DFT v TFD: QBD 27 Sep 2010

The court heard an application for an injunction to restrain publication of material relating to the claimant’s private and sexual life.
Held: An injunction restraining publication and identification, but not an order restraining publication of the order itself was made. Sharp J said: ‘[Counsel for the Claimant] submits that looking at the matter from the perspective of Article 8, there is a plain interference with the applicant’s right to respect for privacy and family life which cannot be justified under Article 8(2).
As to the Article 10 rights of the respondent, the evidence before me currently suggests the applicant is likely to establish at trial that disclosure of the information (whether to the media or generally) would be the fulfilment of a blackmailing threat. I accept [Counsel for the Claimant]’s submission that the expression rights of blackmailers are extremely weak (if they are engaged at all)
Any provisions derogating from the principles of open justice and the provisions of the CPR must be necessary on the facts of the case . .
[Counsel for the Claimant] submits [that the anonymity order] should remain in place until trial or further order. Anonymity orders have been considered twice by the Supreme Court in 2010; and he has referred me to the judgment given by Lord Rodger in Secretary of State for the Home Department v AP (No. 2) [2010] UKSC 26 where he summarises the test to be applied as follows: ‘the Court must ask itself ‘whether there is sufficient general, public interest in publishing a report of the proceedings which identifies [AP] to justify any resulting curtailment of his right and his family’s right to respect for their private and family life.’
He submits the answer to this question in the present case is plainly ‘no’. In particular, he says the publication of the applicant’s name would lead to large scale media intrusion which would, in itself, constitute a very substantial intrusion into his private and family life and would be very distressing for him and his family. There is in addition a very strong public interest in the prevention of blackmail and in encouraging victims of blackmail not to give in. It would be contrary to that public interest to publish the fact that the applicant was being blackmailed. As a result, all that any report of the proceedings could do would be to identify the applicant as the person who has obtained an injunction . .
I also consider [Counsel for the Claimant] is right when he says the blackmail element of this case brings extremely strong public interest considerations into play. The fact that the applicant has been blackmailed should not be published . . .’

Sharp J
[2010] EWHC 2335 (QB)
European Convention on Human Rights 8 10, Theft Act 1968 21
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedAMM v HXW QBD 7-Oct-2010
The claimant had sought and been granted an injunction to prevent the defendant publicising matters which had passed between them and which were he said private.
Held: The jurisdiction to grant such injunctions was now established. Publication . .
CitedNNN v Ryan and Others QBD 20-Mar-2013
The Court gave its reasons for requiring the delivery up of materials said to be confidential and making an order for anonymity, finding that the claimant had been blackmailed. . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Litigation Practice, Media

Updated: 12 January 2022; Ref: scu.424883