Opinion: “Legal costs reforms will virtually kill off CFAs” – Martin Moore

23 06 2011

The government has published its Legal Aid, Sentencing, and Punishment of Offenders Bill, which includes reforms to civil litigation costs, in particular to Conditional Fee Agreements or ‘No Win No Fee’.

As it stands this aspect of the bill is supposed to achieve two big things: reduce the cost of government civil litigation costs; and reduce the cost of the legal process generally. Read the rest of this entry »

Bar Council Law Reform Committee: Draft Defamation Bill Response – Part 1: Guiding Principles

22 06 2011

The right to freedom of speech ought to be unfettered unless it is deployed in such a way as to cause unwarranted harm.

The core principle underpinning defamation law is that the law will provide a remedy where a claimant has been caused unwarranted harm by the publication of false information. Read the rest of this entry »

Retired High Court judge and former newspaper lawyer launch Early Resolution libel dispute scheme – Judith Townend

21 06 2011

A voluntary but binding libel arbitration process has been launched by the retired High Court judge Sir Charles Gray and the former legal manager of the Times and Sunday Times, Alastair Brett.

The Early Resolution scheme, which will be officially launched to lawyers on Tuesday 21 June, offers parties an alternative to High Court proceedings. Read the rest of this entry »

Law and Media Round Up – 20 June 2011

20 06 2011

In this regular feature we draw attention to the last week’s law and media news and next week’s upcoming events. If readers have any news or events which they would like to draw attention to please add them by way of comments on this post.


Tomorrow’s onset of summer reminds us that the Superinjunction Spring is drawing to a close – with no privacy injunction applications for over a month. We will begin with libel and, unusually, in Scotland where a remarkable settlement was announced. The “News of the World” has paid libel
Read the rest of this entry »

Dominique Strauss-Kahn and French privacy law

19 06 2011

The arrest of the leading French politician and Dominique Strauss-Kahn on a rape charge in the US provided the English press with a heaven sent opportunity to attack the law of privacy.  A representative example was Stephen Glover’s piece in the “Daily Mail”‘ “A sexual satyr, a conspiracy of silence and why we must NEVER have privacy laws like the French“.  Read the rest of this entry »

News: Phone Hacking – More Victims, Adjudication and Inquiry

17 06 2011

Phone hacking was once a secret, surreptitious activity, carried on by private investigators and journalists, using secret techniques to access the voicemail of unsuspecting victims.   Even when the story first broke it was long confined to the pages of the “Guardian” and, later, the “Independent” and the “Financial Times”.   It is now clear that it will not go away.  More victims come to light almost every day.  On Monday 13 June 2011 the footballer Ryan Giggs commenced proceedings against the New of the World. Read the rest of this entry »

Essay: Sir Stephen Sedley on Superinjunctions in the London Review of Books

17 06 2011

Sir Stephen Sedley, recently retired from the Court of Appeal, has written a fascinating piece on the “Superinjunction Spring” in the most recent issue of the London Review of Books.  Entitled the “Goodwin and Giggs Show” it highlights, in particular, the important constitutional issues arising from the “May Events”.   This is the first analysis of these issues from a judicial perspective and should be Read the rest of this entry »

Case Law: Bradley v. Independent Star Newspapers – Libel Jury Verdict Set Aside: Yvonne Moynihan

16 06 2011

Sensationalised articles concerning gangland crime populate tabloid pages in Ireland, even more so than celebrity scandals. Chronicling criminals has been glamorised by journalists such as Paul Williams whose articles satiate the public’s morbid thirst for scoops on the criminal underworld. However, while some nefarious individuals or Read the rest of this entry »

News: Home Affairs Select Committee on Hacking – Phone Company Evidence

15 06 2011

Yesterday three representative of the mobile phone companies gave evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee, chaired by Keith Vaz MP.

They explained that they were first contacted in December 2005 about one potential hacking victim (presumably a member of the Royal Household) and later in 2006 were provided by the police with a list of suspect telephone numbers. Read the rest of this entry »

Case Law: Goodwin v NGN – Privacy, Intrusion and Novelty – Mark Thomson

15 06 2011

On 9 June 2011 Mr Justice Tugendhat handed down judgment in the case of Goodwin v News Group Newspapers (No.3) ([2011] EWHC 1437 (QB)).  This is the latest decision relating to the privacy injunction originally obtained on 1 March 2011 by Sir Fred Goodwin to prevent the publication of stories about an alleged affair.  A public judgment was given at the time in anonymised form (MNB v News Group Newspapers [2011] EWHC 528 (QB)).  On 19 May 2011, following a question in the House of Lords which identified him and the information in issue, Sir Fred Goodwin agreed to the removal of his anonymity (see [2011] EWHC 1309 (QB)). Read the rest of this entry »


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