Law and Media Round Up – 27 October 2014

27 10 2014

Media and Law RoundupThe settlement of the only privacy trial listed for this legal term was announced yesterday. Express Newspapers has apologised unreservedly and paid damages to Mike Tindall, husband of Zara Phillips.  As we reported  in our Michaelmas Round Up, the case was due to be tried on 10 November 2014.

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Trolls, threats, the law and deterrence – Paul Bernal

26 10 2014

trollhunter600“Internet trolls face up to two years in jail under new laws” screamed the headline on the BBC’s website, after Chris Grayling decided to “take a stand against a baying cyber-mob”. It’s not the first time that so-called ‘trolls’ have been made the subject of a government ‘stand’ – and a media furore. This particular one arose after TV presenter Chloë Madeley suffered online abuse – that abuse itself triggered by the comments about rape made by her mother, Judy Finnigan, also a TV presenter, on Loose Women. Read the rest of this entry »





United States: Defamation, Facebook and the Seventh-Graders – Susan Brenner

25 10 2014

SWW-classroom1This post examines a recent opinion which the Court of Appeals of Georgia issued in a civil case: Boston v. Athearn, 2014 WL 5068649 (2013). This was a case in which Alexandria Boston (`Alex’), a minor, through her parents Amy and Christopher Boston, brought an action againt Dustin Athearn (‘Dustin’), a minor, his parents, Sandra and Michael Athearn, and other defendants. Read the rest of this entry »





Judicial Statistics: 2013 Defamation claims down 24%, no privacy injunctions Jan-June 2014

24 10 2014

ministry-of-justiceWe have, once again belatedly, caught up with the most recent annual Judicial Statistics – those for 2013.  These show a substantial decrease in the number of issued defamation claims, down 24% from 2012.  In 2013 there were 142 issued defamation claims in London (where the large majority of claims are made) – as opposed to 186 in 2012.  This is the lowest annual figure since 2002 and appears to be the second lowest of all time. Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law, Northern Ireland, Loughran v. Century Newspapers, Statutory Qualified Privilege and Malice – Olivia O’Kane

24 10 2014

27358-sir-gerry-loughran-bwIn the case of Loughran v Century Newspapers ([2014] NICA 26) the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal considered a case in which a newspaper relied on the Curistan principle in relation to statutory qualified privilege and decided that a pleaded case of malice was not fit to go to the jury. Read the rest of this entry »





Google, Data Protection and de-indexing: the misconceived attempt to exempt Google.com

23 10 2014

GoogleGoogle has recently confirmed that it is refusing to extend its “de-indexing” procedures following the Google Spain decision to Google.com.  This position is legally indefensible and is likely to be challenged in an EU court in the near future. Read the rest of this entry »





The Times, Police Hacking and the Loophole that never was – Evan Harris

22 10 2014

The_Times_20_10_2014On 20 October 2014 The Times had an alarming front page story with the headline “Police use loophole to hack phones and email” [£]. It was said that the police were “hacking” into hundreds of people’s voicemails, text messages and emails, using a “loophole” in surveillance laws. The complaint was that, instead of obtaining a warrant from the Home Secretary, the police were “getting round the rules” – by obtaining a production order from a Judge. Read the rest of this entry »








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