Midweek media law mop up: Hacking; hosepipes; and honest comment

Another busy week in media law land, as more protests erupt in the Middle East and phone hacking is back in the High Court. Slightly quieter on the Wikileaks front but still stories to read, including the reportedly mysterious incident of the Domscheit-Berg book in the night time (at Waterstones).

Phone hacking

Kelly Hoppen (Sienna Miller’s stepmother) took her case against News of the World to the High Court today. Her legal team will be permitted to search journalist Dan Evans’ computers.

Press regulation

Anyone who would like to know a bit more detail about Sarah Baskerville’s complaint against the Daily Mail and the Independent on Sunday should take a look at her latest blog post, an emotional response following a ruling in the newspapers’ favour, explaining how she felt constrained by the PCC’s structure. It’s useful material for anyone researching, or making sense of, the culture of social networks and online activity and the associated ethical / legal problems.


A very readable piece on Inforrm takes up that surprisingly neglected question of liability. As Mr Justice Eady said:

“It is surprising how little authority there is within this jurisdiction applying the common law of publication or its modern statutory refinements to internet communications”.

Dr David Rolph’s piece is about Australian libel, but globally relevant.


  • Little or no mention of this decision in the press, perhaps because of this stipulation: “There is an Order restraining publication of information concerning this case, other than the information contained in this judgment and in the Order of the Court made in this action“.




I’ve finally got round to creating an events page: https://meejalaw.com/events/. More things will be added.

Tips & tools

Ever reach the end of the day and realise you’ve completely forgotten your to-do list? Try Remember the Milk, a task management system that sits in your inbox, glaring at you when you get distracted from your duties. (HT to Emily Butselaar at Index on Censorship for that one).

You can find a full stream of aggregated media law news via @medialawUK on Twitter; and Meeja Law tweets go out via @meejalaw. Contact me via @jtownend or

This entry was posted in media ethics, media law mop-up, phone hacking and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Midweek media law mop up: Hacking; hosepipes; and honest comment

  1. Pingback: Law and Media Round Up – 21 February 2011 « Inforrm's Blog

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