Online abuse – it’s no joke

A man who posted messages on Facebook threatening Tory MP Charlotte Leslie has been sentenced to eight weeks in prison. The MP voted in favour of British airstrikes in Syria but was then subjected to threats which even the defendant’s counsel in mitigation described as ‘despicable’ and as going ‘far beyond any sort of legitimate protest’. Continue reading

A work-life (social media) balance in the workplace?

A work-life (social media) balance in the workplace?Friday afternoon; stuck in the grey office looking out at the glorious sun, your weather app forecasts a weekend of cold and showers. What’s more, as others plan their Friday night fun, your boss has asked you to finish up a client report that is going to take hours. What do you do? Of course, you take to social media to vent about how your boss is – ahem – a bit of a nuisance. Continue reading

EU turns up the heat on Google

Following the ECJ’s controversial ruling in Google Spain, the world’s favourite search engine has had a tough time in seeking to tread the line between respecting the judgment while maintaining its free speech agenda. Google has, to date, had somewhat of a free rein in deciding unilaterally, how to implement the rather vague requirements of the so-called Right to Be Forgotten. And it has made some questionable decisions as to how it proposes to handle deletion requests. Continue reading

Emergency injunction to stop the Queen…

Emergency injunction to stop the Queen…The press is not a big fan of injunctions. Except when it suits them that is. And today, it suits them.

This morning, representatives of the press are off to the High Court to seek an injunction to stop the sealing of the cross party Royal Charter on press regulation, which was due to take place today. Continue reading

Royal Charter shenanigans

Royal Charter shenanigansLord Justice Leveson argued in his report on press ethics and standards that the press could not go on ‘marking its own homework’ and that what was needed was independent regulation. Continue reading

Jurors caught out in court

Jurors caught out in courtBeing called to do jury service is a societal duty. And a privilege. Because it is a fundamental plank of our democracy that those charged with criminal offences should be judged not only by a professional judge but by a jury of their peers. Continue reading

The Times – comment piece on paternity and privacy

In today’s The Times, in print and online, I comment on a recent decision balancing the right to privacy against the right to free speech and the public interest. In Guard privacy to avoid nips from the press I discuss the balance being struck by the courts in a privacy case concerning the paternity of a child and her politician father.inflatable sports tunnels 

While the rights of children must be protected, the girl’s right to privacy had been reduced by comments that her mother had made about the paternity. While neither have commented publicly about the issue of paternityinflatable sports tunnels, the fact that the child is said to have been fathered by the married London Mayor, Boris Johnson, was ‘a public interest matter which the electorate was entitled to know when considering his fitness for high public office’ which outweighed the child’s reducted expectation of privacy.

Damaging a corporate reputation

In a competitive market place and particularly perhaps in times of economic difficulty, a company’s reputation may be its most valuable asset. But proposals in the Defamation Bill, currently working its way through Parliament, have sought to put a spanner in the works for company’s seeking to restore a damaged reputation through the libel courts. Continue reading

I love Rock n Roll… (and privacy injunctions)

A privacy injunction is a powerful tool for those who wish to keep their privates private. And a recent case in the High Court on an application for an interim privacy injunction has helped to reassert the principles applicable.

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The Hacked Off Leveson Bill – Kryptonite for the press?

Christmas is over, we’ve survived the New Year celebrations, the weather is taking a turn for the worse, and the post excess January Blues are hanging around as they always do. What is there to drag us out of our funk? Well, for those previously addicted to the Leveson inquiry on press ethics, with the celebrity circus of evidence-giving over and the long-awaited report of Lord Justice Leveson done, the answer might appear to be, not much.

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