Supreme Court lifts OPO injunction

"Searing account" of musician's life can now be published

The Supreme Court this morning handed down judgment in OPO v MLA, finding unanimously that the Claimant had no cause of action under the Wilkinson v Downton tort. The anonymity restrictions on the author and the publisher were lifted. In detailed judgments which will be of interest to common lawyers throughout the world the Court analysed the history and development of Wilkinson v Downton, placing in its historical context, and examining carefully the conduct element and mental elements of the tort. The concept of imputed intention was declared unsound in principle and abolished.

OPO was represented by 5RB‘s Matthew Nicklin QC and Adam Speker (instructed by Aslan Charles Kousetta LLP), James Rhodes (formerly “MLA”) (the author) by Hugh Tomlinson QC and Sara Mansoori (instructed by Bindmans LLP) and Canongate Books Ltd (formerly “STL”) (the publisher) by Antony White QC and 5RB‘s Jacob Dean (instructed by Simons Muirhead & Burton). 5RB‘s Adrienne Page QC and Can Yeginsu (instructed by Olswang) acted for the Interveners (English PEN, Article 19 and Index on Censorship) who were given permission to put in written submissions.

A full 5RB case report can be found here.

The press summary and judgment can be found here.