Recent Event Highlights: Injunction fails to stop footballer affair reporting, No action against Herald as it names injunction footballer, PCC is 'more active than judges' in defending privacy, Max Mosley loses Europe privacy law battle, BBC's Andrew Marr drops 'embarrasing' gagging order, Goldsmiths and Jemima Khan win email privacy ruling, and 42 more...
Created by dominicponsford on 24/05/2011
Last updated: 13/07/11 at 21:04
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The Daily Mirror and the Daily Mail went into details about a footballer’s extra-marital affair today after a dramatic day of developments in the furore over anonymised privacy injunctions.
Both titles have also published photos of the players’ children while The Sun has been more cautious in its reports generally and also pixelated photos showing the childrens’ faces.
Yesterday MP John Hemming used parliamentary privilege to name Ryan Giggs as the footballer at the centre of a Twitter privacy row.
The Glasgow-based Sunday Herald became the first UK newspaper to name the footballer at the centre of a high-profile privacy gagging row yesterday.
The paper apparently made use of a loophole in the law which mean the injunction covering the identity of the married Premiership star – referred to as CTB – does not apply to Scottish newspapers. Scotland has its own rules when it comes to media law and its own precedures covering defamation and privacy
Prime Minister David Cameron this morning said he thought current privacy rules were “unfair” on the press.
Speaking on ITV’s Daybreak, Cameron also reiterated his fear that judges were “effectively writing a new law” and suggested reviewing the role of the Press Complaints Commission.
The news comes after the Sunday Herald yesterday became the first UK newspaper to name the footballer at the centre of the latest privacy injunction row yesterday, and the number of Twitter messages relating to the star was said to have topped 50,000.
Press Complaints Commission chairman Baroness Buscombe has claimed the watchdog is “more active than judges" when it comes to defending people's privacy.
Buscombe also said the PCC's anti-harrasment system has a "near 100 per cent success rate" and that people struggled to judge the regulator's success because much of its work was done "below the surface".
The PCC’s 2010 annual review, which was released today, reveals that 557 – or 23 per cent – of complaints "with merit" received by the regulator in 2010 related to privacy.
The Press Complaints Commission today hit back at criticism from the actor Hugh Grant after he accused the press watchdog of being “absolutely toothless”.
Grant’s comments were made on BBC Two’s Newsnight last Friday when he attacked the tabloid press and defended the use of celebrity gagging orders.
The PCC has responded by claiming Grant had not used its services for fifteen years and so was “not speaking with any direct knowledge of its current practices”.
Ex-Formula One boss Max Mosley today lost his European Court of Human Rights bid to force newspapers to warn people before exposing their private lives.
The verdict in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg marks the final stage in Mr Mosley's campaign for tighter privacy laws following revelations about his sex life in the News of the World.
BBC journalist Andrew Marr has lifted an injunction preventing journalists from revealing details of an extra-marital affair he had with another journalist.
The Daily Mail today reports that after challenging Marr over an affair he had eight years ago he “declared he was embarrassed by his gagging order and would no longer seek to prevent his story being published”.
The High Court injunction was granted in January 2008 to stop publication of details about Marr's affair with a “prominent political journalist”.
Tory MP Zac Goldsmith, his ex-wife Sheherazade and his sister Jemima Khan have won High Court orders preventing the disclosure of private information.
The injunctions were granted in December 2008 after the Goldsmiths, who were divorced last year, and Ms Khan were the "victims of a crime", Justice Tugendhat confirmed yesterday.
An unidentified person had hacked into the email accounts of Mrs Goldsmith and Mrs Khan and sent emails to a national newspaper journalist, purportedly from Mrs Goldsmith herself, containing personal information about her and her family.
An individual who became involved in court proceedings over the risk of toxic materials leaching out of a paint used to coat drinking water tanks was silenced by a "hyper-injunction" which even banned him from talking to an MP, it has emerged.
Liberal democrat MP John Hemming used the protection of Parliamentary privilege during an adjournment debate on the Bill of Rights at Westminster Hall on Thursday last week to make the disclosure.
Anyone who states an honest opinion or responsibly exposes issues of public interest will be able to do so with confidence under a radical shake-up of libel laws, Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke said today.
New defences will be brought in to protect those writing about issues of public interest, the truth and honest opinion and the common law defence of justification will be scrapped.
Courts will also have to decide whether England and Wales is the most appropriate place to bring an action in an effort to crack down on so-called libel tourism.
A legal ruling forcing journalists to notify people in advance of stories which breach their privacy would not harm the workings of the press, Max Mosley claimed today.
The ex-Formula One boss, who won £60,000 damages from the News of the World after it breached his privacy by publishing details of his sex life, is attempting to force media in the UK to adopt “prior notification” as a standard practice.
A married TV star was granted a gagging injunction against his ex-wife because she was blackmailing him, and was given anonymity, with the legal proceedings being heard in private.
Publicity about the hearings would have defeated the purpose of the action, a High Court judge explained yesterday.
Mr Justice Tugendhat was giving his reasons for making the gagging order and ordering anonymity for the parties in the case of AMM v HXW, the latest in a series of such cases in which the protagonists are identified by random selections of letters.
Carina Trimingham, a woman who had an affair with cabinet minister Chris Huhne, has launched a legal action against Associated Newspapers for invasion of privacy.
Trimingham is demanding damages of more than £300,000 over eight stories that appeared in the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday in June and July this year relating to her relationship with the Lib Dem energy and climate change minister.
Former Labour minister Denis MacShane has called for the Freedom of Information Act to be extended to apply to media organisations.
MacShane told the Commons the Act needed to be reviewed as many requests were designed to just seek out "sensationalist tittle-tattle".
Another England footballer won an injunction banning the reporting of allegations about his private life.
He became the third England international player in two weeks to be granted an order preventing the media from publishing claims about their personal lives.
The gagging order was granted on Saturday by on-duty High Court judge Justice Kenneth Parker.
None of the three footballers can be named under the terms of the legal orders.
Golfer Colin Montgomerie has become the latest celebrity to use an injunction to halt media revelations about his private life.
The Daily Telegraph reports today that Montgomerie was granted an injunction which stopped a report appearing in a national newspaper last month by Justice Eady at the High Court.
Press Gazette understands that the injunction was not against any one newspaper - but a generalised order preventing certain information being revealed.
Montgomerie told journalists at a Ryder Cup press conference yesterday: "I know a lot of you are having a lot of fun right now at my expense. Let me clear this up, though, that I can categorically say that there's no injunction against the News of the World. I'm really not going to discuss this any any further.
Press Gazette understands that Max Mosley is pressing on with criminal privacy and defamation actions in France against the News of the World and against the paper’s lawyers – Farrer and Co.
Press Gazette understands that chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck is being investigated by a French judge for defamation and Farrer & Co are being investigated for breach of privacy.
In 2008 Mosley won a landmark privacy action against the News of the World after it published photographs and video of him involved in an orgy with five dominatrices.
Master of the Rolls, Lord Neuberger, has established a committee of lawyers from newspaper groups, leading London firms and members of the judiciary to examine the use of so called "super-injunctions" to gag the press.
The Judiciary of England and Wales said this morning the move had been prompted by a published in February by the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee which was highly critical of the use of injunctions which prevented reporting of a story and of the existence of the injunction itself.
Little Britain star Matt Lucas has become the latest celebrity to seek damages for misuse of private information.
Lucas launched a legal action against Express Newspapers claiming that two stories published last October in the Daily Star following the death Kevin McGee, his former civil partner, misused private information.
MPs yesterday condemned media speculation over the reasons Jon Venables was sent back to prison as Justice Secretary Jack Straw refused to give further details about the case.
The Sun was threatened with an injunction by the Ministry of Justice on Friday night before it revealed on Saturday that Venables was suspected of committing a “sickening sex crime”. And the Sunday Mirror reported the next day that it was a child pornography offence.
The Attorney General’s office said this morning that no action is currently being taken against newspapers for breaching secrecy orders related to child-killer Jon Venables.
This is despite the fact that the Sunday Mirror revealed the nature of the new allegations against Venables which led to him being sent back to jail, two days after The Sun was threatened with an injunction by the Attorney General's office when it planned to do so.
On Saturday The Sun revealed that Venables had committed "a sickening sex crime" but did not go any further saying that late on Friday night they were asked by Treasury solicitors, acting on behalf of the Attorney General, to "withhold any information about Venables’ alleged offence".
A group of media organisations have been given permission to challenge former Formula One boss Max Mosley’s European Court bid to toughen up UK privacy laws.
Mosley is going to Strasbourg to seek a new ruling forcing UK journalists to notify individuals in advance if they are planning to publish private information about them.
Mosley’s European legal challenge follows his victory last year at High Court trial in which he was awarded £60,000 in privacy damages after the News of the World publish details of his involvement in an orgy with five dominatrices.
Eight media and free speech organisations have been given permission by the Court to intervene in the case.
Three national newspapers today revealed the name of the Premier League football manager alleged to have visited a brothel last year.
The story follows publication of an article in The Sun newspaper just before Christmas outlining details of a Premiership manager who it said had visited a Thai 'vice den' without identifying the figure involved.
At the time, The Sun said "creeping privacy laws in the UK" prevented it from naming him and it said it had been threatened with an injunction by the man's lawyers.
That followed a number of cases in which wealthy and famous individuals had successfully used the Human Rights Act to gag the media.
News of the World head lawyer Tom Crone has said the paper’s privacy victory over England captain John Terry could lead to a "fundamental reassessment of our draconian privacy laws".
On Friday, the paper overturned a wide-reaching injunction banning it from writing anything about the extra-marital affair conducted by Terry, who is married with two children.
The legal victory allowed the News International Sunday redtop to reveal yesterday that, in addition to having an affair with lingerie model Vanessa Perroncel the former girlfriend of team-mate Wayne Bridge, Terry had made her pregnant and then paid for her to have an abortion.
A new “super-injunction” has been used by a Premier League footballer to stop national newspapers reporting his alleged marital infidelity.
The Daily Mail identifies the man only as a married England international.
The Daily Mail today reports, in apparent defiance of the order: "So draconian is Mr Justice Tugendhat’s order that even its existence is supposed to be a secret."
Press Gazette has not been served with the injunction.
The local authority which obtained an injunction blocking a BBC Newsnight broadcast about two young boys involved in a horrific assault was today strongly criticised by a judge for ignoring the proper procedures.
"Lamentable omissions" by Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council led to the expenditure of substantial but unnecessary costs and the issue of an interim injunction which should not have been made, Mr Justice Tugendhat said in a decision handed down today.
The case was over an injunction the council obtained banning the BBC and anyone else from publishing any information obtained from a Serious Case Review into the circumstances leading up to an incident in which two boys, aged 10 and 11, sadistically attacked two other youngsters in Edlington, South Yorkshire. The boys, who have admitted a number of offences, are due to be sentenced by Mr Justice Keith today.
Private Eye editor Ian Hislop has told parliament that the 'chill wind' of privacy law is preventing journalists going about their day-to-day inquiries and breaking stories.
Hislop told a Commons select committee hearing on press standards today that Private Eye had recently been served with a legal warning expressing concern that a journalist had "been approaching various parties to make inquiries".
Former Liberal Democrat MP Mark Oaten has called for "practical rules of engagement" to be imposed when newspapers make revelations about the private lives of public figures.
Oaten pulled out of the Lib Dem leadership race in 2003 after the News of the World published revelations about sexual liasons between the married father of two and male prostitutes.
Oaten said: "I just want them to be more upfront and honest and say ‘yep,’ we’re doing it to sell newspapers. I would have no problem if they actually admitted that it’s not in the public interest.
"What annoys me is when they essentially expose people’s private lives and pretend they’re doing society a great service."
Formula One boss Max Mosley has today won his privacy action against the News of the World.
The newspaper, which had accused the 68-year-old son of the 1930s Fascist leader Sir Oswald Mosley of taking part in a “sick Nazi orgy” with five prostitutes, must now pay him £60,000 compensation - a record in UK privacy cases.
Mr Justice Eady said: “I have decided the claimant had a reasonable expectation of privacy in relation to sexual activities albeit unconventional carried out between consenting adults on private property.”
In his judgment he said: “I found there was no evidence that the gathering on 28 March 2008 was intended to be an enactment of Nazi behaviour or an adoption of any of its attitudes. I see no genuine basis at all for the suggestion that the participants mocked the victims of the Holocaust.
The case of Max Mosley versus the News of the World kicks off on Monday in what promises to be a landmark privacy battle.
Mosley, president of the powerful International Automobile Association, will argue that pictures and a video of him taking part in what the NoW called a “sex Nazi orgy” with prostitutes earlier this year were private.
Lawyer Rupert Grey, of Swan Turton, said: “Even if Mosley loses the public interest argument, which is where the main battle will be fought, there is a fair chance that the boundaries will move deeper into tabloid territory.
The High Court has issued a judgment against author JK Rowling which says celebrities and their families do not have a right to privacy when they are in public places.
Princess Caroline of Monaco won a landmark European Court Ruling in 2004 that appeared to ban publications from showing the children of celebrities when pictured with their parents in public but on private business.
But on Tuesday, Harry Potter author Rowling failed in a bid to ban publication of a photograph of one of her children which was taken in the street.
The picture, showing Rowling and her husband with son David in a buggy, was taken by a photographer from agency Big Pictures using a long-range lens, and appeared in the Sunday Express magazine.
The House of Lords has turned down a petition for permission to appeal in the privacy battle between Canadian folk singer Loreena McKennitt and Niema Ash, the former friend who wrote a book about her.
The Law Lords rejected a petition from Ms Ash seeking to appeal against the decision of the Court of Appeal to uphold the original judgment by Mr Justice Eady that parts of Ms Ash's book, published by a company she owns, breached Ms McKennitt's privacy, and that it was also a breach of confidence.
The House of Lords Appeal Committee rejected the petition because it "does not raise an arguable point of law of general public importance which ought to be considered by the House at this time".
Author Niema Ash has lodged a petition for leave to appeal to the House of Lords against the decision of the Court of Appeal upholding the judgment of Mr Justice Eady that her book was a breach of confidence and an infringement of the privacy rights of Canadian folk-singer Loreena McKennitt.
The 14-page petition, lodged on January 19 by David Price Solicitors and Advocates, which represented Ms Ash in the Court of Appeal, argues that the decisions by the lower courts represent "a significant shift in favour of privacy at the inevitable expense of freedom of expression".
Stories about the property dealings of Tony and Cherie Blair, their penchant for new age lifestyles and allegations that the Beckhams’ marriage is not as perfect as they publicly portray could all be covered by a cloak of secrecy in 2007.
Yet the private lives of ordinary members of the public will still be fair game for the press. This was the stark warning issued by media lawyers reacting this week to a landmark Court of Appeal ruling — which one said has “sounded the death knell for tabloid kiss and tells”.
The Court of Appeal has upheld the right of Canadian singer Loreena McKennitt to ban publication of certain passages in a book entitled Travels with Loreena McKennitt: My Life as a Friend by Niema Ash.
The Law Society's landmark legal challenge to the High Court has ended with a restrictive change in the rules — but more court documents than ever before are now available to journalists.
The society, the professional body for solicitors, was angered by a judicial decision allowing court documents to be available retrospectively, and won a last minute ex-parte injunction banning the Court Service from applying the new rule, which was due to take effect from 2 October.
A group representing all the major media players in the UK joined forces to challenge the injunction, and days before a full hearing, the Department for Constitutional Affairs, which runs the Court Service, caved in.
Celebrity magazines OK! and Hello! go head to head in the highest court in the land next Monday (20 November) for the final £6 million round of their legal battle over photographs of the wedding of the wedding of Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones.
But the glitter of Hollywood's highest profile wedding will be far removed from the dusty legal argument scheduled to last a week in a wood-panelled committee room at London's House of Lords.
The legal argument is over whether OK! who had done a deal with Douglas and Zeta Jones to buy the exclusive rights to their official wedding pictures for £1 million and who sued Hello! over Hello!'s use of unauthorised paparazzi pictures of the wedding are entitled to just over £1 million compensation they were awarded in the High Court but later stripped of by the Court of Appeal.
Last week's landmark House of Lords ruling in MGN's failed challenge to the rights of lawyers to demand massive fee uplifts in cases where they have acted on a no win-no fee basis — known as a conditional fee agreement (CFA) — and have won is dire news for the media generally. The only ray of hope is a suggestion that new legislation may be necessary to regulate use of CFAs.
However, as things stand the ruling must result in some stories, which probably should be published, never seeing the light of day, purely from an economic standpoint, because the ruling vastly increases the potential legal cost burden papers could face in defending actions.
From the point of view of the national media it may be that papers will have the resources to take the chance.
Abbie Gibson worked as the Beckhams' nanny for two years, until last March. She had apparently signed four confidentiality agreements.
Nevertheless, she told the News of the World about David Beckham's affairs and the family rows. The Beckhams applied for an injunction against the NoW. They couldn't proceed against Gibson as she was not available or represented.
To obtain an injunction to prevent disclosure of private material the Beckhams needed to show that it was more likely than not that they would succeed at trial. Mr Justice Langley thought not — Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which deals with freedom of expression, would prevail.
"When the cost of defending one article can equate to the cost of employing 100 journalists for a year, the consequences for freedom of expression are extreme."
This is the view of Associated Newspapers legal director Harvey Kass, over controversial no win, no fee rules for lawyers which have caused the cost of defending libel cases to spiral.
He was speaking after a landmark ruling which for the first time placed a limit on the costs to be paid by a publisher in the event of losing a libel action brought by lawyers acting on a no win, no fee basis.
...The CFA regime also applies in privacy cases. In 2003, DJ Sara Cox won a £50,000 payout from The People after suing over photographs of her sunbathing topless on holiday.
Her compensation was dwarfed by the costs claimed by her lawyers, Schillings, which, without the case even going to court, still amounted to £272,000.
The Liverpool Echo staked hundreds of thousands of pounds on winning a landmark legal judgment against the nightclub promoter, Cream, which had tried to block the newspaper from carrying stories about its financial activities.
And now Echo has learned that its gamble has paid off.
According to insiders, the nightclub, which will have to pay both sides' costs for the two-and-half-year legal battle, is facing the prospect of a bill of around £500,000.
In Monday and Tuesday's editions, the Trinity Mirror-owned evening paper finally published details of the alleged financial activities by the club - which it has fought to reveal all the way to the House of Lords.
A record £53,000 payout for infringing the privacy of a baby in Germany could set a benchmark for future settlements in UK courts.
Princess Caroline of Monaco's five-year-old daughter, Alexandra, won the settlement after German magazines published pictures of her in 1999. They pictured the princess and her daughter leaving hospital as well as pictures taken by a photographer who had climbed a tree in the grounds of the family home.
Children may have to be edited out of celebrity pictures
British newspapers have been effectively banned from publishing photographs of celebrities with their children by the European Court of Human rights.
The full ruling, which is in French, has been described as "pretty horrific" by a leading international media lawyer.
And it has been interpreted as going much further than both the Editors' Code of Practice and existing British legal precedent.
To the relief of editors, MPs seem to have accepted self-regulation.
There was a moment at Monday's press conference when Gerald Kaufman's committee showed it might have teeth and that they might take a big bite into press freedom.
That was when Labour member Derek Wyatt suggested, out of the blue, that newspapers which breached the PCC Code of Practice should be punished by not being allowed to publish the following day.
But when first George Pascoe Watson, deputy political editor of The Sun, and then Stuart Kuttner, managing editor of the News of the World, challenged him, Wyatt swiftly backtracked. And Kaufman himself made clear the sanction did not have the committee's backing.
The importance of a £50,000 privacy payoff from The People newspaper to DJ Sara Cox has been downplayed by the Press Complaints Commission and described by director Guy Black as a "one-off".
But it remains only the second time a celebrity has won substantial damages after suing under the privacy clause of the Human Rights Act 1998.
In 2001 Amanda Holden reached a £40,000 out-of-court settlement from the Daily Star after it published photos of her sunbathing topless in the garden of her Tuscany villa.
Similarly, the Cox photographs were of her topless on a private beach - this time on her honeymoon in October 2001.
Paddick: stories were "intensely personal" Metropolitan Police Commander Brian Paddick has launched a landmark legal battle against The Mail on Sunday after claiming the paper invaded his privacy in two stories in March 2002.
Paddick complains the paper infringed his rights to privacy in the stories, which dealt with his relationship with other men and his former marriage.
He claims he has a right to respect for his sex life and his private life, and the right not to have details of these made public without his consent.
Pinker: welcomed guidelines
MPs want a privacy law but the Government will continue backing the Press Complaints Commission as long as journalists do not make a drastic error of judgement, magazine editors were told at a privacy seminar.
Speaking at the launch of The PPA Privacy Handbook for magazine journalists, Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker said: "MPs would like to bring in a privacy law, one that works and doesn't impede on the needs of the press in a free society. It is, however, a political minefield.
"The Government is keen to leave this area to the PCC and it will remain so unless something drastic happens." He said the UK could move towards the US model of "personality rights". US celebrities can protect their name or image from being used to sell publications.
This month the Court of Appeal, in a landmark ruling, discharged the injunction granted last year against Mirror Group Newspapers which had prevented publication of a story concerning extra-marital affairs of a Premiership footballer.
That Injunction itself had been granted by the judge primarily on the basis that he considered that a confidential relationship existed between the footballer and the two women with whom he had brief relationships.
Issues of privacy were of fundamental significance in that earlier ruling.
Wallis:footballer is "cheating rat"
The Sunday People took on the footballer who wanted to prevent the paper publishing accounts of his extra-marital sex as "a matter of principle", not because it wanted to publish the specifics of a kiss-and-tell, said editor Neil Wallis.
The Court of Appeal has allowed the Sunday People to name the Premiership footballer, after a three-week stay to allow him to seek to challenge the verdict in the House of Lords.
The Sunday People has led the way on battling against celebrity injunctions, overturning those sought by Jamie Theakston and the Attard Siamese twins' parents.
The decision to grant celebrities a legal right to privacy is in the hands of Mr Justice Morland as he considers the evidence he's heard this week in Naomi Campbell's landmark case against The Mirror.
The supermodel contends that the newspaper's picture of her emerging from a Narcotics Anonymous meeting on the King's Road in February last year was an invasion of her privacy and that it ran an escalating and vindictive campaign against her when she refused to co-operate.