On 3 December Mrs Justice Sharp handed down judgment in the case of XJA v News Group  EWHC 3174 (QB)). This was a privacy action, where an interim holding injunction was extended by consent until trial or further order. The claimant had made an application on short notice against the defendant, News Group Newspapers for an interim injunction, restraining the publication of certain alleged private information, which the defendant had informed the claimant earlier that day, it intended to publish. The application was opposed and Mr Justice Calvert-Smith J, granted the relief asked for (including that the claimant be anonymised) and provided for a very short return day for a full hearing between the parties, 2 days later.
It was argued that the Claimant would be placed in a particularly invidious position because the central information with which this action is concerned was (on his case) fictional. The claimant would either have to remain silent when faced with questions and speculation, including questions from family and friends, which would lead to people supposing the information in issue was true, and very likely of an embarrassing or humiliating nature (in short, that he had acted appallingly and was trying to cover it up). Or he would have to explain, by saying the information is false which would to that extent, defeat the purpose of the injunction. Either way, publication of the information would seriously affect the harmony of his family.
Read more about this case on Inforrm’s Blog.