Monthly Archives: March 2012

Parliamentary Joint Committee on Privacy and Injunctions reports no need for legislation

set up in the wake of the spate of highly publicised privacy injunctions last year, the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Privacy and Injunctions has published its final report.  significantly, the report rejects criticisms that privacy law has beenjudge made, stating that it has evolved from the Human Rights Act 1998.  The report concludes that a statute defining the right to privacy is unnecessary.  Furthermore, it finds that a statutory definition of “public interest” is not required as this should be based on an exercise of judgement on a case by case basis.  The Committee is of the view that the courts are carrying out this task well.   The report also recommends, inter alia, that the Attorney-General be more proactive in bringing contempt proceedings when injunctions are breached, that courts direct that injunctions be served on social networking websites such as Twitter, that a new code of conduct for journalists should require subjects to be notified of stories where privacy is in issue and that a failure to notify should aggravate damages.

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Chris Cairns awarded £90,000 following first High Court “twibel” trial

Mr Justice Bean handed down judgment today in Cairns v Modi [2012] EWHC 756 (QB), finding in favour of the former cricketing all-rounder Chris Cairns.  The Claimant had sued the former Chairman and Commissioner of the Indian Premier League Lalit Modi after a 2010 tweet in which Modi had stated Cairns had been involved in match fixing.  The extent of the tweet’s publication in the jurisdiction was limited to 65 individuals, but the comment had been repeated on the popular website CricInfo with a further statement from Mr Modi.  CricInfo had reached an settlement with the Claimant in the sum of £7,000.

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Solicitors from Hell appeal thrown out

Rick Kordowski, the founder/operator of the now defunct solicitors from Hell website, has been refused permission to appeal the High Court ruling that closed down the website.  On 15 November 2011 Tugendhat J ordered that Mr Kordowski cease publishing the website.  On 7 December a final order was made, inter alia, preventing Mr Kordowski from establishing a similar website.

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Supreme Court allows Times defamation appeal on public interest qualified privilege

In Flood “v- Times News Limited [2012] UKsC 11 the supreme Court allowed the appeal of the Defendant publisher, overturning the decision of the Court of Appeal and restoring the 2009 decision of Mr Justice Tugendhat.  Tugendhat Js original decision in the High Court was of particular significance as it was the first time a national newspaper had successfully established the Reynolds defence of journalistic qualified privilege.

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End of the line for Ryan Giggs privacy claim

What was arguably the most high profile case of the last year came to a messy end in the High Court on Friday 2 March 2012 when Tugendhat J refused to reinstate Ryan Giggs claim for the misuse of confidential information.  It had emerged that the claim had automatically been struck out on 18 November 2011 as a result of the Claimants failure to comply with directions.  Upon discovering that the claim had been struck out the Claimant sought relief from sanction under CPR 3.9.

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