Monday, 4 January 2016

Media law cases in 2015: a short survey of the libel, privacy and data protection cases

Media law cases in 2015: a short survey of the libel, privacy and data protection cases | Inforrm's Blog: "The four particularly noteworthy cases of the year were, in chronological order:

 Vidal-Hall v Google ([2015] EWCA Civ 311) in which the Court of Appeal disapplied section 13(2) of the Data Protection Act 1998 so that claims can now be made for distress damages in data protection, without proof of financial loss. This has opened the way for group actions in data protection – claims which are likely to be an important area of litigation in 2016.  This decision was the subject of a popular Inforrm case comment.  The decision is subject to appeal to the Supreme Court, due to be heard in October 2016.

OPO v Rhodes ([2015] UKSC 32) in which the Supreme Court discharged an interim injunction restraining the publication of a book.  The Court clarified the tort of intentionally inflicting mental suffering, gave a powerful reminder of the importance of freedom of expression, provided important guidance on the form of injunctive relief and abolished imputations of an intention by operation of a rule of law. This case was the subject of two of our most popular posts of the year by Dan Tench (on the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court decisions).

Gulati v MGN([2015] EWHC 1482 (Ch)) – in which, in a detailed and comprehensive judgment (upheld by the Court of Appeal in December [2015] EWCA Civ 1291) Mann J awarded damages totalling £1.2 million were awarded to 8 victims of phone hacking.  We had posts on the first instance and Court of Appeal

Lachaux v Independent Print [2015] EWHC 2242 (QB)) – the most important decision so far on the “serious harm” requirement under section 1 of the Defamation Act 2015, rejecting the submission that the law had not been substantially changed but accepting proof of serious harm by inference. We had an Inforrm case comment on this decision.  An application for permission to appeal is presently pending before the Court of Appeal.


 There were seven judgments after full libel trials – all of them by judge alone.  Only one of those trials was against the mainstream media – and was won convincingly by newspaper. Overall the claimants were successful in 3 out of the 7 cases." 'via Blog this'

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