Theakston v MGN Ltd: QBD 14 Feb 2002

The claimant, a celebrity sought to restrain publication by the defendant of information about his sex life, consisting of pictures of him in a brothel. The court considered the test for the grant of an injunction to restrain publication under the 1998 Act.
Held: The court could not see how the approach required by section 12(3) can be other than that the claimant must show that it is more probable than not that he will succeed in obtaining an injunction at trial. It could not envisage, as a matter of ordinary English, an injunction which is likely to be granted but more probably than not will be refused. Ouseley J said: ‘If Parliament had intended the relevant test to be whether the claimant had a real prospect of success, it would have used that familiar legal phrase. I consider that it intended to impose the discernibly more rigorous requirement which it did in this particular context of freedom of expression.’ and ‘Sexual relations within marriage at home would be at one end of the range or matrix of circumstances to be protected from most forms of disclosure; a one night stand with a recent acquaintance in a hotel bedroom might very well be protected from press publicity. A transitory engagement in a brothel is yet further away’.
The court refused an injunction restraining publication of a verbal depiction of the claimant’s activities in a brothel, but granted an injunction restraining the publication of the photographs.
Ouseley J
[2002] EWHC 137 (QB), [2002] EMLR 22, [2002] EMLR 398
Human Rights Act 1998 12(3)
England and Wales
CitedDouglas, Zeta Jones, Northern and Shell Plc v Hello! Limited (No 1) CA 21-Dec-2000
The first two claimants sold exclusive rights to photograph their wedding to the third claimant. A paparrazzi infiltrated the wedding and then sold his unauthorised photographs to the defendants, who now appealed injunctions restraining them from . .
CitedImutran Ltd v Uncaged Campaigns Ltd and Another ChD 11-Jan-2001
The test for whether an interim injunction should be granted restraining publication of material claimed to be confidential, where such a grant would infringe the right to freedom of expression was slightly different under the 1998 Act. The . .

Cited by:
CitedCream Holdings Limited and others v Banerjee and The Liverpool Daily Post and Echo Limited CA 13-Feb-2003
The defendants considered publication of alleged financial irregularities by the claimant, who sought to restrain publication. The defendants argued that under the Act, prior restraint should not be used unless a later court would be likely to . .
CitedDouglas and others v Hello! Ltd and others (No 3) CA 18-May-2005
The principal claimants sold the rights to take photographs of their wedding to a co-claimant magazine (OK). Persons acting on behalf of the defendants took unauthorised photographs which the defendants published. The claimants had retained joint . .
CitedMosley v News Group Newspapers Ltd QBD 24-Jul-2008
The defendant published a film showing the claimant involved in sex acts with prostitutes. It characterised them as ‘Nazi’ style. He was the son of a fascist leader, and a chairman of an international sporting body. He denied any nazi element, and . .
CitedRST v UVW QBD 11-Sep-2009
The applicant sought an interim and without notice injunction preventing the defendant from disclosing confidential information covered by an agreement between the parties.
Held: The order was made on a without notice application because there . .
CitedFerdinand v MGN Limited QBD 29-Sep-2011
The claimant, a famous footballer, complained that an article by the defendant relating an affair he had had, had infringed his right to privacy. The defendant relied on its right to freedom of expression. The claimant had at an earlier stage, and . .
CitedHRH The Duchess of Sussex v Associated Newspapers Ltd ChD 11-Feb-2021
Defence had no prospect of success – Struck Out
The claimant complained that the defendant newspaper had published contents from a letter she had sent to her father. The court now considered her claims in breach of privacy and copyright, and her request for summary judgment.
Held: Warby J . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 13 February 2021; Ref: scu.175308