Camelot Group plc v Centaur Communications Limited: CA 23 Oct 1997

An order for a journalist to disclose the name of an employee disclosing his employer’s information, may be made where there was a need to identify a disloyal employee. Here drafts of accounts had been released to embarrass the company. The documents involved were stolen, and a return of them would enable identification of the source of them. Could the section protect the source? A balancing exercise was required, one which would differ from case to case. Here it weighed in favour of disclosure. In this case there remained a threat of further damage from a disloyal senior employee.


Lord Justice Schiemann, Lord Justice Thorpe, Lord Justice Mummery


Gazette 12-Nov-1997, Times 30-Oct-1997, [1997] EWCA Civ 2554, [1999] QB 124, [1998] 1 All ER 251, [1998] IRLR 80, [1998] 2 WLR 379, [1998] EMLR 1




Contempt of Court Act 1981 10, European Convention on Human Rights Art 10


England and Wales


CitedNorwich Pharmacal Co and others v Customs and Excise Commissioners HL 26-Jun-1973
Innocent third Party May still have duty to assist
The plaintiffs sought discovery from the defendants of documents received by them innocently in the exercise of their statutory functions. They sought to identify people who had been importing drugs unlawfully manufactured in breach of their . .
CitedX Ltd v Morgan-Grampian (Publishers) Ltd HL 1990
In a case where a contemnor not only fails wilfully and contumaciously to comply with an order of the court but makes it clear that he will continue to defy the court’s authority if the order should be affirmed on appeal, the court must have a . .
Appeal fromCamelot Group Plc v Centaur Communications Plc QBD 15-Jul-1997
Human rights law is no aid in protecting a journalist against an order requiring the return of confidential documents, even though this might identify the source of leak. . .

Cited by:

CitedAshworth 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 . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contempt of Court, Employment, Media, Human Rights

Updated: 09 November 2022; Ref: scu.142953