Category Archives: Media Law
For a brief period it seemed as if the much discussed Defamation Bill was in line to be cast into the legislative scrapheap of history as it emerged the Bill had become a party political battleground about how to best implement the Leveson Report’s recommendations on press regulation.
The legislative fault line concerned the new clause 2 of the “Putnam amendments”, named after the Labour Peer Lord Putnam, who along with Baroness Boothroyd, Lord Mackay and Baroness Scotland had tabled the amendments. Clause 2 proposed to create a statute based press regulator which, in principle, echoed the recommendations of the Leveson Report. The Conservative party, while agreeing with the need for a new and beefed up press regulator, had opposed any statutory underpinning for such a body. The result was a standoff which saw David Cameron indicating that unless there was cross-party agreement the amendment would be dropped, and the Bill could be scrapped altogether. Continue reading
According to news reports, since 2011 up to 60 people have been arrested as part of the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Elveden. The Metropolitan Police are investigating alleged corrupt payments by journalists to public officials, including police officers and senior civil servants, in exchange for information between 2004 and 2011 that was then published in news articles.
Operation Elveden is running alongside Operation Weeting, the Metropolitan Police’s investigation into phone hacking, and Operation Tuleta, which is an investigation into computer hacking. Continue reading
The Ministry of Justice announces deferment of civil costs reforms until appropriate ‘costs protection’ is introduced
On 13 December 2012 Justice Minister Helen Grant announced that the planned abolition of the recoverability of the current form of success fees and after the event (ATE) insurance in respect of defamation and privacy cases, which was due to be implemented from 1 April 2013, will not come into force until some form of ‘costs protection’ has been introduced for such proceedings. The announcement followed the recommendation made by Lord Justice Leveson that costs protection should be extended to defamation and privacy claims. The Government has asked the Civil Justice Council for advice on a viable form of costs protection by the end of March 2013. Continue reading
On 30 November 2012, following a 10-day trial, Mr Justice Bean dismissed a libel claim brought by Reginald Mengi, the Executive Chairman of IPP Ltd, a company which holds major newspaper and broadcasting interests in Tanzania ( EWHC 3445 (QB)). The defendant, Sarah Hermitage, who was represented by Carter-Ruck on a conditional fee basis, had set up a blog to record and to publicise as a warning to others her experience in Tanzania; how, with no protection from the local courts and officials, she and her husband were by threats and intimidation driven out of the country and forced to abandon their investment in their farm, Silverdale. Continue reading
Following the publication of the Leveson Report, Isabel Martorell gives an initial response to the Lawyer Magazine.
Lord Justice Leveson was right in a number of important respects. First, to recognise the significant failings in the culture, ethics and standards of the press and the overwhelming arguments for a strong independent regulator. While a majority of the British press do uphold and adhere to proper journalistic standards, the actions of a significant minority have demonstrated time and again that self-regulation does not work. Continue reading
Richard Hodge comments in the Lawyer Magazine on the forthcoming publication of the Leveson Report.
Leveson LJ’s remit includes providing recommendations for effective regulation to support the integrity and freedom of the press, while encouraging the highest ethical standards. So what should we expect? Continue reading
While the privacy complaint of the Duchess of Cambridge received unprecedented attention from the press and legal commentators alike, the Spanish Supreme Court recently found itself grappling with a number of similar issues.
In 2007, the Spanish media was shocked by the publication of pictures of a famous Spanish actress, Elsa Pataky, in a state of considerable undress on a Mexican beach. She was getting changed while shooting a feature for the magazine ELLE when two paparazzi took pictures of her from a hotel some distance from the beach.
Lords to address concerns about costs reforms and access to justice during passage of Defamation Bill
During the second reading of the Defamation Bill in the House of Lords on 9 October, the Minister of State Lord McNally confirmed his commitment, given to Lord Martin and Lord Prescott during the passage of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 ( LASPO), to look at the rules on costs protection in defamation and privacy cases in preparation for when the defamation reforms come into effect. Continue reading
It emerged earlier this week that four civil claims have been filed at the High Court against Mirror Group Newspapers, publisher of the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and The People, in relation to alleged phone hacking. Continue reading