The court can order the identity of a wrongdoer to be revealed where the person against whom the order was sought had become involved in his tortious acts. This might apply even where the acts were unlawful, but fell short of being tortious. There was no doubt that where the party from whom disclosure was sought himself committed tortious acts against the applicant, he had a duty to disclose that identity. The human rights test was whether the legitimate aim supported by disclosure was so significant as to override the public interest in protecting sources. In this case it did.
The phrase ‘the interests of justice’ in section 10 of the 1981 Act was wide enough to include the exercise of legal rights and the ability to seek protection from legal wrongs, whether or not by court action.
Lord Philips MR, May, Laws LJJ
Times 10-Jan-2001, Gazette 08-Feb-2001,  EWCA Civ 334,  1 WLR 515,  1 All ER 991
Contempt of Court Act 1981 10, European Convention on Human Rights 10
England and Wales
Followed – China National Petroleum Corporation and others v Fenwick Elliott, Techint International Construction Company ChD 31-Jan-2002
In the course of a dispute, the claimants concluded that the respondents had acquired documents of a confidential nature, and sought restoration and disclosure of the source. The solicitors for the respondents suggested that the claimants were in . .
Cited – Financial Times Ltd and others v Interbrew SA CA 8-Mar-2002
The appellants appealed against orders for delivery up of papers belonging to the claimant. The paper was a market sensitive report which had been stolen and doctored before being handed to the appellant.
Held: The Ashworth Hospital case . .
Appeal from – Ashworth Security Hospital v MGN Limited HL 27-Jun-2002
Order for Journalist to Disclose Sources
The newspaper published details of the medical records of Ian Brady, a prisoner and patient of the applicant. The applicant sought an order requiring the defendant newspaper to disclose the identity of the source of material which appeared to have . .
See Also – Mersey Care NHS Trust v Ackroyd CA 21-Feb-2007
The defendant journalist had published confidential material obtained from the claimant’s secure hospital at Ashworth. The hospital now appealed against the refusal of an order for him to to disclose his source.
Held: The appeal failed. Given . .
Cited – Financial Times Ltd and Others v The United Kingdom ECHR 15-Dec-2009
The claimants said that an order that they deliver up documents leaked to them regarding a possible takeover violated their right to freedom of expression. They complained that such disclosure might lead to the identification of journalistic . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 22 October 2021; Ref: scu.135635