ændrew.com v8

Media Law lecture -- Confidentiality and Privacy pt. 3

March 12, 2012

Questions from last week:

  • Talking to people in hospital?

    • Must identify as a journalist and get permission from hospital authorities.
  • What’s the difference between an assignment in copyright law and license

    • Assignment: complete transfer from A to B.
    • License: permission being granted to use a copyrighted work for a certain purpose.
  • Where would you go on appeal of fact from the Magistrate’s Court?

    • Appeal would lie to the Crown Court.
    • On matters of law, i.e., an adjudication on a law, matter is appealed to the Divisional court of the High Court.
  • What court would a Lord Justice sit in?

    • Court of Appeal
  • Public interest: a defined concept within the industry regulators
  • What are the rules regarding reporting pregnancy?

    • Within PCC, shouldn’t refer to an individual’s pregnancy up to 12 weeks, unless that information’s already in the public domain.
    • Adjudications: Danny Minogue, Charlotte Church

For next week:

  • What are these orders and when are appropriate?

    • §4(2) order
    • §39 order
    • §11 order
  • What’s the difference between commonlaw qualified privilege and statutory qualified privilege?
  • In the ECHR, what does article 2 protect; what does §12(3) of the Human Rights Act say about injunctions?
  • What are the rules about reporting court cases that take place in the Youth Court?

This week in law

  • PCC is no more! Will be replaced by… something.
  • Jeffries case: Mirror and Sun were prosecuted for contempt; Mirror sought appeal and was turned down


Major cases

  • Douglas v. Hallo (2000)

    • Wedding between Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas. Had sold rights to Ok magazine; rival Hallo had photographer who surreptitiously took photos as part of wedding party. Douglases sued for breach of confidence; court upheld the right of the Douglases to protect their wedding. Court argued law of privacy would uphold law of confidentiality; duty of confidentiality didn’t need to be identified. Setting was private, info had a commercial value — injunction would be granted.
  • Theakston v. MGN Ltd (2002): photographs

    • TV star visited brothel; story was told about exploits. Injunction sought, not granted about an account of what happened, though injunction granted against photographs being published.
    • “Photographs can be particularly intrusive, particularly if not done with consent.”
  • Peck v. UK (2003): privacy in a public place

    • Person tried to commit suicide, picture being prevented given to media, ECHR came down on his side and the council had acted inappropriately in providing photos to media.
  • Princess Caroline von Hannover v. Germany (2004)

    • Argued pictures taken of her were not of public interest and she was being harassed. ECHR came down on Princess Caroline von Hannover’s side.
  • Naomi Campbell v. MGN Ltd (2004) (the major case re: privacy)

    • Campbell sued over report in Daily Mirror talking about her treatments for drug addiction. Report showed a photo of her leaving therapy session and gave details about therapy; frequency of therapy. Went to House of Lords, which came down 3-2 in favour of Campbell saying it was acceptable to publish details of drug treatment and to say she had a drug problem, but not acceptable to say she was going to Narcotics Anonymous, or where the treatment, or the kind of treatment; also, unacceptable to show photos of her leaving Narcotics Anonymous. Termed “Wrongful disclosure of private information”. Looks at the following: a. Is it private information? b. If disclosure took place, would it cause substantial offence to a reasonable person? c. What are the benefits of disclosure? d. Where does the public interest lie?
    • Lady Justice Hale: distinction being made between coming out from treatment or going about their normal business.
  • McKennitt v. Ash (2005)

    • Brought privacy to another level; a Canadian singer (Lorraine McKennitt) had book written about her by friend. Discussed things only a friend would be aware of.
    • Court sided with McKennitt; argued she was entitled to protect this information and friend didn’t have right to publish it. In judgement itself, not made clear what was true or not; court said it wasn’t for the claimant to sift through information to discriminate against what is true or not as that would undermine privacy further.
  • Murray v. Big Pictures (2008)

    • JK Rowling followed around Edinburgh with child in a pram; injunction sought to prevent photographs to pursue her.
    • Court granted, arguing special protection granted to children.
  • Max Mosley v. News Group Newspapers Ltd (2008)

    • Sued over NOTW articles suggesting he had been involved in Nazi-themed sex parties.
    • Judge came down arguing on the facts that there wasn’t evidence the party was Nazi themed. If it was, there would be public interest.
    • Mosley then argued to the ECHR he should be aware of articles coming out about him, but ECHR argued he didn’t have a right to be able to step in an attempt to stop publication. No right for claimant to be told about matter relating to privacy prior to publication.
  • LNS v. Persons Unknown (2010)

    • Footballer (John Terry) tried to create a blanket injunction about an affair. Came down against Terry, arguing he was doing this only to protect commercial interests.
  • Super injunctions

    • Trafigura v. Guardian Newspapers

      • Guardian had info re: Trafigura’s toxic waste. Court imposed injunction on publication, but also on publication of information about injunction.
      • MP argued there shouldn’t be a superinjunction; injunction unraveled and information because public.
  • Ferdinand v. MGN Ltd (2011)

    • Rio brought a case against Mirror; Mirror had published details about an affair. Judge Nichol came down on side of newspaper.

      • Ferdinand was the head of English football team; had tried to establish reputation as a reformed character (even having written an autobiography); lady had a right to tell story.
  • Spelman v. Express Newspapers Ltd

    • Newspaper got paper about rugby player (son of MP) had been ordering illegal performance enhancing drugs. Injunction initially granted then revoked; argued info was in the public domain.
  • Princess Caroline von Hannover (2012)

    • Case showed her and her family walking through the streets of Monaco with father, Prince Rainier, who had been ill. Law came down on side of press, arguing showing a reigning monarch in recovery was in the public interest.
  • Human Rights Act §12(3)

    • No injunction should be granted unless applicant is likely to win its case.
    • Media has to be given notice of applicantions
    • Much lower test than in libel (I.e., Bonnard v. Perryman), where it would be granted only if applicant is able to establish the falsity of the claims.

The Right to Life

  • Article 2 — Everyone’s right to life should be protected by law. Everyone’s life should be protected by the law, except in the case of capital punishment.

    • An absolute right; not a qualified right in the sense it isn’t balanced with another right. “Trumps all.”
  • Venables and Thompson v. News Group Newspapers Ltd (2001)

    • Two youths found guilty in murder of a young boy. Question was if identifiable after release; court was asked to prevent injunction after they reach age of majority in order to protect right to life. Courts came down in favour of individuals; Art. 2 allowed courts to grant injunction preventing identification ever.
  • Maxine Carr v. News Group Newspapers Ltd (2004)

    • Involved with a murder case in that she gave a false alibi for her boyfriend. Was granted injunction to prevent her from being identified given she was being sent death threats.

Ændrew Rininsland
© 2018 Ændrew Rininsland, except where otherwise noted.