F v Newsquest Limited and others: 1 Apr 2004

The court referred to the need for newspapers to be able to put a face or identity to a story. There was a ‘clear and compelling interest’ of the media and the public in the publication of the photograph of a person convicted of a serious crime so as to ‘put a face on the man’.
Munby J considered the idea of ‘public domain’ on the internet: ‘There is, I think, considerable force in the point made by Mr Baker that, with the advent of the internet, and in a world where there is an almost infinite quantity of accessible information, it is impossible to see the public domain as something which has clear boundaries. As he says, although some information will be manifestly well-known so that re-publication will have comparatively little effect, other information may be obscure so that re-publication could have a very significant effect. As he also says, whereas some information, once in the public domain, will stay there permanently, other information may in reality disappear from the public domain after time, in the sense that although it remains in a cuttings file or a database it never or hardly ever sees the light of day.’


Munby J


[2004] EMLR 607, [2004] EWHC 762 (Fam)


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedA Local Authority v W L W T and R; In re W (Children) (Identification: Restrictions on Publication) FD 14-Jul-2005
An application was made by a local authority to restrict publication of the name of a defendant in criminal proceedings in order to protect children in their care. The mother was accused of having assaulted the second respondent by knowingly . .
CitedIn re A (A Minor) FD 8-Jul-2011
An application was made in care proceedings for an order restricting publication of information about the family after the deaths of two siblings of the child subject to the application. The Sun and a local newspaper had already published stories . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 04 August 2022; Ref: scu.236731