Privacy Injunction.

Jonathan Spelman v Express Newspapers [2012] EWHC 239 (QB)

This was an application for an privacy injunction which was granted on Saturday 12th February to restrain publication of private information. The application was made by his litigation friends his parents one of which is the Cabinet minster Caroline Spelman. The application related to an article which was intended to be published in the Daily Star Sunday on 12th February.The judge considered that the claimant had a reasonable expectation of privacy.

The claimant is a minor about to face serious press scrutiny and is the son of a Cabinet minister. The Judge balanced article 8 against article 10 and came down in favor of the Claimant.

He looked at the purpose by which the information came into the hands of the publisher in this case possibly a leak. He rejected the defendants submission that an privacy injunction should be refused as the case was a defamation case in disguise, Bonnard v. Perryman.

He did not see that the public interest would be prejudiced.

The Newspaper argued that the value of the story would reduce to nothing.

He applied the test in Cream Holdings which approved the “more likely than not” formula, but the case reserved to the Court a power to grant an injunction were substantial injustice would be done to a Claimant if an interim injunction were refused pending a full hearing. He considered that the Claimant crossed that threshold.

On the application by the claimant for anonymity the judge refused the Claimant.

Referring to the Master of the Rolls’ Practice Guidance: Interim Non-Disclosure Orders and the approach of  Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury MR in JIH v News Group Newspapers [2011] EWCA Civ 42, refused the application for anonymity.

The Judge refused the claimants application to appeal the decision on anonymity.

The matter came back before the court on the 16th February 2012.

Spelman v Express Newspapers [2012] EWHC 355 (QB)

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