Tugendhat to succeed Eady as top media judge

Justice Tugendhat is to succeed Justice Eady as the senior media judge in England and Wales, the Judicial Communications Office has announced.

It is a move which may well be welcomed by many in the media.

Eady was slammed by Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre and others as the architect of a “judge-made privacy law” through his interpretation of the Human Rights Act, whereas Tugendhat has appeared to be more sympathetic to the media.

In January, Tugendhat dismissed the claim for a super-injunction by former England football captain John Terry allowing the press to report that he had an extra-marital affair.

Tugendhat’s appointment as Judge in Charge of the Queen’s Bench Jury and Non-Jury Lists will take effect from 1 October.

The JCO said the lists currently include matters of clinical negligence, defamation and privacy.

The Judge in Charge is responsible for managing the work in the lists and assigning judges to cases.

While in the post, Eady presided over many numerous high-profile libel and privacy cases, including Max Mosley’s action against News Group Newspapers, in which the former Formula One chief was awarded damages of £60,000 for invasion of privacy.

The International Forum of Responsible Media blog said the choice of Tugendhat will be welcomed by media practitioners.

“Since 2002, the ‘senior media judge’ has had less and less ‘jury work’ and an increasingly specialist ‘privacy’ and human rights-related caseload,’it said.

‘Mr Justice Tugendhat is exceptionally well qualified for this role and his appointment will be widely welcomed by practitioners.”

Tugendhat was called to the Bar in 1972, appointed a QC in 1986 and a High Court Judge in 2003.

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