IPSO Committee betrays its absolute lack of independence via its front-page policy – Jonathan Coad

15 08 2018

In a recent adjudication of a complaint about an errant front-page story published by the Daily Mail misreporting a court award of compensation to a victim of unlawful imprisonment and ill treatment by British armed forces, IPSO has set out its rationale for effectively ruling out the correction of front-page articles via the front page.  Read the rest of this entry »





Privacy Cliff’s courageous battle with the BBC brings the right outcome – Jonathan Coad

21 07 2018

The trial judge (Mr Justice Mann) in Cliff Richard’s successful privacy claim against the BBC ([2018] EWHC 1837 (Ch)) has not seen the best side of the British media. In 2015 he presided over the phone hacking trial brought by victims against the Mirror newspaper group, Gulati v MGN.  Read the rest of this entry »





Who are the true defenders of free speech and who are its real foes? – Jonathan Coad

7 03 2018

When in 1991 I qualified I into a well-known claimant media practice I was fortunate enough to find on my desk on the first day that I arrived a file containing a libel action being brought against London Weekend Television (by whom my new firm had just been instructed). Read the rest of this entry »





The General Election: a further test for IPSO which it will fail – Jonathan Coad

25 04 2017

Almost all the most powerful elements of Fleet Street will line up behind Mrs May in the run-up to the next election – and indeed they have already begun the process of doing so. As for the voting public, they are reliant on (inter alia) Fleet Street to help them make their voting decisions. The grandees of Fleet Street will be considering whether their titles are likely to be held to account in a way that they care about if it misleads voting public on key electoral issues.  The answer to that question is; almost certainly not. Read the rest of this entry »





The Supreme Court decision in Flood, Miller and Frost: a response to Keith Mathieson from a lawyer who acts for both claimants and defendants – Jonathan Coad

13 04 2017

In his piece on Inforrm yesterday, Keith Mathieson begins by describing the use of CFAs in cases against the media as a “scandal”. Evidently the Supreme Court did not agree with him – unanimously. One of the titles for whom he acts has already described judges with whom they disagree as “Enemies of the people”, so I suppose the judges can count themselves lucky not to have been attacked in similar terms. Read the rest of this entry »





Fake News about Fake News, Part 2 – Jonathan Coad

2 04 2017

There are several other reasons why the decision of the House of Lords in Reynolds v Times Newspapers was aberrant.  Transferring the risk from huge publishers like Associated Newspapers and News International for publishing false and defamatory material on to modestly remunerated public servants is such as police and army officers is extraordinary enough. Read the rest of this entry »





Fake News about Fake News, Part 1 – Jonathan Coad

1 04 2017

For a media lawyer who has been battling “fake news” for his entire career – as well as robustly defending good investigatory journalism – there is a rich irony that the Culture Media and Sport Committee of the House of Commons is belatedly to take an interest in fake news and is engaging in a public consultation. Read the rest of this entry »