Today is the last day of the Trinity Legal Term and the end of the legal year. The Michaelmas Term will begin on 2 October 2023. This is the last weekly round up of the legal year. The next round up will be at the beginning of next term.
Prince Harry’s claim against The Sun publisher News Group Newspapers will proceed to a full trial in the High Court, Duke of Sussex v News Group Newspapers Ltd  EWHC 1944 (Ch). Fancourt J allowed the litigation against NGN to proceed on Prince Harry’s claims concerning unlawful intrusions – such as the alleged use of private investigators and blagging by the News of the World and The Sun. However, Prince Harry’s claims of voicemail interception and phone hacking at The Sun and the now-defunct News of the World will not be brought to trial as they were brought beyond the limitation period. Hacked Off provides coverage and analysis here and here. Press Gazette, Guardian, BBC and the Evening Standard have more information.
On 26 July 2023, the Court of Appeal (Singh, Andrews and Warby LJJ) ruled that the trial judge in Wright v McCormack  EWHC 2068 (QB) was entitled to award only nominal damages to Dr. Craig Wright, despite finding that Peter McCormack had caused serious damage to his reputation, Wright v McCormack  EWCA Civ 892. Previous cost orders demanding that McCormack pay Dr. Wright’s pre-trial costs, which are expected to be more than £1 million, are unaffected. CoinGeek has more information.
The jailed reality TV star Stephen Bear has been ordered to pay £207,900 in damages to his ex-girlfriend and reality TV star Georgia Harrison for misusing her private information by secretly filming their sexual encounter and uploading it online to OnlyFans. The award constituted £120,000 in general and aggravated damages and £87,900 in special damages. This is the highest ever damages award ordered in an image-based abuse case, 5RB reports.
Data Privacy and Data Protection
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has circulated a warning to members of the banking and financial services association UK Finance over unlawful financial data sharing. The warning stems from allegations that NatWest Bank shared account details belonging to Nigel Farage with the media.
Apple may pull its iMessage and FaceTime services in the UK over proposed surveillance changes within the Investigatory Powers Act 2016. Potential amendments to the law would allow the Home Office to bypass end-to-end encryption employed by Apple messaging services. Apple has also previously voiced encryption concerns related to the proposed Online Safety Bill, which carries similar encryption overrides. The Guardian has more information here.
Privacy International has published its response to the UK Government consultation’s on Technical Capabilities Notices.
- 17284-23 MacMillan v spectator.co.uk, 1 Accuracy (2021), No breach, after investigation
- 16423-23 Green v The Sunday Times, 12 Discrimination (2021), 2 Privacy (2021), 1 Accuracy (2021), 3 Harassment (2021), No breach – after investigation
- 15588-23 Palin v liverpoolecho.co.uk, 1 Accuracy (2021), 2 Privacy (2021), 3 Harassment (2021), 9 Reporting of crime (2021, Breach – sanction: action as offered by publication
- 17771-23 Nassiri v falmouthpacket.co.uk, 2 Privacy (2021), 6 Children (2021), No breach – after investigation
- 16787-23 Busby v Loughborough Echo, 1 Accuracy (2021), No breach – after investigation
- 16626-23 Busby v Leicester Mercury, 1 Accuracy (2021), No breach – after investigation
Statements in Open Court and Apologies
New Issued Cases
There was one breach of privacy claim, one defamation claim and one miscellaneous claim filed on the media and communications list last week.
Last Week in the Courts
The trial in the harassment case of Ijaz v Manan continued before Linden J on 24 to 27 July 2023.
As mentioned above, on 25 July 2023, the Court of Appeal (Dingemans, Birss and Warby LJJ) granted permission to Dyson to sue Channel 4 News for libel, Dyson Technology Ltd & Anor v Channel Four Television Corporation & Anor  EWCA Civ 884.
On 25 July 2023, the Court of Appeal (Dingemans, Birss and Warby LJJ) allowed an appeal by Dyson’s companies against Nicklin J’s decison on reference, Dyson Technology Ltd & Anor v Channel Four Television Corporation & Anor  EWCA Civ 884. Dyson Technology Ltd and Dyson Ltd appealed a ruling in October that said the broadcast was not centered on the companies, nor on James Dyson himself, and therefore they could not pursue a libel claim against the broadcaster. The Court held that the broadcast “had at least the theme that Dyson was a leading British company which sold products manufactured by ATA in Malaysia whose employees suffered abuse and inhuman working conditions and Dyson should have known what was happening and stopped it”. Reuters, Inforrm and the Press Gazette have more information.
On the same day there was a directions hearing in the case of Kent Police v Taylor before Nicklin J.
As mentioned above, on 26 July 2023 the Court of Appeal (Singh, Andrews and Warby LJJ) dismissed the appeal in Wright v McCormack  EWHC 2068 (QB).
On Thursday 27 July 2023 there were hearings in the libel cases of Jusan Technologies Ltd v. (1) The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (2) Telegraph Media Group Ltd and Jusan Technologies Ltd v. Open Democracy Ltd before Nicklin J.
On the same day, Tipples J handed down judgment on meaning in Adams v Associated Newspapers  EWHC 1940 (KB). The natural and ordinary meaning of the articles complained of is set out at paragraph  as “The claimant has sent her daughter, Nicola Adams, drunken, insulting and hurtful text messages and, by sending these abusive messages to her daughter, the claimant has perpetuated, in a different form, the abuse Nicola Adams suffered at the hands of her father when she was a child, and that has ruined her relationship with her daughter.” The Press Gazette has more information here.
Media Law in Other Jurisdictions
On 24 July 2023, judgment was handed down by McNaughton J in Baini v Liberal Party of Australia NSW Division & Anor  NSWSC 837. The court held that even though a tort of invasion of privacy has not yet clearly emerged in Australia, the plaintiff should be able to reformulate her privacy claim.
The defamation trial of former commander Heston Russell has begun, with ABC accused of “reckless reporting.” Russell is suing the ABC over two online news articles, a television news item and a radio broadcast that relate to the alleged actions in Afghanistan in 2012 of the November platoon, which Russell commanded. The Guardian has more information here.
The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) has finalised The Provisional Administrative Measures of Generative Artificial Intelligence Services (Generative AI Measures), which will take effect from 15 August 2023. The Generative AI Measures, along with the likely enactment of the Artificial Intelligence Law in the 2023 legislative year, will have a significant impact on the development, provision and use of AI services in China. The Data Protection Report has more information here.
The privacy rights group NOYB submitted a complaint to Spain’s data protection authority, the Agencia Española de Protección de Datos, alleging Ireland airline Ryanair violated the EU General Data Protection Regulation with its facial recognition use. NOYB claimed the airline’s biometric verification process in flight bookings does not have a legal basis for processing, Reuters reports.
The Seoul Western District Court has found the perpetrator of malicious comments toward artist 2PM Junho guilty of defamation and fined them 3 million won ($2342.20 USD). The label JYP Entertainment has announced they will be taking a stricter stance against malicious commenters, allKpop reports.
A federal judge has dismissed a defamation lawsuit filed by former President Donald Trump against CNN. Trump argued the cable network had unfairly attacked him in recent years. The Guardian, Forbes, BBC and Sky News have more information.
Research and Resources
- Tanwar, Parth and Poply, Jaispriya, An Analysis of the Impact of Indian IT Laws on Media Law: A Study of the Implication for Freedom of Expression and Privacy in the Digital Age (2023), O.P. Jindal Global University – Jindal Global Law School
- Grochowski, Mateusz, Freedom of Speech, Consumer Protection and the Duty to Contract (2023) in Ch. Mak, B. Kas (eds.), Civil Courts and the European Polity. The Constitutional Role of Private Law Adjudication in Europe, Oxford: Hart Publishing
- Norris, Pippa, Cancel culture: Heterodox self-censorship or the curious case of the dog-which-didn’t-bark (2023), HKS Working Paper No. RWP23-020
- Tomlinson, Bill and Patterson, Donald and Torrance, Andrew W., Turning Fake Data into Fake News: The A.I. Training Set as a Trojan Horse of Misinformation (2023), San Diego Law Journal, Forthcoming
- Pardieck, Andrew, Privacy Matters: Data Breach Litigation in Japan (2023), Southern Illinois University School of Law
- Warner, Richard and Sloan, Robert H., How AI Unfairly Tilts the Playing Field: Privacy, Fairness, and Risk Shadows (2023), University of Illinois at Chicago
- Camilleri, Mark, Artificial Intelligence Governance: Ethical Considerations and Implications for Social Responsibility (2023). Expert Systems 2023
Next Week in the Courts
We are not aware of any media law cases listed for hearing this week.
Ijaz v Manan heard 19 to 27 July 2023 (Linden J)
Harcombe v Associated Newspapers, heard 3 to 7 and 10 to 11 July 2023 (Nicklin J)
YSL v Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, heard 14-15 June 2023 (Julian Knowles J)
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)
MBR Acres v FREE THE MBR BEAGLES, heard 24-28 April 2023, 2-5, 9, 11-12, 15, 17-18, 22-23 May 2023 (Nicklin J)
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).