The Inforrm blog is taking a summer break until the end of September. We thank all our readers and contributors who have supported us over the past year. Posting will continue over the summer but will not be as regular as normal.
As we mentioned on a post last week, we have now had over 3 million page views since February 2010. We have had 2,622 posts from dozens of contributors. Over the past four years we have sought to cover the full range of media and law issues – from the “libel reform” debate, through “super injunction spring” and phone hacking firestorm” into issues of media regulation and the impact of the Defamation Act 2013.
In our Summer Break 2011 post we suggested that privacy was the topic of the first few months of 2011 – ending with the report of Lord Neuberger’s Committee on Super-Injunctions – “Super-Injunctions, Anonymised Injunctions and Open Justice” (discussed in a post at the time) and then the extraordinary period of “May Madness“. We went on to deal with the remarkable speed with which phone hacking broke out of its broadsheet ghetto and came to dominate the news agenda and the establishment of the Leveson Inquiry.
In our Summer Break 2012 post we reported that the Leveson Inquiry had dominated the agenda for the previous 12 months, noting that after “super-injunction spring” there was a dramatic decline in privacy injunctions.
The August 2013 we noted that the previous 12 months had been dominated by the “”War of Leveson’s Report” – with 135 posts in the “Leveson Inquiry” category over this period – and the passing into law of the Defamation Act 2013.
In August 2014 we noted that in the past twelve months the dominant story on Inforrm had been the Phone Hacking Trial – with over 170 posts being tagged “Old Bailey Trial“. The trial lasted more than 120 days and resulted in the conviction of former News of the World editor Andy Coulson, former News Editors Neville Thurlbeck, Greg Miskiw and James Weatherup and private detective Glenn Mulcaire. Rebekah Brooks and Stuart Kuttner (along with Charlie Brooks, Mark Hanna and Cheryl Carter) were acquitted. The jury could not agree on charges against Andy Coulson and Clive Goodman. In addition, there have been stories about the formation of the Leveson defying regulator, IPSO and its Leveson compliant rival IMPRESS. There also been a number of posts about the remarkable decision of the European Court of Justice in the Google Spain case and the fall out from it.
The past twelve months there was no single theme. This was the year in which the Courts around Europe tried to come to terms with the decision in Google Spain and the (misnamed) “right to be forgotten”. There were a series of Operation Elveden trials – resulting in a number of convictions for sources and very few for journalists (see James Doleman’s “Reflections on the Verdicts“). Our most popular post concerned the remarkable case of OPO v Rhodes – with the Court of Appeal’s extraordinary October injunction being overturned by the Supreme Court in May 2015. There was the high profile Mitchell libel case – in which an MP lost a claim against the Sun but otherwise the libel courts were relatively quiet.
All these and many other media and law stories have been extensively covered on Inforrm over the past year.
The top ten posts of the past 12 months were from a wide range of different authors covering a wide range of topics. They were as follows:
- Case Law: OPO v MLA, Shock and disbelief at the Court of Appeal – Dan Tench
- The Perils of “Revenge Porn” – Alex Cochrane
- Will the tort of misuse of private information disappear if the Human Rights Act is repealed? – Hugh Tomlinson QC
- Defamation Act 2013: Does section 1 replace the test of the hypothetical reasonable reader by that of the twitter troll? Part 1 – Adrienne Page QC
- Case Law: OPO v James Rhodes (formerly MLA): Pianist’s book unbanned, no intention to cause distress – Dan Tench
- Case Law: Gulati v MGN Ltd, A landmark decision on the quantum of privacy damages – Hugh Tomlinson QC and Sara Mansoori
- How to avoid defamation – Steven Price
- Case Law: Mosley v Google Inc, Data Protection claim against Google to go to trial – Lorna Skinner
- Privacy Issues in New Zealand: Sex with the Office Lights on – Nicole Moreham
- Case Law: Cooke and Midland Heart Ltd v MGN: A seriously harmful approach to serious harm? – Kirsten Sjøvoll
Finally, we repeat our invitation to anyone who is interested in a guest post (or repost) on any of the topics which we cover. Subject to the usual rules of lawfulness, decency and the avoidance of gratuitous personal attacks we accept contributions on media and legal topics from all points of view. Please let us have any suggestions by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.