Privacy injunction applications more than double in first half of 2012

The number privacy injunction applications considered by the High Court in London more than doubled in the first six months of 2012, compared with the last six months of 2011.

Nine interim injunction cases were considered between January and June this year, compared with four between August and December 2011, according to Ministry of Justice statistics.

There was also an increase in the number of proceedings where the High Court considered whether to continue or amend interim injunctions – up from three in the last six months of 2011 to nine in the first six months of this year.

Further, the report showed there were four cases in which the High Court considered whether to issue a final permanent injunction in the latest period, compared with two in the 2011 period.

Ryan Mowat, dispute resolution partner at Kingsley Napley LLP, was not surprised by the increases, and expects the trend to continue in the second half of this year.

He said:

This is an area of law that is being developed all the time by judges and for this reason both sides are going to test its parameters.

It is my view that the rise will continue, especially with the increasing use of private photos and images.

The recent publication by The Sun of pictures taken of Prince Harry whilst on holiday in Las Vegas are a case in point.

He added:

The courts are also increasingly looking at press intrusion as an important factor in these matters.

Prince William and Katherine were enjoying a private holiday when pictures of the Duchess were taken of her sunbathing topless.

Whilst the pictures have not been published in the UK, action in the French courts is said to have been brought to demonstrate that the Duke and Duchess are not afraid to use the courts to prevent any further press intrusion.

Both sides have had successes and such actions will continue whilst the law in this area continues to advance.

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