News: Privacy injunction granted against the Daily Mail, second media privacy injunction of 2015 [Corrected]

27 04 2015

male-female-silhouetteOn 24 April 2015 Mr Justice Warby granted a two claimants a privacy injunction against Associated Newspapers Limited, the publishers of the Daily Mail.  The injunction restrained the threatened publication of information concerning a personal private and confidential relationship between the claimants.

The claimants were anonymised as ZYT and BWE.  The judge gave a short ruling for publication on Bailii (XYT and BWE v Associated Newspapers [2015] EWHC 1162 (QB)).

In relation to the question as to whether there was a reasonable expectation of privacy or confidentiality, the Judge held that

“accepted the claimants’ submission that the fact of their relationship is at the present time an item of information that is both confidential and private. The extent to which it is known appears to be very limited. At this stage I consider that Mr Tomlinson’s submission that the claimants have a right to choose who they tell about the relationship and when is one that is likely to be accepted at trial. I also consider that it is likely that at trial the court would conclude that the defendant is under a duty of confidence in respect of the information. The core of the argument seems to me to relate to the question of breach of duty (in the law of confidence) or the second, balancing, stage of the misuse claim” [12].

On the question of public interest the Judge said

“I am not satisfied that there are, on the evidence presently available on this short notice application, good or reasonable grounds to believe or suspect that the first claimant has engaged in any breach of trust or abuse of his position. The proposition appears speculative. I accept that there is a genuine public interest in debating the ethics of personal relationships within an educational context, and how these should be approached and dealt with. I accept also that it is important for such a debate to be more than an arid theoretical one. There is a legitimate interest in such a debate being informed by concrete examples or illustrations. I do not consider it likely however that at a trial the court would conclude that the facts of and surrounding the relationship between these two claimants are such that it is in the public interest to make those facts known for those purposes” [14].

 In relation to anonymity the Judge said that he had made an order anonymising the parties because he

“considered this to be clearly the appropriate course. To adopt what was Mr Browne’s fall back position, of granting an injunction restraining publication of the information, but permitting disclosure of the parties’ identities would in practice have led to the information becoming public within a short period of time. That is because there is other information in the public domain that would enable an interested observer to piece together the jigsaw without difficulty” [15].

[Correction] In the first version of this post we erroneously described this was the first media privacy injunction of 2015.  As Dr Evan Harris pointed out, this was in fact the second. The first was in without notice order granted in the case of YXB v TNO on 19 February 2015 by Walker J, discharged by Warby J for non-disclosure on 25 March 2015 (YXB v TNO (No 2) [2015] EWHC 826 (QB), see our post here).  There was only one such injunction in 2014 (AMM v News Group [2014] EWHC 4063 (QB), see our post here) and one in 2013 (Rocknroll v News Group Newspapers ([2014] EWHC 24 (Ch)).


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3 responses

27 04 2015
Evan Harris

What about the emergency interim injunction obtained by Rojo (albeit later discharged by Warby J)? http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/QB/2015/826.html If the Rojo injunction “counts” then this one is not the only one in 2015

30 04 2015
INFORRM

You are correct – we have amended the post accordingly. Thank you for drawing this to our attention.

27 04 2015
sdbast

Reblogged this on sdbast.

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