Paul Weller succeeds in High Court privacy claim

High Court grants children damages for misuse of private information

On 16 April 2014 the High Court ruled that the publication of photographs of three of Paul Weller’s children on the MailOnline website amounted to a misuse of their private information.

Represented by 5RB’s David Sherborne, Paul Weller had brought the claim against Associated Newspapers Limited (“ANL”) on behalf of his children following publication of seven photographs of his children on its website in October 2012.

In a 37-page judgment which examined previous domestic case law such as Murray v Big PicturesAAA v Associated Newspapers Limited, Rocknroll v News Group Newspapers and Othman v The English National Resistance, Mr Justice Dingemans found that the photographs were published in circumstances where the Claimants had a reasonable expectation of privacy, and that the Claimants’ Article 8 rights outweighed ANL’s Article 10 rights in the circumstances. The Judge therefore awarded the Claimants £10,000 in damages. Although he stopped short of awarding an injunction preventing ANL from publishing further photographs of the Claimants, Mr Justice Dingemans stated that ANL should provide an undertaking to the Court not to republish the relevant photographs. ANL has since said that it plans to appeal the High Court’s decision.

Mr Justice Dingemans had heard evidence from Mr and Mrs Weller, amongst others, and lengthy submissions on both domestic and Strasbourg jurisprudence over the course of a 4-day hearing in March.

The full text of Mr Justice Dingemans’s judgment can be downloaded from the link below.