Apr 012016
 

Jo Vale writes:

Last week, the Supreme Court refused to grant the Mirror Group permission to appeal against the damages it must pay to eight phone hacking victims. The judgment is important because it has implications far beyond phone hacking. It is a marker of the growing importance of privacy law for all publishers, both national and regional.

The implication of the refusal to grant permission to appeal is that Mr Justice Mann’s earlier judgment has been confirmed. As a result, we now know that the privacy damages should be seen as twofold: firstly, as compensation for the considerable distress caused by the phone hacking stories themselves, and secondly as an award for the misuse of private information. He rejected the Mirror’s argument that this was double counting.

The judge said that protection for the right to respect for private life had to be practical and effective. Therefore, to confine damages to distress only would be inconsistent. There should be a separate award for the misuse of private information, even if it did not result in distress.

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