The long-awaited decision in Lachaux v Independent Print Ltd  EWCA Civ 1334 has brought some badly-needed clarity and certainty to the law of libel, and it seems fair to say that reports of the death of the libel writ have been greatly exaggerated. The decision interprets both the meaning of section 1(1) of the Defamation Act 2013 – “the serious harm” test – and determines the point at which a claim for libel crystallises.
Prince Moulay Hicham Ben Abdallah Al Alouai of Morocco (‘the Prince’) has won an appeal against Elaph Publishing Limited (‘Elaph’) that now allows him to advance a claim under the Data Protection Act 1998 (‘DPA’) and also overturned a previous ruling that the words published were not capable of being defamatory.
Google has withdrawn its appeal to the Supreme Court in Vidal-Hall v Google Inc  EWCA Civ 311. Therefore the landmark Court of Appeal decision, discussed here on this blog, that damages can be awarded under the Data Protection Act 1998 for distress and anxiety, even if no financial loss suffered, will stand as good law.
The Supreme Court is currently considering an appeal against a decision of the Court of Appeal to discharge a non-disclosure injunction it granted itself earlier this year. Until the Supreme Court has reached its decision the injunction in PJS v News Group Newspapers Ltd – the “celebrity threesome gagging order” – will remain in force.
The country’s highest court has refused MGN Limited permission to appeal the decision in Representative Claimants -v- Mirror Group Newspapers Ltd  EWCA Civ 1291 – the Court of Appeal’s decision regarding the appropriate level of damages in eight phone-hacking ‘test cases’. This decision itself was an unsuccessful appeal by MGN against the High Court decision in Gulatti & Ors v MGN Limited  EWHC 1482
On 20 November 2015 in Weller and others v Associated Newspapers Limited  EWCA Civ 1176 the Court of Appeal upheld a decision of the High Court and found that Associated Newspapers (the publishers of MailOnline) had infringed the privacy of three of the musician Paul Weller’s children by publishing un-pixelated photographs of them out shopping in California with their father.
The Court of Appeal in PNM and Times Newspapers Limited & Ors  EWCA Civ 1132 has upheld the decision of the High Court not to grant a non-disclosure order in a case where the Appellant was arrested but not charged with serious sexual offences against children.