Monthly Archives: August 2014

The High Court grants permission for Google to be served with data protection claim outside of the jurisdiction

Mr Justice Bean sitting at the High Court of Justice has given permission for Google to be served with a claim form outside of the jurisdiction.  The claim, brought by Mr Daniel Hegglin, relates to anonymous abusive and defamatory postings concerning him on the world wide web.  When the claimant’s name was typed into the Google search engine, these postings were retrieved in the snippets.   He is seeking an injunction against Google, who is joined as the second defendant in proceedings, under s.10 and s.14 of the Data Protection Act 1998 to prevent this from happening in the future and a Norwich Pharmacal Order to allow him to identify the posters.

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Iain Wilson on News at Ten responding to Jimmy Wales’ claim that the deletion of historical information is immoral

Brett Wilson LLP partner Iain Wilson and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales have been interviewed by ITV News at Ten on whether there should be a ‘right to be forgotten’.  Mr Wales claims that the removal of historical information from the internet is immoral. 

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False complaints to the Police: the witness immunity rule

In Crawford v Jenkins [2014] EWCA Civ 1035, the Claimant had sued the Defendant in false imprisonment and harassment on the basis of allegedly malicious statements made to the Police which had resulted in his arrest and detention.  The course of conduct said to amount to harassment consisted of two text messages sent to him by the Defendant which complained of his actions, and the Defendant’s subsequent statements to the Police.  At first instance, Her Honour Judge Baucher ruled that the Defendant was immune from suit (both in false imprisonment and harassment) owing to the ‘witness immunity’ rule in Westcott v Westcott [2008] EWCA Civ 818.  Having disregarded the statements to the Police, the Judge struck out the remainder of the harassment claim (the two text messages) on the basis that the conduct was reasonable.  The Claimant appealed.

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Malicious allegations can amount to oppressive harassment, even if they can easily be rebutted

In Plavelil v Department of Public Prosecutions [2014] EWHC 736 (Admin), the Divisional Court considered an appeal by way of case stated (an appeal of a decision on the law) as to whether a report of misconduct made to a professional body (in this case, the General Medical Council), could be oppressive, and therefore amount to harassment of the person reported, if the reporter deliberately included matters that were untrue or irrelevant.

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