Are you aware of the new pre-action protocol for media and communication claims?
From 1 October 2019, if a High Court claim includes a claim for defamation or misuse of private information or data protection law or harassment by publication, it must be issued in the Media and Communications list.
This change is intended to make sure cases are dealt with by specialist judges with experience of dealing with such claims.
The pre-action protocol for defamation claims has also been replaced by the new pre-action protocol for media and communications claims. As well as defamation, this new protocol applies to misuse of private information, data protection law or harassment by publication and claims in breach of confidence and malicious falsehood which arise from publication or threatened publication by the print or broadcast media or online, on social media or in speech.
The new protocol sets out the information that should be included in a letter of claim. Likewise, the new protocol also includes the information that should be included in a response to a letter of claim.
Although the new protocol closely mirrors the provisions of the previous defamation pre-action protocol, it provides useful guidance to prospect parties of the points that will need to be demonstrated if a claim is to be successful.
The new protocol also highlights the need to consider alternative dispute resolution prior to commencing with a Court claim. Again, this largely reflects the previous defamation protocol.
Despite the fact that the new pre-action protocol is still very much in its infancy, we have already received instructions to prepare correspondence in accordance with this new protocol.
Given the ever growing (and changing) area of social media and communications, it is anticipated that the new rules will be put through their paces over the coming months and years.
If you have any queries regarding the change of rules and the new pre-action protocol for media and communication claims, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Andrew on 0114 2521416.