Many media lawyers will welcome the announcement of a new specialist list within the Queen's Bench Division which will hear cases involving key media torts - including defamation, misuse of private information and breach of duty under the Data Protection Act.
The Media and Communications List will be presided over by Mr Justice Warby and undoubtedly many will be watching closely to see if, over time, this will lead to media cases being heard in a more consistent tone and manner.
This appears to be the latest move by the judiciary to modernise and rejuvenate the UK court system.
Cases involving defamation and other media torts are to have their own specialist list within the Queen’s Bench Division. The Media and Communications List will be presided over by Mr Justice Warby, HM Judiciary announced. Warby is currently hearing an action brought by Guardian contributor Jack Monroe against Mail columnist Katie Hopkins over allegedly defamatory tweets, a significant test of the ‘serious harm’ threshold created by the 2013 Defamation Act. From today, Warby takes primary responsibility for cases involving one or more of the main media torts: defamation, misuse of private information and breach of duty under the Data Protection Act and related or similar claims arising from publication or threatened publication by the print or broadcast media, online, on social media, or in speech.