Thursday, 27 November 2014

Nils Muižnieks: Azerbaijan's reprisals against brave activists and journalists must stop now - Index on Censorship | Index on Censorship

Nils Muižnieks: Azerbaijan's reprisals against brave activists and journalists must stop now - Index on Censorship | Index on Censorship: "Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights reflects on his recent mission to Azerbaijan – one of the most difficult of his tenure" 'via Blog this'

OSCOLA FAQs on online references

Oxford Law :: OSCOLA FAQs:

"Be careful when citing URLs. Studies indicate that 'link rot' or 'reference rot' (which is when the url still works but the content is gone) is a major problem.

In Harvard Public Law Working Paper no 13-42, Jonathan Zittrain, Kendra Alberg and Lawrence Lessig report that more than 70% of links in three Harvard law journals do not produce the information cited. As a solution, they promote, which 'will retrieve and save the contents of a webpage, and return a permanent link'. The system distributes 'Perma caches, architecture, and governance structure to libraries across the world. Thus, so long as any library or successor within the system survives, the links within a Perma architecture will remain'.

The original link can be cited along with the Perma link (which is useful as the reader can immediately see the source without having to follow the link to the Perma site), or the Perma link only can be cited (which has the advantage of being short).

This system is preferable to other short url systems that do not indicate the original website and url, and whose future is less certain. The Digital Object Identifier (doi) system used by some journals is also sound, but not all law journals use the doi system, and many of those that do also publish in hard copy and so do not require an electronic reference in OSCOLA.

In general, only include the web address when the document is only available online, when the web address is particularly helpful for finding the document, and when the web address is static (ie not the result of a search in a database). Avoid citing references that end in .pdf. " 'via Blog this'

The Sun keeps explosive and unprintable stories in 'wild West-style safe'

The Sun keeps explosive and unprintable stories in 'wild West-style safe' - Telegraph: "The tabloid's former deputy news editor Ben O'Driscoll, 38, said more than 30 years of unpublished stories were stored in the 7ft high safe.
He told Kingston Crown Court the paper kept hold of "eye-popping" reports, pictures, and videos which had not made the paper because they were not in the public interest.

"At the time I was there, there was an enormous safe, about 7ft high, like something out of a Wild West film, with big metal handles", he said. "It was full of 30 years of stories that are confidential and did not pass the public interest test." 'via Blog this'

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

TV Licensing - Live TV and how you watch it

TV Licensing - Live TV and how you watch it: "If the programme is being shown on live TV, you need a TV Licence to watch or record it. If the device or technology you’re using to watch the programme causes a delay between when the programme was shown and when you watch it, you’re still receiving live TV.

‘Live TV’ means any programme you watch or record at the same time as it’s being shown on TV or an online TV service.
If you only ever watch ‘on demand’ programmes, you don’t need a TV Licence.

On demand includes catch-up TV, streaming or downloading programmes after they’ve been shown on live TV, or programmes available online before being shown on TV." 'via Blog this'

Ion Cârstea v. Romania, Breach of positive obligation to protect the right to reputation

Case Law, Strasbourg: Ion Cârstea v. Romania, Breach of positive obligation to protect the right to reputation – Hugh Tomlinson QC | Inforrm's Blog: "In relation to the question of whether the applicant was a “public figure”, the Court said:

“The role or function of the person concerned and the nature of the activities that form the subject matter of the article constitute another important criterion, which relates to the previous one. In this connection, the Court has previously held that a fundamental distinction needs to be made between reporting factual matters capable of contributing to a debate in a democratic society, such as those relating to politicians in the exercise of their official functions, and reporting details of the private life of an individual who does not exercise such functions, with the sole aim of satisfying public curiosity … In the latter case, freedom of expression calls for a narrower interpretation” [36]

In the present case the applicant was a university professor unknown to a wider public." 'via Blog this'

ITV eyed deal with Ant and Dec

ITV eyes deal with BBC star Graham Norton's production outfit | Media | The Observer: "ITV is exploring a tie-up with the production company owned by two of its biggest stars, Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly... as ITV looks at investment options to boost its in-house production arm, ITV Studios.

The broadcaster is said to be looking at buying a stake in one or both of the companies, or buying them outright.

"They were very close to reaching a deal a while back. The talks have been going on for at least six months," said a source familiar with the negotiations. "There are talks with other companies going on but these are the main ones."

Gallowgate, founded in 2004 as a vehicle to produce Ant and Dec shows including ITV1 hit Saturday Night Takeaway, is rather closer to home. It also produces Vernon Kay's ITV1 quiz Beat The Star. The company made a loss of £358,000 in the year to 31 March 2010, according to abbreviated accounts filed at Companies House." 'via Blog this'

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

How the law works in the real world... one unique insight!

Our Events : News and events : Careers and Employability Centre : Schools and services : University of Sussex: "Tim Morris is a senior Corporate lawyer and advisor to one of the UK's most successful entrepreneurs, Charles Dunstone, across an expansive and impressive range of business ventures. Fresh from advising on the recent £3.6 billion merger of Carphone Warehouse and Dixons (the owner of Currys and PC World), Tim has a wealth of legal and business experience. His day-to-day business matters include advising on IPO's, joint ventures and mergers and acquisitions, negotiating commercial deals worth billions of dollars across a number of key jurisdictions including Europe, United States and China, through to managing litigation and the resolution of business disputes.

He has held the unique position of General Counsel and Company Secretary to two FTSE 250 companies simultaneously, Carphone Warehouse and TalkTalk. Tim has also been awarded in-house lawyer of the year at The Lawyer Awards." 'via Blog this'

Monday, 24 November 2014

Audiovisual Media Services Regulations 2014 No.2916

ATVOD Watch: Latest: "The Audiovisual Media Services Regulations 2014 Laid before Parliament on 6th November 2014

Coming into force on 1st December 2014.

Amendment of section 368E of the 2003 Act (harmful material) ." See also Explanatory Memorandum - they add credit card verification across a range of areas. 'via Blog this'

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Welcome back, Andy Coulson. Let me tell you about life after prison

Welcome back, Andy Coulson. Let me tell you about life after prison | Denis MacShane | Comment is free | The Guardian:

"Everyone in the political-media world knows that far from you being the only editor or journalist who took part in hacking and invasion of privacy, there are loads who did and nothing happened to them, just as I can name MPs and ministers today who fiddled the expenses system for personal profit – something no one accused me of – and who escaped without a mark on their character.

 So you will ask yourself, as I did: “Why me?” All I can say is that life happens. If I hear another senior judge friend tell me that what they and the CPS do has nothing to do with justice or truth but is about social order, I will yawn, but the plain fact is that this weird thing called society or public opinion needed some to be punished after the double scandal of MPs’ expenses and phone hacking." 'via Blog this'

Thursday, 20 November 2014

James Murdoch faces protest vote against Sky board role

James Murdoch faces protest vote against Sky board role | Business | The Guardian:

"His father Rupert controls 39% of Sky, which was known as BSkyB until changing its name last week.

“LAPFF has consistently raised concerns about James Murdoch’s role on the BSkyB board since 2011, concerning conflicts of interest and director candidature suitability,” said Kieran Quinn, chair of the LAPFF.

The company said: “James Murdoch has always acted with integrity and competence in his time at Sky. He continues to make a major contribution to the company”

Advisory body Pirc is also recommending a vote against James Murdoch, arguing he cannot be considered to be an independent director as he has sat on the board for more than nine years. Pirc cited a report from Ofcom, the UK communications industries regulator, which criticised his handling of the phone hacking scandal." 'via Blog this'

Russia Today threatened with Ofcom sanctions due to bias

Russia Today threatened with Ofcom sanctions due to bias | Media | The Guardian:

"An Ofcom spokesperson said: “Ofcom has strict rules to protect audiences. If broadcasters break our rules we take swift, robust action.

“Since RT started broadcasting in the UK nine years ago, Ofcom has recorded breaches of the rules on ten occasions covering various issues, ranging from the amount of advertising, to due impartiality and graphic images.

“We have put RT on notice as a result of this breach and if RT breaches our due impartiality rules again we will consider taking further regulatory action, such as imposing a sanction.”" 'via Blog this'

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Judge Spano, ECtHR: anti-democratic or guardian of fundamental values?

The European Court of Human Rights: anti-democratic or guardian of fundamental values? – Judge Robert Spano | UK Human Rights Blog: "In sum, and this is the most important point, in the discharge of his mandate, it is not the role of the Strasbourg judge to second-guess the reasoned assessment of the national judge on the eventual outcome of a case, dealing with Convention rights that allow for restrictions based on proportionality, so long as the national judge has faithfully applied the general principles of the case-law of the Court to the facts of the case in accordance with the constitutional traditions in his country. I submit that if one carefully analyses recent cases of the Strasbourg Court, for example in Animal Defenders and SAS v. France, the so- called Burqa case, one might see a trend towards a more foreseeable and rational application of the margin of appreciation in line with a more robust concept of subsidiarity inspired by the Brighton Declaration of 2012, adopted under the UK Presidency in the Council of Europe, especially where difficult areas of economic and social policy are concerned. 
To be more precise, this case law has three elements. Firstly, with what may be termed the democratic element, the Court acknowledges that national authorities have “direct democratic legitimation”. 

For a more fully developed analysis of this point, see Robert Spano, Universality or Diversity of Human Rights? Strasbourg in the Age of Subsidiary." 'via Blog this'

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Imposing Costs on Newspaper in Successful Source-Protection Case Did Not Violate Article 10

Imposing Costs on Newspaper in Successful Source-Protection Case Did Not Violate Article 10 | Strasbourg Observers: "As with all admissibility decisions, while we know the Fifth Section’s ruling was “by a majority,” the individual votes are not disclosed, and it is therefore important to explore whether there are any weaknesses in the majority’s reasoning. First, the majority opinion opens with the statement that it “does not consider” the costs ruling as an “interference” with Article 10. But this statement is not really followed up by an explanation, and the Court then proceeds to analyse the case under Article 10; so it is not quite clear how seriously the Court takes its own opening statement. But nonetheless, the statement seems to conflict with the Court’s own case law: take MGN v UK, where a newspaper had violated the Article 8 rights of a public figure, or in other words, had not exercised its freedom of expression in a “legitimate” manner, and yet, the Court considered the costs ruling “interfered” with the newspaper’s right to free expression. And similarly, in Kasabova v Bulgaria, a journalist had criminally defamed a public official, a conclusion the Court agreed with, but then went on to hold that the costs rulings “interfered” with her freedom of expression." 'via Blog this'

Monday, 17 November 2014

BBC iPlayer - Panorama - The Fake Sheikh Exposed

BBC iPlayer - Panorama - The Fake Sheikh Exposed: "The Fake Sheikh Exposed: Panorama's John Sweeney investigates claims that journalist Mazher Mahmood, known as the Fake Sheikh, created crimes and fabricated evidence." 'via Blog this'

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Why the Mark Lewis settlement with the Met is so important

Why the Mark Lewis settlement with the Met is so important | Media | The Guardian: "The case goes back to September 2009, when Lewis gave evidence to the Commons culture and media select committee. He told MPs that there were 6,000 phone-hacking victims, which contradicted the News of the World's single "rogue reporter" defence.

 Two months later, the Press Complaints Commission chair, Lady Buscombe, made a speech to the Society of Editors in which she said that the then Met assistant commissioner, John Yates, had passed her reliable evidence showing that Lewis's statement was incorrect.

 Lewis sued Buscombe, the PCC and the Met on the grounds that he had been accused of lying to parliament and, in so doing, damaged his reputation. In November 2010, Buscombe and the PCC apologised to Lewis and paid him £20,000 in libel damages.

 Following last week's settlement, Lewis said: "The Metropolitan police have spent about £250,000 unsuccessfully defending my claim" 'via Blog this'

Friday, 14 November 2014

From the Human Rights Act to a Bill of Rights? - UK Parliament

From the Human Rights Act to a Bill of Rights? - UK Parliament:

"Replacing the Human Rights Act?

 Some have argued that the HRA does little to protect historic constitutional rights and liberties, such as the right to trial by jury or free speech. The Conservatives have suggested a new Bill of Rights to replace the HRA.  Exactly how this would operate in practice in relation to the European Convention on Human Rights is unclear, though the Conservatives have indicated that they would seek a greater national “margin of appreciation” in how the rights were applied in a domestic context.

While it seems unlikely that the UK would opt out of the European Convention on Human Rights, if the HRA were repealed and the Convention rights were no longer contained in UK law, aggrieved parties might once again have to take their case to the Strasbourg court for determination. Moreover, depending on the funding available (through legal aid or otherwise), parties might find it less easy to bring rights-related proceedings." 'via Blog this'

Privacy and Injunctions - Joint Committee on Privacy and Injunctions 2012 Report

Privacy and Injunctions - Joint Committee on Privacy and Injunctions: "We believe that the courts are now striking a better balance between the right to privacy and the right to freedom of expression, based on the facts of the individual case (para 32).

A privacy statute 

We believe that any statutory definition of privacy would risk becoming outdated quickly, would not allow for flexibility on a case-by-case basis and would lead to even more litigation over its interpretation. For these reasons we do not recommend one (para 37).

We do not recommend a statute declaring in broad terms the right to privacy. We disagree with criticisms that privacy law has been "judge made" and does not have parliamentary authority; it has evolved from the Human Rights Act 1998 (para 41).

Determining the public interest in private lives

We do not recommend a statutory definition of the public interest, as the decision of where the public interest lies in a particular case is a matter of judgment, and is best taken by the courts in privacy cases. As an alternative, we expect the reformed media regulator, in conjunction with other regulators, to publish clear guidelines as to what constitutes the public interest, and to update them where necessary (para 50).

We do not think that section 12(4) of the Human Rights Act 1998, in requiring the courts to "have particular regard to the importance of the Convention right to freedom of expression" when considering whether to grant any relief, means that article 10 has precedence over article 8. The practical effect of the claimant satisfying section 12(3) (see below) means that article 8 does not have precedence over article 10." 'via Blog this'

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Last gasp of the super-injunction?

Last gasp of the super-injunction - RPC Privacy Law: "The MOD recognises that the statistics are not complete and do not cover every application which falls within the subject.
It is nonetheless surprising that the figures reveal that every application for a new interim privacy injunction since August 2011 has resulted in an injunction being granted.
That said, it does seem clear that super-injunctions are almost extinct. The last interim super-injunction that was granted was in 2011.
Other derogations from open justice, or combinations of them, are being deployed frequently by the courts. 64% of applications for new interim privacy injunctions were heard in private, party anonymity was ordered in 50% and access to statements of case by non-parties restricted in 86% of cases." 'via Blog this'

Note: In 2014, there were zero applications in the first 6 months for a privacy injunction.

Ministry of Justice Report on Privacy Injunctions 2013

This bulletin presents statistics on privacy injunctions dealt with at hearings at the High Court or Court of Appeal at the Royal Courts of Justice (RCJ) in London during the period January to June 2013. It is the fourth bulletin in the series and includes comparison figures for the periods August to December 2011, January to June 2012 and July to December 2012 as presented in the first three bulletins. 'via Blog this'

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Panorama alleges that ‘fake sheikh’ tricked people into criminal acts

Panorama alleges that ‘fake sheikh’ tricked people into criminal acts | Media | The Guardian: "Steve Grayson, who worked with Mahmood on numerous stories in the 1990s including this one, said of the takedown: “He is a drug dealer, we’re drug dealers, we have paid this guy to supply the drugs to give to her.”

Billy told Panorama: “I’d like to apologise to Emma for my part in stitching her up. The only real criminal was Mazher Mahmood. He gave me the money to buy the cocaine.”" 'via Blog this'

Did 'Fake Sheikh' Mazher Mahmood mislead Leveson about the Dark Arts of his Past?

Did Mazher Mahmood mislead Leveson about the Dark Arts of his Past? – Peter Jukes | Inforrm's Blog: "The ‘particular firm’ Mahmood mentions, used regularly by News of the World executives Greg Miskiw and Alex Marunchak, was none other than Southern Investigations.Last year a senior police officer told me  that Southern Investigations’ relationship with News of the World,”“was without question the maternity ward where the Dark Arts were born.”" 'via Blog this'

BOWMAN v. THE UNITED KINGDOM - 24839/94 [1998] ECHR 4

BOWMAN v. THE UNITED KINGDOM - 24839/94 [1998] ECHR 4 (19 February 1998): Bowman tested the 1983 Act in respect of a £5 limit on electoral candidate expenditure in constituencies, held by the majority to infringe Article 10 but a notable dissenting minority claimed that::

"the restriction in question is part of an overall democratic electoral system with checks and balances that aim at preventing evasion of the maximum limits of expenditure. It offers equality of arms as between candidates; it protects candidates from manipulation by pressure groups – hence the preference of such groups for action in constituencies with marginal results – and safeguards their independence; it does not prohibit the spending of money for the promotion of a cause if done without the intention of promoting the interests, or harming the prospects, of a particular candidate; it counterbalances the limit imposed on candidates; it is limited in terms of time. To our minds the aforesaid reasons adduced by the respondent Government to justify the restriction in question are “relevant and sufficient”." 'via Blog this'

Case Law: Various Claimants v MGN, Judge orders Mirror Group to give phone hacking “generic disclosure”

Case Law: Various Claimants v MGN, Judge orders Mirror Group to give phone hacking “generic disclosure” | Inforrm's Blog: "On 28 October 2014.  Mr Justice Mann, the judge managing the Mirror Group phone hacking litigation, handed down a judgment dealing with the disclosure being sought by the claimants from MGN (Various Claimants v MGN [2014] EWHC 3655 (Ch)).

He ordered MGN to give “generic disclosure” in relation to phone hacking – that is documents going to the general practices of phone hacking at Mirror Group newspapers.

The claims have been brought by a number of individuals in respect of phone hacking and allied wrongs said to have been committed by newspapers.  Eight or nine cases are to be tried in February 2015 as test cases.

 The pleaded cases fall into two parts.  First there is “claimant specific” information which is said to demonstrate that a particular claimant was phone hacking. Secondly, there is material relied on which is described as “generic”." 'via Blog this'

IPSO chair’s speech to Society of Editors does not bode well for self-regulator

IPSO chair’s speech to Society of Editors does not bode well for self-regulator – Brian Cathcart | Inforrm's Blog: "Leveson, having carefully weighed evidence from all the relevant parties, made 38 recommendations for what he said would be an effective, independent self-regulator worthy of the public trust. According to an external analysis published over a year ago and still unrebutted by Moses or the industry, Ipso complies with just 12 of them. Simplification will not bridge that gulf. Simplification will not make Ipso acceptable to the public. 

Moses spoke in passing of the “eye-watering difficulty” of applying a press code of practice, a difficulty which arose because many cases involved judgements as to what was in the public interest. And, he said, “no one has defined what that means”.

Really? The code of practice Moses has inherited from the Press Complaints Commission defines the public interest. So do the codes at Ofcom and the BBC. And the Crown Prosecution Service has also published a definition. It is the job of a regulator such as Moses to interpret such a definition, and no doubt that can be difficult, but it is simply wrong to say there is no definition." 'via Blog this'

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Society of Editors Conference 2014 - Ministerial pre-election speech

Society of Editors Conference 2014 - Speeches - GOV.UK: "In the summer of 1949, the horrors of the Nazi regime were still fresh in our minds.

The world was looking on helplessly as Stalin tightened his grip on Eastern Europe.

And in that atmosphere, David Maxwell-Fyfe led the drafting of what he called “a beacon to the peoples behind the Iron Curtain” – The European Convention on Human Rights.

Maxwell-Fyfe’s goals were noble. But today, they stand corrupted.

Article Eight, protecting the right to privacy, was created to fend off the threat of secret police conducting arbitrary searches for totalitarian regimes.

But in 2014 it is little more than an excuse for well-paid lawyers to hide the shady pasts of wealthy businessmen and the sexual indiscretions of sporting celebrities.

That people are being allowed to do so in the name of human rights shows how far from Maxwell-Fyfe’s intentions the idea has drifted." 'via Blog this'

Monday, 3 November 2014

The United Kingdom in Strasbourg – all the Article 10 judgments

The United Kingdom in Strasbourg – all the Article 10 judgments | Inforrm's Blog: "Following a request on Twitter by Adam Wagner of the “UK Human Rights Blog” for a breakdown down of the cases by category he had two responses.   There is a Word document from University of Law’s Trevor Jackson and an Excel spreadsheet from David Charlton.

There are twenty two cases listed over a period of nearly 40 years.  The United Kingdom was found to be in breach of Article 10 in eleven of them – that is 50% success rate." 'via Blog this'