Edgar Forbes - Publications

Communications Law (Chapter)

Chapter in The Online Journalism Handbook

(Pearson 2011)





A matter of private interest

A court action by lawyers who put celebrity clients ahead of legal transparency is a missed opportunity for progress.


A punishing victory - Campbell v Mirror (House of Lords)

Big win, big fee cases, such as Naomi Campbell's privacy claim against the Mirror, are placing unjust pressure on the press.


Anonymous justice - court reporting

Preventing the press from naming names is causing confusion and restricting the open reporting and scrutiny of important decisions.


Bad news for journalists or just the Telegraph? - Galloway libel case

While the result of the George Galloway's high court victory over the Daily Telegraph may be seen as a blow to free expression in some quarters, it is fundamentally sound in its application of legal principle.


Beckhams have nowhere to hide - Privacy

Murderer Ian Huntley has secured more privacy in his prison cell than the publicity-hungry Beckhams now have in their own home.


Behind the lens - reporting terrorism

The controversy over the latest terrorist video on al-Jazeera obscures the real problem of how the media can reveal the truth about what's really happening in Iraq.


Blind to reality - Big Brother racism row

Are Channel 4 and Endemol in denial on their legal responsibilities for their Celebrity Big Brother coverage.


Burden of proof - Beckham sex texts

If David Beckham is playing a clean game there's no reason for him not to litigate over tabloid allegations about his sex life. But are text messages, upon which the infidelity claims rely, admissible as evidence?


Campbell casts chill over press freedom - Campbell v Mirror

Naomi Campbell's privacy victory against the Daily Mirror should be cause for concern across Fleet Street, as courts open their doors to undeserving celebrity cases


Can you stop the paparazzi? - Kate Middleton and Privacy

Privacy laws may give Kate Middleton a cause of action but will they offer her any real protection?


Contempt of court in the dock

The attorney general is investigating the media coverage of the Soham trial but is it patronising to assume jurors will convict a person on the basis of what they may have read in their morning paper.


Contempt of court or public interest

The Sun has done the inquest a favour by putting the 'friendly fire' footage into the public domain, but was the paper committing contempt of court?


Defamation by divorce proceedings

Can the Mail use legal privilege to justify startling allegations about Paul McCartney and Heather Mills.


Defending the press

In a neat role-reversal, a man has been given an Asbo for harassing a local newspaper in Yorkshire.


Drawing the snappers' sting

John Rutter, who tried to coerce Cameron Diaz into paying him millions of dollars to prevent topless shots of her being sold, has been found guilty of extortion.


Fleet Street editors and media law experts give their verdict

Alan Rusbridger, Roger Alton, Edgar Forbes on the Naomi Campbell case


I won't see you in court

If the number of out of court settlements this year is anything to go by, newspapers are moving from 'publish and be damned' to 'publish and pay'.


If you can't stand the heat - restaurant libel

Should the press be punished for publishing the comments of a critic?


Jagger seeks to protect her Best bits - privacy

Elizabeth Jagger's bid to stop further publication of CCTV footage of her Soho liaison with Calum Best puts privacy under the spotlight once more.


Mirror image reflects badly on Blair - Iraq torture pictures row

The Mirror pictures may prove to be fake but there is no denying the story was true and it is journalists' duty to expose it, writes media law expert Edgar Forbes.


Mixed signals - privacy

Are the private thoughts of Prince Charles public property? Last week's court ruling leaves us none the wiser.


Mucca and Macca: How much is too much?

If she decides to litigate, Heather Mills McCartney's case could test the boundaries of what's acceptable when it comes to such public character assassinations.


No win no fee faces Stone test - CFA's and celebrities

Sharon Stone's libel action against the Daily Mail could finally lead to reform of the 'no-win, no-win fee' system, which critics say is being abused by the rich to force the press into expensive out-of-court settlements.


PCC finally forced to act on privacy

This week's adjudication upholding Elle McPherson's privacy complaint was inevitable.


Perils ahead for UK press after OK! ruling

Yesterday's ruling in the drawn-out court battle over Catherine Zeta Jones' wedding pictures has left OK! licking its wounds and Hello! celebrating a significant legal victory.


Pictures in the frame - reporting the London bombings

Preventing the press from publishing photos of alleged terrorists is not the way to guarantee defendants a fair trial


Playing the confidentiality card

OK!'s victory over Catherine Zeta-Jones' wedding pictures centred on celebrities' right to confidentiality, not privacy.


Published and damned - Galloway v Telegraph

The cost of defending libel actions in the face of free speech.


Say what you see - privacy

Kate Hudson's complaint takes the debate surrounding acceptable limits on the use of unauthorised photographs by a celebrity-obsessed media in a new direction.


Seeking justice or publicity

Are the cash rewards put up by the press for catching killers public spirited or unethical and disruptive?


Sex, drugs and privacy

As 'cocaine Kate' jets off to lie low on Ibiza, we are seeing an interesting development in managing the relationship between celebrities and press when it comes to privacy.


Terrorism on trial - terror reporting

As the clampdown on terror and quest to bring those responsible to justice continues, now is the time to review the law to ensure that the press can operate alongside a legal system that defends both the right to fair trials and free expression in equal measure.


The gloves are off

It was only a question of time before the press were tempted to use a picture of Prince William's girlfriend.


The Price of Speculation

What differentiates the Nicole Kidman's libel case against the Telegraph is that it relates to something quantifiable in economic terms.


The threat to press freedom

It's time to challenge the legitimacy of the politically motivated gag on the press over the Bush-Blair memo on Iraq


Time to open up - expert witnesses and court reporting

The Roy Meadow case has shown that greater media access to family courts would improve the justice process and provide for scrutiny of 'expert' witnesses.


Trial by media

Heather Mills McCartney says she'll sue but has she a cause of action?


Why Sven shouldn't sue

By taking legal action over the 'fake sheikh' sting, the England manager risks providing the scam with more substance than it merits.


Will pizzeria review harm free speech?

How far should the law go in protecting people  from public review and criticism?


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