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Brett Wilson Media Law blog

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9.04.19

Supreme Court considers social media defamation: context is everything

Some practitioners were surprised that Stocker v Stocker [2019] UKSC 17 reached the country’s highest court.  The appeal concerned the meaning (or imputation) of words in a libel action.  At first blush this apparently factual dispute might not have seemed to be a matter of any particular public importance, taking into account the Supreme Court’s busy workload and…

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29.03.19

Twitter and the Malicious Communications Act 1988

Two people have been arrested by South Yorkshire Police on suspicion of sending ‘malicious communications’ following a series of tweets to five MPs. The tweets were directed at Independent Group MPs Anna Soubry, Chuka Umunna, Angela Smith and Sarah Wollaston, and Labour MP David Lammy. It is alleged that one of the individuals posted an…

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21.03.19

Actress Tina Malone receives suspended sentence after breaching Venables/Thompson injunction

Actress, Tina Malone, has received an eight-month suspended prison sentence for purporting to publish a photograph and information relating to the new identity of Jon Venables – one of James Bulgar’s killers. Background In 1993 Jon Venables and Robert Thompson, at the time aged 10, were convicted of murdering two-year-old James Bulgar.  It was a…

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6.03.19

Brexiteer ordered to pay philosopher £20,000 in libel damages for paedophile tweet

Peter North, former UKIP parliamentary candidate and founder of the Brexit-supporting Leave Alliance, has been ordered to pay philosopher and academic AC Grayling £20,000 in libel damages after tweeting an allegation that Professor Grayling was in possession of child pornography. Facts Professor Grayling is an outspoken critic of Brexit.  Mr North is an outspoken Brexiteer.  On 10…

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1.03.19

An allegation of dishonesty – A statement of fact or the expression of opinion?

In a number of recent libel cases, the court has encouraged parties to apply prior to the service of a defence for a preliminary issue trial where the meaning of the words complained of is in dispute.  Often, as part of such a hearing, parties will also seek the determination of other issues, such as…

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19.02.19

Life 2009 Ltd -v- Lambeth London Borough Council: Statement in Open Court

A Statement in Open Court read before Mr Justice Warby in the High Court on 19 February 2019 following the settlement of Life 2009 Ltd’s libel/Human Rights Act claim against Lambeth London Borough Council can be found here. A press statement issued by Life is available on its website here.

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22.01.19

Facebook ‘Keyboard warrior’ ordered to pay £55,000 in libel and harassment damages after false accusations of animal cruelty and orchestration of online hate campaign

  In Suttle v Walker [2019] EWHC 396 QB Mr Justice Nicklin ordered Samantha Walker to pay care home manager Kim Suttle £55,685.06 in libel and harassment damages after instigating a hate campaign against her based on false allegations that she had abused her dog. Facts The Claimant Ms Suttle was walking one of her dogs…

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15.01.19

Career opportunities at Brett Wilson LLP

The firm is expanding.  We are presently recruiting solicitors and a paralegal in our media law department.  In our civil, regulatory and white collar-crime department, we are recruiting a civil litigation solicitor and a paralegal/trainee solicitor.  Full details of the role and how to apply can be found at our Careers page.

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Serial abuser of Judges Committed to Prison for Contempt

In Foskett, Peters and Waschckuhn v Ezeugo [2018] EWHC 3694 (QB), three Judges applied for the committal to prison of a man who had repeatedly breached a harassment injunction made in their favour. From time to time, an individual’s involvement in the justice system, often initially by chance through a minor criminal conviction, a divorce,…

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11.01.19

Victory for Google at European level on the scope of delisting

On 10 January 2019, Advocate General Maciej Szpunar provided his written opinion to the Court of Justice of the European Union (‘CJEU’) on the territorial scope of requests to delist search engine results under the ‘right to be forgotten’ principle, which (in the context of search engines at least) was established in May 2014 in…

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Articles are intended as an introduction to the topic and do not constitute legal advice.

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