Tuesday, 28 October 2014

ObscenityLawyer: Tiger Porn Victim Bites Back

ObscenityLawyer: Tiger Porn Victim Bites Back: "In the years since S63(7) of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 was enacted there have been over 5,500 prosecutions for possession offences. Prior to the introduction of the legislation Ministers said there would merely be a handful of cases each year, and the Regulatory Impact Assessment predicted just 30 per annum.

Of great concern is that over the five years since enactment of the legislation the public, law enforcement agencies and the judiciary remain either oblivious or uncertain as to the precise meaning of at least two, and possibly all four, categories of the legislation. The Simon Walsh trial showed that CPS had sought to widen the meaning of Section 63(7)(b), seeking to prosecute for possession of images that depicted unconventional but not dangerous behaviour. The Andrew Holland (“Tiger porn”) case (Section 63(7)(d)) showed that harmless but crude jokes could also result in prosecution." 'via Blog this'

Erdogan cartoons: how artists responded to case against a Turkish colleague

Erdogan cartoons: how artists responded to case against a Turkish colleague - Index on Censorship | Index on Censorship: "Erdogan himself filed the complaint against Kart over a cartoon published in the daily Cumhuriyet on 1 February 2014 showing the then prime minister as a hologram watching over a robbery. This was a reference to his alleged involvement covering up a high-profile graft scandal.

 Erdogan claimed Kart was guilty of “insulting through publication and slander,” reports Today Zaman. And while the court initially ruled that there were no legal grounds for action, this decision was revoked following complaints from Erdogan’s lawyer. Kart was also fined in 2005 for drawing Erdogan as a cat. 

In court on Thursday, Kart stated: “Yes, I drew it [the cartoon] but I did not mean to insult. I just wanted to show the facts. Indeed, I think that we are inside a cartoon right now. Because I am in the suspect’s seat while charges were dropped against all the suspects [involved in two major graft scandals]. I need to say that this is funny.”

 He was finally acquitted, but many of his fellow cartoonists has already shared their artistic interpretations of Erdogan and the case." 'via Blog this'

Monday, 27 October 2014

Met conducted 38 press leak investigations in five years - RIPA used in 'vast majority'

Met conducted 38 press leak investigations in five years - RIPA used in 'vast majority', says source | Press Gazette: "Last month the Met admitted to secretly obtaining the phone records of The Sun newsdesk and political editor, Tom Newton Dunn, in order to find the source of the paper's Plebgate story. The action - first revealed by Press Gazette - has been widely criticised and prompted the Home Affairs Select Committee and Interception of Communications Commissioner's Office to launch inquiries. The Home Office has promised new protections for journalists in a revised RIPA code of practice and today the Liberal Democrats tabled a change in the law to make police forces obtain the approval of a judge for RIPA requests involving journalistic material.

The Plebgate probe and other leak investigations are conducted by the Met's Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS)." 'via Blog this'

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Miranda v Secretary of State for the Home Department & Ors [2014] EWHC 255 (Admin)

Miranda v Secretary of State for the Home Department & Ors [2014] EWHC 255 (Admin) (19 February 2014): "Telegraaf Media Nederland Landelijke Media BV v Netherlands (2012) 34 BHRC 193 concerned the targeted surveillance of journalists with a view to obtaining knowledge of their sources. There was no prior review by an independent body; post factum review could not "restore the confidentiality of journalistic sources once it is destroyed" (paragraph 101). "The Court thus finds that the law did not provide safeguards appropriate to the use of powers of surveillance against journalists with a view to discovering their journalistic sources. There has therefore been a violation of Articles 8 and 10 of the Convention" (paragraph 102).

Nagla v Latvia [2013] ECHR 688 concerned the execution of a search warrant at a journalist's home; the search warrant was retrospectively approved by an investigating judge. At paragraph 90 the court stated:

"The Court notes that unlike in the Sanoma Uitgevers case, the investigating judge has the authority under Latvian law to revoke the search warrant and to declare such evidence inadmissible… Moreover… the investigating judge also has the power to withhold the disclosure of the identity of journalistic sources… The Court considers that the last two elements pertaining to the investigating judge's involvement in an immediate post factum review are sufficient to differentiate this case from the above-mentioned Sanoma Uitgevers case (see also Telegraaf Media… where a similar distinction was made). The Court, therefore, does not deem it necessary to examine the Government's submissions concerning the role of the supervising prosecutor in authorising searches under the urgent procedure."
The Coalition Interveners lay emphasis on the fact that the judge reviewing the case "under the urgent procedure on the day following the search" (paragraph 89) was in a position to prevent disclosure of the journalist's source before any use was made of it." 'via Blog this'

Perinçek v. Switzerland App. no. 27510/08, 17th December 2013 - genocide denial

Perinçek v. Switzerland App. no. 27510/08, 17th December 2013 (Jacob, White, Ovey): The Court found that as the Armenian genocide was still open to historical interpretation, the comments by the applicant that calling the Armenian massacres “genocide” was an international lie did not incite hatred or violence. Note that the Court distinguished this case from holocaust denial. “The Court thus doubted that there could be a general consensus as to events such as those in issue here, given that historical research was by definition open to discussion and a matter of debate, without necessarily giving rise to final conclusions or to the assertion of objective and absolute truths. In this connection, the Court clearly distinguished the present case from those concerning the negation of the crimes of the Holocaust. In those cases, the applicants had denied the historical facts even though they were sometimes very concrete, such as the existence of the gas chambers. They had denied the crimes perpetrated by the Nazi regime for which there had been a clear legal basis. Lastly, the acts that they had called into question had been found by an international court to be clearly established.” (p3, press release) 'via Blog this'

Putistin v Ukraine App No. 16882/03, 21 November 2013 - Article 8 reputation for dead?

Putistin v Ukraine App No. 16882/03, 21 November 2013 (from Jacob, White and Ovey): The applicant is the son of a former Dynamo Kyiv football player who took part in a game known as the “Death Match” in 1942. His father is deceased. The game was played between a team which included professional players from Dynamo Kyiv and a team of Germans. The German team was defeated. Allegedly as a result of their victory, the Dynamo Kyiv team suffered reprisals with a number of Ukrainian players sent to a local concentration camp, where four were executed. In 2001 a newspaper published an article entitled: “The Truth about the Death Match”. The article included a quotation from the producer of a film about the match, who stated that there were only four players who had been executed, and that other players had “collaborated with the Gestapo”. The applicant claimed that it suggested that his father had collaborated with the Gestapo.
The Court accepted that the reputation of a deceased member of a person’s family might, in certain circumstances, affect that person’s private life and identity, and come within the scope of Article 8. However on the facts, the applicant was not directly affected by the publication and the level of impact on the applicant had been remote. The article had been informative and not provocative or sensationalist. 'via Blog this'

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Defamation (Operators of Websites) Regulations 2013

The Defamation (Operators of Websites) Regulations 2013: "STATUTORY INSTRUMENTS

2013 No. 3028 The Defamation (Operators of Websites) Regulations 2013

Made 2nd December 2013

The Secretary of State makes the following Regulations in exercise of the powers conferred by section 5 of the Defamation Act 2013(1).

A draft of these Regulations was laid before Parliament in accordance with section 5(9) of that Act and approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament.
'via Blog this'

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Games Rating Authority introduced 2012: The Right of Appeal

The Right of Appeal:

"The Video Standards Council is responsible for the age rating of video games for supply in the UK and other countries in accordance with the rules and procedures of the Pan-European Game Information ('PEGI') system.

As regards video games for supply in the UK the VSC (trading as the Games Rating Authority) is also responsible for the granting of classification certificates for video games pursuant to the Video Recordings Act 1984 (as amended) ('VRA').

 Any person who shall disagree with a decision made by the GRA that a video game is not suitable for a classification certificate to be issued in respect of it shall have a right of appeal against any such decision. Any such appeal shall be made to the GRA Games Appeals Panel ('GAP') which shall be an independent body set up to deal with any such appeals." 'via Blog this'

Who wants to be forgotten? TechnoLlama

Who wants to be forgotten? | TechnoLlama: "The second big development has been that Google has released its transparency report for European privacy requests for search removals, which makes for some very interesting reading. Google received 146,938 requests and evaluated 498,830 URLs for removal, of which 58% were not removed." Privacy via restricted access to news? 'via Blog this'

Monday, 13 October 2014

London libel ruling against Ethiopian dissident shows urgent need for reform

London libel ruling against Ethiopian dissident shows urgent need for reform | THE FREE SPEECH BLOG: "Mr Al Amoudi, a businessman so keen to preserve his reputation that his Wikipedia entry has been flagged up as inappropriate because it has been edited by people who have a “close connection” with him, has been granted two default judgments against Elias Kifle: a £175,000 award made in 2010, and a £180,000 award made [in 2013].

 Being based in the States and lacking the financial means to hire lawyers, Mr Kifle chose not to defend either of these claims. Last week’s case was allowed to proceed because of Mr Al Amoudi’s business activities and reputation among Ethiopians in London, five of whom gave evidence as having read the piece in question; the fact he is a “frequent visitor” to London; and the fact that Mr Al Amoudi’s children were educated in England. The judge, Mr Justice Eady, does not appear to have considered whether it is even remotely feasible for an Ethiopian journalist exiled in the US and who runs a news website on a shoestring budget to obtain the services of libel defence lawyers." 'via Blog this'

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Third drugs trial involving the Sun's Mazher Mahmood collapses

Third drugs trial involving the Sun's Mazher Mahmood collapses | Media | theguardian.com: "The position is that the Crown can no longer rely on Mr Mahmood as a witness of truth in this case, and for that reason, I offer no evidence against Mr Gordon on behalf of the Crown."

Anderson had commitments in France and was unable to appear. But the prosecution said the case against him would formally be dropped at a hearing on 3 October.

 It was McCreath J., when dismissing the case against Contostavlos in July, who ruled that there were "strong grounds" to believe Mahmood had lied to him and had been "manipulating the evidence"" 'via Blog this'

Prosecuting the Media: The DPP’s final guidelines – Alex Bailin QC and Edward Craven

Prosecuting the Media: The DPP’s final guidelines – Alex Bailin QC and Edward Craven | Inforrm's Blog: "The guidelines emphasise the need for “special care” in cases which involve the disclosure of journalists’ sources.

The European Court of Human Rights has highlighted the “potentially chilling effect” on press freedom of the forced disclosure of journalists’ sources (see Goodwin v UK (1996) 22 EHRR 123) and the Grand Chamber in Sanoma Uitgevers BV v The Netherlands [2011] EMLR 4 recently emphasised that source protection “is a cornerstone of freedom of the press, without which sources may be deterred from assisting the press in informing the public on matters of public interest”.

In addition, section 10 of the Contempt of Court Act 1981 provides that no court may require a person to disclose the source of information contained in a publication for which they are responsible, unless the court is satisfied that disclosure is necessary in the interests of justice or national security or for the prevention of disorder or crime." 'via Blog this'

Monday, 6 October 2014

Would the paisley pyjamas sting stand up in court?

Would the paisley pyjamas sting stand up in court? | LSE Media Policy Project:

"If the Daily Telegraph had exposed the abuse of parliamentary expenses today, rather than in 2009, it could be prosecuted for purchasing a disc of expense receipts from a public official under either the Data Protection Act or the Bribery Act.

Yet only under the Data Protection Act – which carries much lighter sentences – would the paper have technically been able to mount a public interest defence. 

In some cases involving journalists, this means that the ‘defence of necessity’ has to be used to invoke the public interest indirectly.  QC’s Alex Bailin and Edward Craven have argued that it is unacceptable that these defences have to be brought by the ‘back door’." 'via Blog this'

Three months to save IPSO

Three months to save IPSO – Damian Tambini | Inforrm's Blog: "The newspapers would be well advised to support a stronger IPSO. In time, they may even need to re-assess their position on recognition under the Charter. After all, Parliament has passed the Crime and Courts Act, establishing the legal framework for the Leveson system of press self-regulation to be put into place.

The Act creates a system of incentives: if you fail to join an approved regulatory system, you are likely in due course to be exposed to considerably higher costs and damages in relation to privacy, libel and other legal risks associated with journalism.

As Leveson himself acknowledged, if membership of a self-regulatory body is to confer such privileges on journalists there must be some form of oversight – to ensure the body is not a sham, as many claimed the PCC was. So the Leveson scheme is an ingenious combination of oversight with multiple protections against interference by government.

But the newspapers that support IPSO are not convinced. For them it is the Charter system of recognition that by definition pushes the regulator over the definitional rubicon from self-regulation to government regulation.

Newspapers are also aware that unlike the PCC, IPSO has no monopoly on self-regulation of newspapers.

The Guardian, the FT and the Independent remain outside the tent and IMPRESS; an alternative regulator led by civil society organisations including local news websites, may seek recognition under the Charter. If it is successful, it could trigger the ‘incentives’ (i.e. the end of press protection from damages and costs) under the Crime and Courts Act. Then all newspapers would have to think again." 'via Blog this'

Newspaper Libel and Registration Act 1881: defining newspaper & proprietor

Newspaper Libel and Registration Act 1881:

"The word “newspaper” shall mean any paper containing public news, intelligence, or occurrences, or any remarks or observations therein printed for sale, and published in England or Ireland periodically, or in parts or numbers at intervals not exceeding twenty-six days between the publication of any two such papers, parts, or numbers.

The word “proprietor” shall mean and include as well the sole proprietor of any newspaper, as also in the case of a divided proprietorship the persons who, as partners or otherwise, represent and are responsible for any share or interest in the newspaper as between themselves and the persons in like manner representing or responsible for the other shares or interests therein, and no other person.
'via Blog this'

Gerry McCann attacks ‘disgraceful’ Sunday Times after £55k libel payout

Gerry McCann attacks ‘disgraceful’ Sunday Times after £55k libel payout | Media | The Guardian: "“This is exactly why parliament and Lord Justice Leveson called for truly effective independent self-regulation of newspapers – to protect ordinary members of the public from this sort of abuse. The fact is that most families could not take the financial and legal risk of going to the high court and facing down a big press bully as we have. That is why News UK and the big newspapers have opposed Leveson’s reforms and the arbitration scheme which is a necessary part of it.”

 Carter-Ruck agreed to act on a no-win, no-fee basis, a system threatened by proposed changes to the law. The £55,000 is to be donated to two charities for missing people and sick children.

 The Sunday Times said: “We have agreed a settlement with Mr and Mrs McCann.”

 Much of the industry, with the exception of the Guardian, the Independent and the Financial Times, has set up its own regulatory body, the Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso), which started life three weeks ago.

In the statement, McCann calls Ipso the “latest industry poodle”. The McCanns have been involved in the Hacked Off campaign to tighten press regulation." 'via Blog this'

Friday, 3 October 2014

Sunday Mirror will find it hard to justify its Tory MP honeytrap

Sunday Mirror will find it hard to justify its Tory MP honeytrap | Media | theguardian.com: "Now for the flaws. The pictures of the two women featured in the Twitter trap were used without their knowledge or permission. I suspect that could open the door for them to take legal action

Only Tory MPs were targeted. Why was that? Was there a political motive? Again, on what basis did the freelance choose his targets?

Then there is the questionable matter of relying on an unidentified freelance for such an obvious contentious "investigation". That's so unusual for such a high-profile story that I cannot remember a previous instance. It's fine to have confidential sources, but journalists should not have such a privilege.

 Worse still is the use of a freelance as some kind of built-in deniability for what is produced. It was noticeable that in his defence, the Mirror group's editor-in-chief, Lloyd Embley, said it was "not a Mirror sting." But that's semantics.

The Sunday Mirror accepted the story from the freelancer, evidently tested his methodology and his bona fides and then published it. Therefore, to all intents and purposes, it was the paper's sting. It is demeaning for the Mirror to distance itself from the exercise." 'via Blog this'

Conservatives pledge powers to ignore European court of human rights rulings

Conservatives pledge powers to ignore European court of human rights rulings | Politics | The Guardian: "Grieve said: “The suggestion that they can be negotiated with the Council of Europe so that the UK has its own space where it can [take what it wants] while everyone else complies is almost laughable. How can the UK obtain such a status when other countries have signed up to an agreement collectively to implement judgments?” Some ECHR judgments, such as the right to give prisoners the vote, were, he said, mistaken, but the proposals in the Conservative document seemed to “lack any maturity”.

 They also drew a furious response from the Tories’ coalition partners. Simon Hughes, the Liberal Democrat justice minister, said: “The Conservatives don’t care about the rights of British citizens – they care about losing to Ukip. These plans make no sense: you can’t protect the human rights of Brits and pull out of the system that protects them.

 “Europe’s human rights laws were designed by British lawyers to reflect British values of justice, tolerance and decency. We will not allow the Tories to take away the hard-won human rights of British people when in the UK or anywhere else in Europe.”" 'via Blog this'