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2 J. Media L. 1 (2010)

handle is hein.journals/joomaw2 and id is 1 raw text is: (2010) 2(1) Journal of Media Law 1-13

Interim Injunctions and the Overlap
between Privacy and Libel
Godwin Busuttil and Patrick McCafferty'
In the recent case of Terry (previously 'LNS') v Persons Unknown' the court addressed the
inter-relationship between two principles: the principle that the court may grant an
interim injunction to restrain a threatened misuse of private information where the
claimant can show that his claim is (at least) more likely than not to succeed, and the rule
in Bonnard v Perryman,2 whereby the court almost invariably will not grant an interim
injunction to restrain the threatened publication of a libel, that is to say, material which
if published may harm the claimant's reputation. The question arose because, although
the claim was brought for misuse of private information and concerned information
which ostensibly was private to the claimant, the court regarded the claim in substance
as one brought to protect reputation. For this reason, the court applied the rule in
Bonnard v Perryman and dismissed the application for an interim injunction.
In this article we argue that if the rule in Bonnard v Perryman is to operate as it did
in Terry as a bar to interim injunctive relief in all cases where the information at issue is
private to an individual claimant but if published would also be apt to damage his or her
reputation, the rule needs to be modified if a claimant under such circumstances is to
have a meaningful, effective right to respect for private life under Article 8 of the European
Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).
Barristers, 5RB (Chambers of Desmond Browne QC & Adrienne Page QC), 5 Raymond Buildings, Gray's
Inn, London, UK.
1 [2010] EWHC 119 (QB); [2010] EMLR 16 (29 January2010).
2 [1891] 2 Ch269 (CA).


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