Prince of Wales judgment awaited

Summary Judgment hearing concludes

The hearing of the Prince of Wales’ application for summary judgment in his claim for breach of confidence and copyright infringement against the Mail on Sunday concluded on 23 February 2006.  The hearing before Mr Justice Blackburne took two and half days of court time.


The Mail on Sunday is opposing the Claimant’s application on the grounds that a considerable number of triable issues arise and that summary judgement is inappropriate in a case which raises novel issues in a developing area of jurisprudence, such as the law of privacy.


The Claimant’s lawyers had previously indicated that they would apply for an order to keep parts of one of the Defendant’s witness statements private – that of Mark Bolland, a former deputy private secretary to the Prince. The Defendant had sought and obtained an order that if the Claimant wished to make such an application he must issue and serve an application notice rather than make the application on short notice at the summary judgment hearing. In the event, no such application was made.


On the first day of the hearing, representatives of the press asked if they could inspect a copy of the journal that the Claimant had written about his official visit to Hong Kong. A complete copy of the journal had been included in the papers before the court, at the Claimant’s request.  Members of the media were permitted to read the Hong Kong Journal.


Following the hearing of the summary judgment application, Mr Justice Blackburne reserved judgment and indicated it would not be delivered during the coming week.


The case has generated a considerable amount of media interest and debate about the role of the Prince of Wales.


5RB‘s Mark Warby QC and Christina Michalos appeared for the Mail on Sunday.