Privacy Injunctions Pilot Scheme.

A pilot scheme has been introduced for Privacy Injunctions by the Master of Rolls Lord Neuberger. Practice Direction 51(F) provides for a pilot scheme to analyse data as to injunctions prohibiting the use of private or confidential information.The pilot Scheme will run from the 1st August 2011 to the 31st July 2012.

The scheme applies to all High Court or Court of Appeal civil proceedings where the Court is considering an Application for an Injunction preventing the publication of private or confidential information, the continuation of such an Injunction, or an Appeal against a grant or refusal of such an Injunction.

The judge will complete a form after the hearing entitled High Court and Court of Appeal Privacy Injunction Statistics Form which will provide statistical information for the Ministry of Justice

Lord Neuberger also issued a Practice Direction on Privacy Applications.

The guidance provides that Privacy Injunctions should only be granted “When they are strictly necessary to secure the proper administration of justice.”  And where the   Respondent or non party involved is a media organisation would it rarely be justified not to give the media organisation notice. He commented that different considerations may arise if the Respondent or non party is not an organisation, tweeter or blogger, or where the allegations are of blackmail.

In the future Respondent’s in the media will be expected to be served with the Application. It will be a very rare occasion when that would not be the case. Any deviations from the norm will have to be explained and justified.

From 1 October 2012 the scheme ceased and was replaced by a non-disclosure injunctions information collection scheme. The provisions are in CPR PD 40F and are the same as Practice Direction 51(F) save for the paragraphs which deal with the pilot.

The Scheme operates in any civil proceedings in the High Court or Court of Appeal in which there is a hearing for a non disclosure injunction. The hearing judge is required to record certain information as set out in CPR PD 40F and in the privacy injunction statistics form.

updated July 2014

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