Recently we reported that the Supreme Court had granted The Independent permission to appeal the decision in the Lachaux v Independent Print Ltd  EWCA Civ 1334. The case concerns the “serious harm” threshold for bringing a defamation claim and is unarguably the most important defamation decision since the inception of the Defamation Act 2013. Much has been said about the law, but behind every landmark case is at least one aggrieved party. Today the second defendant The Huffington Post’s publishers Oath (UK) Ltd joined with the Claimant in making a statement in open court accepting that the defamatory allegations it had published were untrue.
The Right to be Forgotten has been in the news again recently following the decision in NT1 & NT2 v Google LLC  EWHC 799 (QB) (read our blog on that decision here), but Google will often voluntarily remove content from its search engine results on a variety of other grounds, including that the content is defamatory.
Martin Lewis, the consumer campaigner, has announced that he intends to issue defamation proceedings against Facebook in respect of misleading advertisements bearing his name that have been published on the social media platform. It is claimed that many of the adverts show Martin Lewis’ face next to endorsements that he has not made. These include adverts for binary trading schemes that are viewed as scams by the Financial Conduct Authority.
With a number of high-profile claims against Google in the offing, practitioners and individuals alike are hopeful for guidance on the interplay between the application of the ‘right to be forgotten’ principle and the forthcoming introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Iain Wilson, managing partner of Brett Wilson LLP, considers the issues at hand.
Part 2 of the Leveson Inquiry (colloquially referred to as ‘Leveson 2’) which had been intended to address ‘the extent of unlawful or improper conduct within News International and other media organisations’ has been formally canned by the Government. Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013, which, had it ever come into force, would have made news publishers who were not subject to a Government-approved regulator, liable for the costs of defamation, privacy, and harassment claims, regardless of whether they won or lost, will now be repealed at the earliest opportunity.