Archive for the ‘England and Wales High Court’ Category

McAlpine v. Bercow and a New Era of ‘Twitter Chill’

May 24, 2013

The decision of Mr Justice Tugendhat in McAlpine v Bercow [2013] EWHC 1342 (QB) (24 May 2013) ["McAlpine"]  is a stern admonition to Twitter users about the perils of practising comedy without a license.

Seriously, in my view, the UK court’s  judgment will have a chilling effect on free speech on Twitter and will likely devolve into an era of social media self-censorship for Twitter users, particularly in the UK. A form of libel chill, or, perhaps “Twitter Chill”.

It also highlights the legal chasm that exists between the American and UK judicial approaches to balancing freedom of expression and protecting reputation. The decision also raises the spectre of a “popularity metric” to determine whether the alleged maker or republisher of the defamatory tweet has gazillions of followers or is just some shlub with 4 followers, three of which are porn bots. (more…)

Lord McAlpine and Twitter Libel: Does failing to sue when a libel is first published raise a defence of waiver, estoppel or acquiescence?

November 20, 2012

The recent media scandal involving British peer, Lord McAlpine (pictured above) who threatened to sue the BBC, ITV and thousands of Twitter users over false accusations of pedophilia is discussed over at Inforrm’s Blog: (more…)

Enforcing UK Judgments in Ontario

July 12, 2012

 The Convention between Canada and the United Kingdom For The Reciprocal Recognition and Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters, 1984, [the "Convention"] [1] [2]   applies to judgments rendered by the Federal Court of Canada and all reciprocating common law provinces and territories. In Ontario, the Convention is called the Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgments (U.K.) Act, RSO 1990, c R.6 ["REJUKA"] which is the only bi-lateral enforcement convention to which Ontario is a party. REJUKA does not apply to the following types of orders or judgments:

(a) orders for the periodic payment of maintenance;

(b) the recovery of taxes, duties or charges of a like nature or the recovery of a fine or penalty;

(c) judgments given on appeal from decisions of tribunals other than courts;

(d) judgments which determine

(i) the status or legal capacity of natural persons;

(ii) custody or guardianship of infants;

(iii) matrimonial matters;

(iv) succession to or the administration of the estates of deceased persons;

(v) bankruptcy, insolvency or the winding up of companies or other legal persons;

(vi) the management of the affairs of a person not capable of managing his own affairs.

REJUKA provides for a “simple and rapid” procedure for registration of the UK judgment, without having to commence a civil action on the original debt. Article IV sets out the various grounds for refusal or setting aside registration of the UK judgment. Article V deals with establishing jurisdiction of the UK court in granting the original UK judgment.

The relative ease of enforcing UK judgments under REJUKA is highlighted in the Court of Appeal for Ontario decision in Tarlo Lyons v. Gauthier, 2012 ONCA 39 (CanLII) (S.C.C. application for leave to appeal denied, (34723) , July 12, 2012). The appeal panel’s brief endorsement reads: (more…)

UPDATED: CTB v. Twitter, Inc. and Unknown Persons: Trying to Flog a Dead Horse

May 22, 2011

Briefly, the underlying case is CTB v. News Group Newspapers Ltd. et al. which is an English High Court Queen’s Bench Division judgment arising from litigation between an “anonymous” English premier league footballer, “CTB” and defendants News Group Newspapers Limited and Imogen Thomas. On 14 April 2011, Mr Justice Eady granted first a temporary injunction prohibiting the naming of the footballer in the media, which injunction was extended on April 21st, 2011. The injunction initially sought to prevent details of an extra-marital relationship between the married footballer CTB and Ms Thomas – from being published in the London newspaper, The Sun and was based on Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which guarantees an individual’s right to privacy. CTB v News Group Newspapers Ltd et al. [2011] EWHC 1232 (QB) (16 May 2011) is analysed in depth by Edward Craven at Inforrm’s Blog: Case Law: CTB v News Group Newspapers: privacy law and the judiciary.

See also,

Since then, Twitter is abuzz about the news that CTB has commenced another action in the English court, this time against Twitter, Inc.  to disclose the identities of some of its anonymous account holders alleged to have breached Justice Eady’s injunctive order by disclosing the claimant’s identity:. The case is styled: CTB -v- Twitter, Inc. and Persons Unknown (Case No. HQ11XO1814. Read Charles Russell’s CRITique blog for a great summary here.

Unlike some others, I respect the Rule of Law and choose not to identify “CTB” in breach of Justice Eady’s injunctive order, irrespective of whether, in my opinion, any such order is unenforceable contra mundum. (more…)

Debunking the Myth of the Contra Mundum Injunction Order

April 25, 2011

In his “Postcard From The Staterooms: Urbi et Orbi and *Contra Mundum* edition” post, Charon QC’s UK Law Blog refers to an important privacy law decision from the England and Wales High Court (Queen’s Bench Division): OPQ v BJM [2011] EWHC 1059 (QB). In what Mr. Justice Eady described as  “a straightforward and blatant blackmail case”, the learned Justice continued an injunction restraining the First Defendant and her partner from publishing confidential material about the Claimant’s private life and extended its application contra mundum (“against the world”).

I have no reason to doubt that Justice Eady’s injunctive order is binding on the English defendants and likely enforceable against third parties, particularly, any English media outlets within the territorial grasp of court’s jurisdiction.  It is not, however, enforceable in Canada and likely anywhere else in the world. (more…)


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