After many attempts by her to delay the hearing, the libel claim against Ukip MEP, Jane Collins, has finally concluded. She has been ordered to pay more than £160,000 in libel and slander damages, and faces a costs bill of £196,000, after alleging that Rotherham MPs Sir Kevin Barron, John Healey and Sarah Champion knew about child exploitation in the town but did not intervene.

The case arose out of a speech the Yorkshire and Humber MEP gave at UKIP’s conference in September 2014. The award of £54,000 to each MP was composed of £45,000 for libel and £9,000 for slander.  The judgment is at [2017] EWHC 162 (QB).

Gary Lineker has said he will not be “bullied” by the Daily Mail after the tabloid newspaper accused the former England footballer of tax avoidance in a highly critical two-page article. iNews has said that the attack by the Daily Mail “should scare anyone who cares about free speech.”

An injunction against the Times newspapers was varied when after lawyers failed to suppress a story about David Beckham’s alleged foul-mouthed response to being snubbed for a knighthood.

An article in the Law Society Gazette has said that the “demise” of traditional local newspapers is one of a number of factors which means the UK is “failing” open justice tests.

Social Media

Anas Modamani, the Syrian refugee who’s selfie with Angela Merkel sparked false reports of terrorist activities, is to go to court with Facebook over fake news.

Socially Aware’s February newsletter is now available.

Data Protection and Data Privacy

A business owner has been prosecuted for failing to register with the ICO because she was using in-store CCTV.

Information Rights and Wrongs blog also looks at CCTV, and how CCTV and data protection can also have relevance in private law civil proceedings.

Privacy Europe looks at the impact that Trump’s executive order might have on the Privacy Shield.

Surveillance and Information Gathering

The Home Office has extended Surveillance Camera Commissioner Tony Porter’s contract for a further three years.

Human Rights Watch has examined surveillance laws in the age of populism.

Newspapers Journalism and Regulation

A new amendment in the House of Lords has kept the pressure on the government to enact Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act.

Liverpool football club have banned Sun journalists from their stadium and training ground over the paper’s coverage of the Hillsborough disaster.

Wikipedia editors have voted to ban the Daily Mail as a source for the website in all but exceptional circumstances after deeming the news group “generally unreliable”.

The Daily Star has apologised for a headline which said: “Almost half Brit Muslims want Sharia law and WOULDN’T report relative in ISIS: Shock study”.

The Express took down five photos in a photo gallery entitled “The EU’s craziest decisions” after it was pointed out that the captions were inaccurate.


The Daily Express has flagged up a Brexit story correction on its front page for the second time within a week, following an IPSO ruling. It’s article entitled “98% say no to EU deal” was found to be inaccurate by the press regulator.

A County Tyrone developer’s complaint against the Irish News has been rejected by IPSO after an article about Western Building Systems’s ‘moat and bridge’ housing development near Coalisland.

Statements in Open Court

There were no statements in open court last week.

Last week in the Courts

The trial in Hourani v Thomson will continued on Monday 6 February to Friday 10 February 2017 last week before Warby J.  Today is the final day of the trial.  On 6 February 2017, Warby J gave a judgment dismissing the claimant’s application for disclosure of the identities of the clients of the Fifth Defendant ([2017] EWHC 173 (QB)).

As already mentioned, on Monday 6 February 2017, Warby J will gave judgment in the case of Barron v Collins ([2017] EWHC 162 (QB)).

On 8 February 2017, the Court of Appeal gave judgment in the case of Norman v Norman ([2017] EWCA Civ 49) dismissing an application for an anonymisation order in an application for ancillary relief.

On the same day Sir David Eady handed down judgment in the case of Daryanani v Ramnani ([2017] EWHC 183 (QB)).

On 9 February 2017, Sir David Eady handed down judgment in the case of Todary v W1 Cars Ltd ([2017] EWHC 195 (QB)).  The trial in this case has been adjourned until the Easter Term.


8 March 2017, “The Bubble Reputation: Protecting, Inflating, Deflating and Preserving it”, Information Law and Policy Centre, IALS, 6pm to 8pm.

24 March 2017, the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom conference on Media Freedom in Strasbourg, entitled: “Promoting dialogue between the ECtHR and the media freedom community”

Media Law in Other Jurisdictions


The Halal Certification Authority has filed a defamation claim against anti-Islamic group Q Society after President Mohamed El-Mouelhy says they implied he funded terrorist activity.


Michael Geist has appeared on TVO’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin to discuss privacy issues in light of the Trump Executive Order that eliminates Privacy Act protections for non-U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

The Canadian Privacy Law Blog has questioned whether the Canadian Federal Court has taken the first step towards a “right to be forgotten” with a global take-down order.

In the case of Marson v Nova Scotia, 2017 NSCA 17 the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal against an award of damages for libel and privacy totalling $52,640 (2016 NSSC 78).

Hong Kong

The judgment in the libel case of Chim Pui Chung v Apple Daily Ltd ([2017] HKCFI 148) is now available.  Damages of HK$100,000 were awarded to the plaintiff.

Our attention has also been drawn to the decision in Law Chi Ching v Apple Daily Ltd ([2017] HKCA 14) in which the Court of Appeal reduced libel damages from HK$700,000 to HK$450,000 on the basis that the readers who would identify the plaintiff as the person mentioned in the article were in the few tens rather than the few hundreds.


The Supreme Court has agreed to examine as whether Facebook’s access to details of calls, messages, photographs and documents exchanged by the users of WhatsApp violated the citizens’ right to privacy.

The Supreme Court has declined to lay down guidelines to regulate so-called Santa Banta jokes on social media.

The High Court of Delhi has issued notice to Centre and Google, demanding their stand on a petition seeking creation of a separate legal framework under ‘right to be forgotten’ to delink ‘irrelevant information’ from the internet.


Ireland’s privacy watchdog has launched a bid to refer Facebook’s data transfer mechanism to the European Union’s top court in a case that could put the shifting of data across the Atlantic under renewed legal threat.

A truck driver has filed a defamation claim against the Sunday World after an article about fatal road traffic incident which left one dead.

Ireland is to get its first Digital Safety Commissioner to fast-track disputes over privacy, bullying and defamation.

The Court of Appeal judgment in the case of Speedie -v- Sunday Newspapers Ltd & Ors [2017] IECA 15, dissming the newspapers’ appeal is now available.


Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked has said that she would propose a law that would impose heavy fines on social media networks that refuse to remove content that incites others to carry out terror attacks.


The criminal defamation laws, derived from section 194 of the penal code have been declared unconstitutional by Justice John Mativo.


The Civil Society network have called on Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to immediately remove Maltese legislation such as garnishee orders and criminal libel, claiming to be legislation “reminiscent of times gone by”.

The Court of Magistrates has issued a garnishee order of €46,000 against Malta Independent columnist and blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia, on the request of Labour minister Chris Cardona who has filed at least three defamation cases against her.

New Zealand

New Zealand’s privacy commissioner is recommending new civil penalties against companies of up to NZ$1 million for a “serious” data breach to keep up with sterner penalties adopted by Australia and the European Union.

South Africa

Tony Beamish, a journalist, and four lawyers are suing former controversial personal injury lawyer Ronald Bobroff and his son Darren for nearly R24 million in damages for defamation.

Twelve media houses, including Media24, have argued in court that a blanket ban on the identification of child victims and offenders in the media would be ‘unrealistic’ and interfere with freedom of expression.


A Maryland blogger has been forced to pay a “substantial sum” to Melania Trump as part of a settlement for a defamation claim over an article containing unsubstantiated allegations that she once worked as an escort. The blogger, Webster Tarpley, has also issued an apology.

Melania Trump has issued a new libel claim against the corporation that it claims publishes the Daily Mail’s website, this time in New York, for reporting these rumours that she worked as an escort.

A Saskatoon judge has awarded damages totalling $100,000 in a libel case involving Dr. Kenneth Graham and the Saskatoon StarPhoenix.

A Federal District Judge has issued this order in one of the missing-defendant cases linked to the Profile Defenders “reputation management” company.

A Federal Judge has heard is considering motions filed by Rolling Stone’s legal team as the magazine attempts to get the courts to overturn a jury’s verdict.

Research and Resources

Reforming Intermediary Liability in the Platform Economy: A European Digital Single Market Strategy, 111 Northwestern University Law Review Online (2017 Forthcoming), Giancarlo F. Frosio, University of Strasbourg – Centre for International Intellectual Property Studies (CEIPI)

The Losing Media? An Empirical Study of Defamation Litigation in China.  Centre for Chinese & Comparative Law Research Paper No. 2017/005, Xin Heand Fen Lin, City University of Hong Kong (CityUHK) and City University of Hong Kong (CityUHK) – Department of Mass Communication

The Right Tools: Europe’s Intermediary Liability Laws and the 2016 General Data Protection Regulation, Daphne Keller, Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society

The Internet and the Global Reach of EU Law, Forthcoming in the Collected Courses of the Academy of European Law (Oxford University Press), Christopher Kuner, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Brussels

The Design of the Internet’s Architecture by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and Human Rights,  Corinne J.N. Cathand Luciano Floridi, University of Oxford – Oxford Internet Institute and University of Oxford – Oxford Internet Institute

Profiling and the Essence of the Right to Data Protection, Forthcoming in Cambridge Handbook of Consumer Privacy (eds.: Jules Polonetsky, Omer Tene & Evan Selinger), Bilyana Petkovaand Franziska Boehm, New York University and Independent

Rethinking Privacy Online and Human Rights: The Internet’s Standardisation Bodies as the Guardians of Privacy Online in the Face of Mass Surveillance, European Society of International Law (ESIL) 2016 Research Forum (Istanbul), Adamantia Rachovitsa

Crisis of Privacy and Sacrifice of Personal Data in the Name of National Security: The CJEU Rulings Strengthening EU Data Protection Standards, European Society of International Law (ESIL) 2016 Annual Conference (Riga), Irena Nesterova, University of Latvia

Favoring the Press University of Georgia School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2017-04, Sonja West, University of Georgia School of Law

An Institutional Theory of Free Speech, Chris Berg. RMIT University, Faculty of Business, School of Economics, Finance and Marketing, Students

Religion and Hate Speech in Canada, Richard Moon, University of Windsor – Faculty of Law.

Next Week in the Courts

The trial in the case of Hourani v Thomson continues today.

There will be a statement in open court in the case of Taylor v Northampton County Council on 14 February 2017.

On 15 February 2017 there will be a renewed application for permission to appeal in the case of Lokhova v Tymula.

On the same day there will be a hearing dealing with costs and other matters in the case of Flymenow Ltd v Quick Air Jet Charter GmbH.

On 16 February 2017 there will be an application in the case of Ahmed v Express Newspapers.


The following reserved judgments in media law cases are outstanding:

Mionis v Democratic Press heard 27 October 2016 (Gloster, Sharp and Lindblom LJJ).

Otuo v Watchtower Bible and Tract Society 8 November 2016 (Chancellor, Gloster and Sharp LJJ).

Lisle-Mainwaring v Associated Newspapers heard 11 November 2016 (HHJ Parkes QC).

Lachaux v Independent Print, heard 29 and 30 November and 1 December 2016 the Court of Appeal (Macfarlane, Davis and Sharp LJJ).

Lisle-Mainwaring v Associated Newspapers heard 12 December 2016 (HHJ Moloney QC).

Coulter v Sunday Newspapers, heard 19 December 2016 (Court of Appeal of Northern Ireland).

PNM v Times Newspapers, heard 17 and 18 January 2017 (UK Supreme Court)

Flood v Times Newspapers, Miller v Associated Newspapers and Frost v MGN , heard 24, 25 and 26 January 2017 (UK Supreme Court)

Baines v DNT, heard 31 January and 1 February 2017 (Sir Michael Tugendhat).

ZXC v Bloomberg LLP, heard 2 February 2017 (Garnham J).

This post was compiled by Georgia Tomlinson who is a researcher.

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