Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Law of averages

Tom Rudkin of solicitors Farrer & Co has written an interesting blog on Sir Cliff v The BBC. The case seems to have gone into hibernation since the settlement with South Yorkshire Police (they admitted they'd done wrong), and Mr Justice Mann's order that the BBC disclose whether or not their source was from within Operation Yewtree.

Mr Rudkin's conclusion: "Time will tell whether Sir Cliff reaches a settlement with the BBC after this interim hearing. The lawyers among us are (naturally) hopeful that the case proceeds to a trial and the Court provides more guidance on the relationship between an individual's privacy rights and media coverage of a criminal investigation. But the law of averages suggests otherwise. There is also the concern within media organisations about judicial precedent-setting. A Court ruling that enhances privacy rights in relation to criminal investigations (which seems very plausible in this case) is unlikely to be something the BBC or any other outlet will be willing to risk unless it is very confident in its case."

The BBC may be desperate to protect a source - but it has already narrowed the field, and clearly executives know the full story....

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