Copyright Infringement. The Court of Appeal, Criminal Division, dismissed the defendant's appeal against a sentence of two years' imprisonment for offences of: (i)distributing infringing articles; (ii)furnishing false information; and (iii)possessing criminal property. Overall, given the considerable mitigation available to the defendant, the sentence might have been on the severe side, however, such offending of the present kind had a detrimental effect on both the music and copyright industry. In all the circumstances, it could not to be regarded as an excessive sentence.
Investigatory powers Regulation of investigatory powers. The Investigatory Powers Tribunal held that applications for, and approvals of, the obtaining of communications data by five applications for communications data (CDAs) concerning the claimants by the respondent Chief Constable had been unlawful and had to be quashed. In particular, there had been no lawful basis for having obtained the first two CDAs against the claimants by reference to a case that either had committed a criminal offence.
Libel and slander Defamatory words. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, allowed the claimant Prince's appeal against the judge's refusal to permit amendments to his defamation proceedings against the defendant company, as the words complained of were capable of bearing a defamatory meaning. It dismissed the defendant's cross-appeal against the judge's grant of permission to add a claim under the because there was no good reason of principle why a claim under the Act could not be linked to a defamation claim.
Proceeds of crime Unlawful conduct. The Queen's Bench Division allowed, in part, the claimant National Crime Agency's application for recovery orders regarding property and bank accounts owned by the defendants. It held that the four properties and one of the bank accounts, on the balance of probabilities, were recoverable property. Although two of the properties were in Northern Ireland, a sufficient connection with the English jurisdiction had been established.
Tele2 Sverige AB v Post- och telestyrelsen; Secretary of State for the Home Department v Watson and others
European Union Data protection. The Court of Justice of the European Union gave a preliminary ruling, deciding, among other things, that of Directive (EC) 2002-58, as amended by , read in the light of arts 7, 8, 11 and 52(1) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, had to be interpreted as precluding national legislation governing the protection and security of traffic and location data and, in particular, access of the competent national authorities to the retained data, where the objective pursued by that access, in the context of fighting crime, was not restricted solely to fighting serious crime, where access was not subject to prior review by a court or an independent administrative authority, and where there was no requirement that the data concerned should be retained within the European Union.
Sentence Confiscation order. The Supreme Court, in allowing the prosecution's appeal against the Court of Appeal, Criminal Division's decision quashing a confiscation order, considered whether and when a breach of statutory procedural terms for the process of post-conviction confiscation under the (POCA), deprived the court of jurisdiction to make such an order. The court, having considered, among other things, ss 14 and 15 of POCA, held that a procedural failure connected with postponement of confiscation proceedings was not the sole ground for quashing a confiscation order. The correct analysis was not that a procedural defect deprived the court of jurisdiction, but that a failure to honour the procedure set down by the statute raised the very real possibility that it would be unfair to make an order. The court held that, in the present case, there was no obstacle to the imposition of the confiscation order in circumstances where the order had eventually been made well within the requisite time of two years and in circumstances where it had not been suggested that any unfairness had befallen the defendant in consequence of the irregularities which had occurred. The confiscation order was restored.
Statement of case Amendment. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, dismissed the claimant's appeal against a decision refusing him permission to: (i) amend his claim for judicial review, and requiring him to instead bring a new claim; and (ii) bring a claim for judicial review arising out of his dissatisfaction with the disclosure of data provided to him under the . Whilst the appeal was academic, the court entertained it in order to provide guidance on the important procedural points raised by the first of the two decisions appealed.
Human rights Freedom of expression. The European Court of Human Rights held that, in assessing whether and to what extent the denial of access to information constituted an interference with an applicant's freedom of expression rights, the relevant considerations were: (i) the purpose of the information request; (ii) the nature of the information sought; (iii) the role of the applicant; and (iv) the readiness and availability of the information. The refusal to provide the applicant non-governmental organisation with the names and number of assignments of public defenders by police departments violated art 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
European Union Intellectual property rights. The Court of Justice of the European Union gave a preliminary ruling, deciding, among other things, that, of Directive (EC) 95-46 had to be interpreted as meaning that a dynamic IP address registered by an online media services provider when a person accessed a website that the provider made accessible to the public constituted personal data within the meaning of that provision, in relation to that provider, where the latter had the legal means which enabled it to identify the data subject with additional data which the internet service provider had about that person.
Practice Pre-trial or post-judgment relief. The Queen's Bench Division, having considered s12 of the and having had regard to the competing rights in arts 8 and 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, granted an application by the claimants, Pippa Middleton and James Matthews, to continue an interim injunction to restrain publication of photographs taken from her iCloud account, which had been hacked. The terms of the injunction were broadened to include, not just photographs, but any other information which might have derived from the iCloud account.