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 seemed to have widened the meaning of ‘necessary in the interests of justice or national security or for the prevention of disorder or crime’ which was the test under section 10 for the disclosure against a newspaper. The human rights of freedom of the press also must be considered. The respondents sought to make a claim for breach of confidence, and accordingly the tests under section 10 was satisfied. The source’s evidently maleficent purpose was critical.
Sedley LJ acknowledged the need to read section 10 of the 1981 Act compatibly with the Convention: ‘The purpose of s.10 of the Contempt of Court Act 1981 is to limit to the necessary minimum any requirement upon journalists to reveal their sources. It has now to be read and applied by our courts, so far as possible, compatibly with the Convention rights: Human Rights Act 1998, s.3(1). For reasons touched on earlier in this judgment, there should be no difficulty about this; but that is not to say that the Convention can simply be treated as background, for it and its jurisprudence may both amplify and modify the hitherto accepted meaning and effect of s.10. For present purposes the Convention right which is in play is the qualified right spelt out in art. 10.’
Lord Justice Ward, Lord Justice Sedley, And, Lord Justice Longmore
Times 21-Mar-2002, Gazette 18-Apr-2002,  EWCA Civ 274,  2 Lloyd’s Rep 229,  EMLR 446
Contempt of Court Act 1981 10, European Convention on Human Rights 10
England and Wales
Cited – Norwich 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 . .
Cited – Ashworth Security Hospital v MGN Ltd CA 18-Dec-2000
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 . .
Cited – Camelot 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. . .
Appeal from – Interbrew SA v Financial Times Ltd and Others ChD 19-Dec-2001
The claimant was involved in takeover proceedings. Certain confidential documents were taken, doctored, and released to and published by the defendants who now resisted orders for disclosure of the source.
Held: The court must balance the . .
Cited – P v T Ltd ChD 7-May-1997
A order for the disclosure of documents can be proper if it is the only method of founding proceedings against a third party, even though there might be no sufficient proof without the documents. An order was made because it was necessary in the . .
Cited – 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 . .
Cited – Mersey Care NHS Trust v Ackroyd QBD 7-Feb-2006
The trust, operators of Ashworth Secure Hospital sought from the defendant journalist disclosure of the name of their employee who had revealed to the defendant matters about the holding of Ian Brady, the Moors Murderer, and in particular medical . .
Cited – 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 – Mohamed, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (No 1) Admn 21-Aug-2008
The claimant had been detained by the US in Guantanamo Bay suspected of terrorist involvement. He sought to support his defence documents from the respondent which showed that the evidence to be relied on in the US courts had been obtained by . .
Appeal from – 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 . .
Cited – AMM 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 . .
Cited – Richard v British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and Another ChD 26-May-2017
Disclosure of Journalists’s Source ordered
The claimant had been investigated in connection with allegations (not proceeded with) of historic sexual abuse. The first defendant received information in advance of a search of the claimant’s house, and filmed and broadcast this from a . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 22 October 2021; Ref: scu.167726