brachers LLP and another v Lingard, heard 16 June 2023 (judge) 

LCG v OVD, heard 25-26 May, 5-8 June 2023 (Collins Rice J)

Ghenavat v Lyons, heard 25 to 26 May 2023 (HHJ Lewis)

Various Claimants v Associated Newspapers, heard 27 to 30 March 2023 (Nicklin J)

 Crosbie v Ley, heard 21 and 22 March 2023 (Julian Knowles J)

 Duke of Sussex v Associated Newspapers Limited, heard 17 March 2023 (Nicklin J)

 Aaronson v Stones, heard 12-15 December 2022 (Julian Knowles J)

This Round Up was compiled by Colette Allen who is the host of Newscast on Dr Thomas Bennett and Professor Paul Wragg’s The Media Law Podcast (@MediaLawPodcast).