Meghan Markle, Ben Stokes, Gareth Thomas: three reasons why UK press needs help to understand ‘public interest’ – Alexandros Antoniou

10 10 2019

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have announced their intention to launch legal action against the Mail on Sunday for publishing a private handwritten letter the Duchess had sent to her estranged father. Prince Harry said in a statement: “I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces.” Read the rest of this entry »





Did The Guardian misuse Boris Johnson’s private information, and could he sue? – Zoe McCallum

25 06 2019

The newspapers are once again replete with Boris Johnson’s private life. Last weekend he rowed loudly with his girlfriend. Neighbours overheard. She shouted “get off me”, “get out of my flat”, “you’re spoilt”, “you have no care for money or anything”.  He shouted “get off my f***ing laptop”. Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law: Serafin v Malkiewicz, Public Interest Defence Considered Again, And Judicial Unfairness – Samuel Rowe

14 06 2019

On 17 May 2019, the Court of Appeal handed down its decision in Serafin v Malkiewicz & Ors ([2019] EWCA Civ 852).  The appeal concerned, amongst other things, the correct application of the ‘public interest’ defence under s.4 of the Defamation Act 2013. Read the rest of this entry »





A closer look at the public interest defence – Jessica Lovell

3 04 2019

Section 4 of the Defamation Act 2013 (“the Act”) gives defendants who have published material concerning matters of public interest a defence to an action for defamation.  The archetypal defendant in this context would usually be a professional journalist who has published a piece of investigative journalism.

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Citizen journalists, standards of care, and the public interest defence in defamation – Jacob Rowbottom

18 12 2018

The public interest defence under section 4 of the Defamation Act 2013 replaced the old defence of Reynolds privilege. A number of cases have since established that the old criteria for responsible journalism under Reynolds is still relevant when assessing the reasonable belief requirement of the new defence. Read the rest of this entry »





Why Sir Cliff Richard’s case was rightly decided: Part 2: The public interest balance – Thomas Bennett

2 08 2018

This critique follows on from my previous post, in which I responded to Paul Wragg’s criticism of the manner in which the judge in Richard v BBC dealt with the first stage of the claim – whether Richard had a “reasonable expectation of privacy” in respect of the information broadcast about him. Read the rest of this entry »





Australia: what is public interest journalism? – Andrea Carson

15 06 2017

Public interest journalism could be considered the antithesis of media’s darker side, which includes fake news, propaganda, censorship and voyeurism. The outcomes of public interest reporting can expose corruption, launch royal commissions, remove improper politicians from office, and jail wrongdoers. Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law: Economou v de Freitas, Is it interesting? New judgment considers the scope of the ‘public interest’ defence – Oliver Lock

28 09 2016

EconomouThe case of Economou v de Freitas ([2016] EWHC 1853 (QB)) was the first case to substantively consider in detail the new “public interest” defence since the Defamation Act 2013 came into force, clarifying that the Court will place a great deal of weight on whether the Defendant “reasonably believed” the publication was in the public interest and not just on whether it was a general matter of public interest. Read the rest of this entry »





Keith Vaz, an outbreak of morality? Pull the other one – Brian Cathcart

9 09 2016

keith-vazPicture this. You are in the newsroom of a tabloid national paper and a reporter has just rushed up to the editor.

Reporter – ’Boss! I have shocking news. I have evidence that a senior backbencher has paid for sex!’ Read the rest of this entry »





Keith Vaz, the Sunday Mirror and the Public Interest: must politicians live by different standards?

5 09 2016

Keith-Vaz-FrontpageOn Sunday 4 September 2016 the Sunday Mirror ran an exclusive concerning Labour MP Keith Vaz.  The headline “Labour MP Keith Vaz and the Prostitutes at His Flat” occupied most of the front page and several  inside pages of the newspaper. Read the rest of this entry »