Contempt of court: brief legislative update – Alex Bailin QC and Edward Craven

22 04 2014

Houses-of-ParliamentWe have previously blogged on the Law Commission’s Consultation regarding reform of Contempt of Court and its Report on juror contempt. The Commission also recently published its follow-up Report on publication contempt. Read the rest of this entry »





Case Comment: R (M) v Parole Board – No anonymity for convicted child killer – Edward Craven

29 05 2013

David McGreavyIn R (M) v Parole Board [2013] EWHC 1360 the High Court held the media should be free to identify a convicted murderer who brought judicial review proceedings challenging a Parole Board decision that he must remain in closed prison conditions. The case is an example of the need for judicial vigilance whenever parties agree that anonymity is appropriate. Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law: Waterson v Lloyd, honest comment and political discussion – Edward Craven

2 03 2013

Nigel Waterson MPOn 28 February 2013 the Court of Appeal delivered judgment in Waterson v Lloyd [2013] EWCA Civ 136. The decision grapples, once again, with the elusive distinction between fact and comment in the law of defamation. By a majority, the Court of Appeal held that publications by a political candidate criticizing his opponent’s ‘scandalous’ parliamentary expenses claims were statements of comment, rather than statements of fact. Read the rest of this entry »





Prosecuting social media: the DPP’s interim guidelines – Alex Bailin QC and Edward Craven

23 12 2012

TwitterThe ubiquity of social media presents new challenges for law enforcement and free speech. The Leveson Report described the internet as an ‘ethical vacuum’ where ‘bloggers and others may, if they choose, act with impunity’. But this picture of an unregulated domain of free expression is at odds with recent prosecutions for messages posted on Twitter, Facebook and other social media websites. Read the rest of this entry »





Leveson Report: Distortion of the debate – Edward Craven

18 12 2012

leveson-inquiry-distortedConfusion and obfuscation are distorting the debate about the future of press regulation in the UK. At the heart of this distortion lie misunderstandings – and in some cases intentional misrepresentations – of what the Leveson Report actually recommends. As a result, advocates on both sides are arguing at cross-purposes, while the substance of the Leveson proposals is in danger of being drowned out by a welter of misinformation. Read the rest of this entry »





Leveson: One last chance for press self-regulation? A summary of the proposals – Edward Craven

30 11 2012

leveson_inquiry_logo_130After eight months of hearings, 337 live witnesses and thousands of pages of written evidence and submissions, Lord Justice Leveson has delivered his much anticipated report on the culture, practices and ethics of the press. As expected, the Leveson Report contains damning criticisms of the press and the failure of the current system of self-regulation. Read the rest of this entry »





Prosecuting the Media: The DPP’s final guidelines – Alex Bailin QC and Edward Craven

26 09 2012

On 13 September 2012 the Director of Public Prosecutions published final Guidelines for prosecutors on assessing the public interest in cases affecting the media. The guidelines set out the approach that the CPS will take to prosecutorial decisions that affect the media. In particular, they provide guidance to prosecutors on how to decide whether a prosecution is in the public interest. Read the rest of this entry »





Case Comment: Bento v The Chief Constable of Bedfordshire Police, Libel damages for murder allegation – Edward Craven

20 07 2012

Allegations of murder are usually tried in the criminal courts. The recent libel claim in Bento v The Chief Constable of Bedfordshire Police [2012] EWHC 1525 (QB) is a striking exception. The case had all the ingredients of a legal thriller – a mysterious death; a quashed murder conviction; a suspect determined to clear his name and a police force convinced of his guilt. It also gave rise to interesting questions of defamation law. Read the rest of this entry »