Mar 062011
 March 6, 2011  Posted by  Court, Non-U.S.

Louise Jacobs writes:

A High Court judge has lifted an anonymity order protecting the identity of a formerly married couple involved in a privacy dispute.

In Stephanie Hirschfeld v James McGrath [2011] EWHC 249 (QB), Ms Hirschfeld, the ex-wife of Mr McGrath, had obtained an interim injunction on 4 February 2011 to restrain the publication of certain confidential information after she discovered that Mr McGrath intended to publish an autobiographical book with his new wife.  When granting the interim injunction, Teare J also made an anonymity order.

The case then came before Tugendhat J on 15 February 2011 to determine what information should be made public concerning the proceedings and, in particular, whether the anonymity order should be continued.

Read more on RPC Privacy Blog.  The decision seems to be following the recent trend against orders providing anonymity.  Unlike some other cases that led to “super injunctions” last year, this case had nothing to do with revelations of a sexual nature, but dealt with the kinds of things that may be experienced by individuals or couples in a marital relationship.  While one ex-spouse may talk about their life, to what extent are they free to reveal details of their spouse’s life?

In this case, the defendant agreed to an undertaking that he will not publish:

(a)  any information concerning the intimate former relationship of the parties, their family life and/or the Claimant’s health save for that contained in the public judgment of the Court in relation to the Application; and/or

(b)   any of the information set out in the Confidential Schedule to this Order

and will not cause or authorise any other person, firm or company to do any of those acts

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