The last week of January brought a number of interesting media law developments, following a fairly quiet start to 2013. Inforrm has picked up pace too, with posts covering a range of noteworthy judgments (see below).
A cross-party group of leading House of Lords backbenchers have moved ‘Leveson amendments’ to be taken at the Report Stage of the Defamation Bill on Tuesday 5 February 2013. There was an Inforrm post about this.
The Australian radio DJs involved in the prank call to the hospital treating the Duchess of Cambridge will not face charges in connection with the death of a nurse who answered their call, the CPS has decided. There was a story about this in the Daily Telegraph.
Detective Chief Inspector April Casburn was sentenced to prison for 15 months after she was convicted of misconduct in public office for offering to sell information to the News of the World (NotW) [BBC].
Statements in Open Court and Apologies
There was a statement in open court in the case of Campbell v Telegraph Media. The Daily Telegraph apologised and paid “substantial” libel damages to Naomi Campbell over an article that wrongly claimed she organised an elephant polo tournament in India [Guardian]. There was an Inforrm post about this statement.
The long running, international litigation between Elena Ambrosiadou and Martin Coward finally came to an end with Mr Coward agreeing to submit to a permanent injunction and to pay £50,000 in damages to settle the privacy proceedings brought against him by his former wife. There was a post by Sara Mansoori on Inforrm. A Statement in Open Court [PDF] recording the terms of settlement was read before Mr Justice Tugendhat in the High Court on 31 January 2013. (see: Ambrosiadou v Coward  EWHC 58 (QB) (25 January 2013)).
A Statement in Open Court [PDF] was read before Mr Justice Tugendhat on 31 January 2013 in Qadir v Associated Newspapers (see below).
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Journalism and regulation
There are no new adjudications to report, but a number of resolved PCC complaints:
Wonga v Daily Mirror, Clause 1, 01/02/2013; Mrs Julia Roebuck v Metro, Clause 1, 31/01/2013; Mrs Mhairi Forbes v The Scottish Sun, Clause 1, 31/01/2013; Peter Howard v The Sunday Times, Clause 1, 31/01/2013; Ms Kate Johns v Eastern Daily Press, Clause 1, 31/01/2013; Mr David Clarke v i, Clause 1, 31/01/2013; Robin Tillbrook, Chairman of the English Democrats Party v The Sunday Times, Clause 1, 31/01/2013; A man v The Sun, Clauses 1, 3, 31/01/2013; Mrs Caroline Bagshaw v The Sun; Clause 4, 31/01/2013; Lesley Shaw v Daily Record, Clauses 1, 3, 31/01/2013; Ms Lesley Shaw v Metro, Clauses 1, 3, 31/01/2013; John Brown MP v The Mail on Sunday, Clause 1, 29/01/2013; Mrs Agnes Gwynn v Daily Mirror, Clause 1, 28/01/2013.
Richard Peppiatt, the journalist who resigned from the Daily Star with an explosive open letter, has added some more dates to his UK tour, here, and also released the debut episode of The Spike on YouTube, entitled “Prince Harry, Paedophiles & Pubic Lice.”
News attention on Conservative MP Adam Afriyie has led to some discussion around his news operation Adfero – see, for example, former employee Lanre Bakare here.
Research & resources
- Report: John Sheridan talk – ‘Legislation as Data’ [Indigo Trust]
- CREATe launch: Creativity, Regulation, Enterprise and Technology / Working Paper No. 1: What Constitutes Evidence for Copyright Policy?
- Thought Out inaugural lecture on propaganda given at UEA London, 5 December 2012 – ‘A Primer on Propoganda’, Heather Brooke
- Fabrizio Cafaggi & Federica Casarosa, Research team of the European University Institute (EUI), ‘Private regulation, freedom of expression and journalism: Towards a European approach?’ EUI Working Papers, Law 2012/20 [PDF]
In the Courts
Former banker Irfan Qadir has been awarded substantial damages at the conclusion of his long-running libel action against Associated Newspapers, publisher of the Mail on Sunday, following the publication of two defamatory articles in May and June 2011. The newspaper also apologised in Court in respect of the article (see Christopher Hutchings and Callum Galbraith, Inforrm).
Sylvia Henry, the social worker who successfully sued The Sun for defamation, can recover some or potentially all of her costs which went over the approved budget for the proceedings, the Court of Appeal has held (Henry v News Group Newspapers Ltd  EWCA Civ 19 (28 January 2013)) [Inforrm / Guardian / Out-law.com / Litigation Futures].
On 28 January 2013, Mr Justice Eady gave judgment in the case of Khalil v Barakat ( EWHC 85 (QB)). He refused to disapply the limitation period and, as a result, struck out the claims.
On 31 January 2013 there was a pre-trial review in the case of Thompson v James. This libel case is listed to be tried by a judge and jury on 11 February 2013.
On 1 February 2013, Mr Justice Tugendhat gave judgment in the case of Makudi v Baron Triesman ( EWHC 142 (QB)), He dismissed a libel claim brought by a Thai football official on the basis that there was a defence of qualified privilege and no case on malice fit to go to a jury.
8 February 2013, all day, Conference: Media policy post-Leveson, Bournemouth University.
14 February 2013, 6.30pm, Live from Downing Street: The inside story of power, politics and the media, LSE public lecture – Nick Robinson, Old Theatre, Old Building, LSE.
15 February 2013, 7pm, Screening: Reportero + Q&A (with director Bernardo Ruiz), Frontline Club, London.
20 February 2013, 6pm, The Leveson Inquiry: Trauma or Catharsis? Professor George Brock. Barnard’s Inn Hall, London.
26 February 2013, 6pm, ‘After Leveson’ – Debate & Book Launch, The Media Society, TVT, 578-586 Chiswick High Rd, W4 5RP, London.
27 February 2013, 7pm, On the media: Unprepared, inexperienced and in a war zone, Frontline Club, London.
21-22 March 2013, Internet Domain Names: from Registration to Dispute Resolution, Academy of European Law (ERA), Trier, Germany.
5 April 2013, Polis Journalism Conference, LSE, London.
Know of any media law events happening in the next few months? Please let Inforrm know: email@example.com.
Media Law in Other Jurisdictions
The long running libel claim brought by journalist Lesley Hughes against B’nai Brith, the Canadian Jewish Congress and Conservative MP Peter Kent in respect of an allegation of anti-semitism has been settled on the basis of a public statement that she is not an anti-semtie. There is a CBC News report on the settlement.
A High Court judge Kato van Niekerk has reserved her judgement on a defamation claim in which a presidential pilot, Alois Nyandoro, is suing The Namibian for N$500 000 in connection with an article which was published in the newspaper nearly three years ago. There is a report in the Namibian.
Could ‘liking’ a Facebook page constitute criminal libel? That question was discussed in the Supreme Court’s consideration of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 [Inquirer Technology].
The ECtHR has held that a Turkish court’s decision to ban the publication of a number of newspapers for periods ranging from 15 days to a month was a breach of the right to freedom of expression under Article 10 [PA Media Lawyer] (Güdenoğlu and Others v. Turkey; Applications nos. 42599/08, 30873/09, 38775/09, 38778/09, 40899/09, 40905/09, 43404/09, 44024/09, 44025/09, 47858/09, 53653/09, 5431/10 and 8571/10, 29 January 2013).
Two recent defamation cases in California and Virginia “highlight the risks involved in suing former customers or clients for defamation based on the posting of negative online reviews on Internet review websites such as AngiesList.com and Yelp.com” [Lexology].
In Texas, a jury awarded a couple who were accused anonymously on the internet of being sexual deviants, molesters, and drug dealers defamation damages in the total sum of US13 million.
Next week in the courts
On 5 and 6 February 2013 there is an application for an order for committal in the case of McCann v Bennett. This was the subject of a judgment on 24 October 2012, ( EWHC 2876 (QB)).
On 5 February 2013, the Court of Appeal will hear an application for permission to appeal in the case of McGrath v Dawkins. Details can be found on Case Tracker.
Next week in Parliament
Tuesday 5 February 2013, 8.55am & 2pm, Crime and Courts Bill [HL] Committee. Subject: to consider the Bill. Location: Committee Room 12, Palace of Westminster.
Tuesday 5 February 2013, 8.55am & 2pm, Justice and Security Bill [HL] Committee, Subject: to consider the Bill. Location: Committee Room 10, Palace of Westminster.
Tuesday 5 February 2013, 9.30am, House of Commons Justice select committee. Subject: The work of the Information Commissioner’s Office. Witness(es): Christopher Graham, Information Commissioner, David Smith, Deputy Commissioner and Director of Data Protection and Graham Smith, Deputy Commissioner and Director of Freedom of Information. Location: The Wilson Room, Portcullis House.
Tuesday 5 February 2013, 10.30am, House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport select committee. Subject: Regulation of the press. Witness(es): Press Council of Ireland and Irish Press Ombudsman; Hacked Off. Location: The Thatcher Room, Portcullis House.
Tuesday 5 February 2013, 2.3opm, Legislation, Defamation Bill – Report stage – Lord McNally, House of Lords.
Tuesday 5 February 2013, 3.15pm, Communications select committee, Subject: Media Convergence. Witness(es): (at 3.30pm) Mr Peter Johnson, CEO, and Ms Ruth Evans, Chair, ATVOD; (at 4.30pm) Mr Julian McGougan, Head of Public Policy, and Ms Wendy McMillan, Director of Group Strategy & Business Development, Arqiva. Location: Committee Room 2, Palace of Westminster.
Tuesday 5 February 2013, 3.15pm, House of Commons Home Affairs select committee, Subject: Undercover policing. Witness(es): Harriet Wistrich, Solicitor, Birnberg Peirce & Partners, Jules Carey, Solicitor, Tuckers Solicitors and Marian Ellingworth, Solicitor, Tuckers Solicitors; Paul Lewis, The Guardian. Location: Room 15, Palace of Westminster.
Tuesday 5 February 2013, 5.05pm, Joint Committee on Parliamentary Privilege. Subject: Parliamentary Privilege. Witness(es): Sir Malcolm Jack; John Hemming MP; The Press Association and BBC. Location: 4A, House of Commons.
Thursday 7 February 2013, 11.30am & 2pm, Crime and Courts Bill [HL] Committee, Subject: to consider the Bill, Location: Committee Room 12, Palace of Westminster.
Thursday 7 February 2013, 11.30am & 2pm, Justice and Security Bill [HL] Committee, Subject: to consider the Bill. Location: Committee Room 10, Palace of Westminster.
The following reserved judgments after public hearings remain outstanding:
Iqbal v. Mansoor, heard 31 October 2012 (Rix, Etherton and Lewison LJJ)
Tamiz v. Google, heard 3 and 4 December 2012 (Master of the Rolls, Richards and Sullivan LJJ)
Citation PLC v. Ellis Whittam Limited, heard 5 December 2012 (Laws, Arden and Tomlinson LJJ)
Rothschild v. Associated Newspapers heard 12 and 13 December 2012 (Laws, McCombe LJJ and Eady J)
Waterson v. Lloyd & Anor heard 17 and 18 December 2012 (Laws, Richards and McCombe LJJ)
Tesla Motors Limited & anr v. British Broadcasting Corporation, heard 15-16 January 2013 (Maurice Kay, Moore-Bick and Rimer LJJ)
Also on Inforrm last week
- Inforrm Media Law Quiz of the Year, 2012 – The Answers and the Result
- Hacked Off: Our politicians are not Leveson-compliant – Brian Cathcart
- Google, privacy and a new kind of lawsuit – Paul Bernal
- Ireland: I will always know what you did last Summer, Mr Cowen – Eoin O’Dell
- Leveson and Media Policy: A Lost Opportunity? – Damian Tambini
- Case Law: Graiseley Properties v Barclays Bank, No anonymity in LIBOR litigation, Article 8 not considered – Lorna Skinner
- Leveson’s Arbitration Scheme: not ideal, but workable – Ned Beale
- Journalisted weekly, week ending 27 January 2013, Cameron’s speech, Andy Murray and Holocaust row
- Case Law, Court of Human Rights, OOO Ivpress v Russia, Defamation judgments breached Article 10
- News: Naomi Campbell wins “Elephant Polo” libel claim against the Telegraph
- Case Law: Henry v News Group, The Jackson Reforms are Alive and Well – James Heath
- News: Mail on Sunday to pay substantial libel damages to former banker – Christopher Hutchings and Callum Galbraith
- News: News International to close Phone Hacking Compensation Scheme in April
- Case Law: Ambrosiadou v Coward: Final Injunctions and Third Parties – Sara Mansoori
- News: Leading Lords Backbenchers put down “Leveson amendments” to Defamation Bill – Mark Thomson
- It’s not about what Mr Cowen did last summer, it’s about a fundamental right to privacy and accuracy that affects us all – Paul Tweed
This week’s Round Up was compiled for Inforrm by Judith Townend, a freelance journalist and PhD researcher examining legal restraints on the media, who runs the Meeja Law blog. She is @jtownend on Twitter. Please send suggestions, tips and event listings for inclusion in future round ups to firstname.lastname@example.org.