Case Law, India: Puttaswamy v Union of India, Supreme Court recognises a constitutional right to privacy in a landmark judgment – Hugh Tomlinson QC

4 09 2017

On 24 August 2017, a nine judge bench of the Supreme Court of India handed down its decision in the important constititutional case of Puttaswamy v Union of India [pdf].  In a remarkable and wide ranging 547 page judgment the Court ruled unanimously that privacy is a constitutionally protected right in India. This is landmark case which is likely to lead to constitutional challenges to a wide range of Indian legislation. Read the rest of this entry »

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Case Law, Canada: Google Inc v Equustek Solutions, Supreme Court upholds worldwide Google blocking injunction – Hugh Tomlinson QC

2 07 2017

On 28 June 2017, the Supreme Court of Canada handed down judgment in the controversial case of Google Inc v Equustek Solutions  (2017 SCC 34) dismissing (7:2) Google’s appeal against a worldwide injunction ordering it to remove websites from search results (2014 BCSC 1063).  The result of this decision is that worldwide injunction against Google remains in place. Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law, Strasbourg: Giesbert v France, Sanctions for publishing prosecution statements, no violation of Article 10 – Hugh Tomlinson QC

2 06 2017

In the case of Giesbert v France ([2017] ECHR 504, 1 June 2017)(French only) the Fifth Section of the Court of Human Rights held that Court orders made against the magazine, Le Point, sanctioning the publication of criminal court documents in the high profile “Bettancourt” case did not violate Article 10 of the Convention. Read the rest of this entry »





The “Journalism Exemption” in the Data Protection Act: Part 2, Some Practicalities – Hugh Tomlinson QC

29 03 2017

In Part 1 of this post I argued that the mandatory conditions for the application of the “journalism exemption” in section 32 of the Data Protection Act 1998 (“the DPA”) are strict and required careful case by case consideration.  In this post I will consider some practical consequences of this analysis. Read the rest of this entry »





The “Journalism Exemption” in the Data Protection Act: Part 1, The Law – Hugh Tomlinson QC

28 03 2017

In recent years there has been a new focus by media lawyers on the operation of the “statutory privacy” provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 (“the DPA”).  The Leveson Report and the resulting ICO publication “Data Protection and Journalism: a guide for the media” (“the ICO Guide”) has reminded us that the media must comply with the provisions of the act. Most importantly, the Court of Appeal’s “deletion” of section 13(2) (see our post here) has meant that general damages for distress are now available in DPA claims without proof of financial loss. Read the rest of this entry »





Data Protection: Pre-publication claims and section 32(4), the case for disapplication – Hugh Tomlinson QC

28 02 2017

privacySection 32 of the Data Protection Act 1998 (“the DPA”) contains a curious provision apparently designed to prevent “pre-publication” claims where unpublished journalistic, literary or artistic material is involved.  There is no basis for this provision in the Data Protection Directive  (“the Directive”) and it appears to be inconsistent with the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and a clear candidate for disapplication. Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law, Strasbourg: Rubio Dosamantes v Spain, TV discussions of singer’s sexuality and relationship breached Article 8 – Hugh Tomlinson QC

22 02 2017

The Court of Human Rights has held that the fact that singer was well known to the public and been the subject of well publicised rumours about her sexuality did not justify the broadcast of interviews about her relationships and sexuality. In the case of Rubio Dosamantes v Spain (Judgment of 21 February 2017)(in French only) the Third Section held that the dismissal of the applicant’s domestic claims was a breach of her Article 8 rights. Read the rest of this entry »