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New figures show small rise in number of privacy injunction proceedings in England and Wales

There was a small rise in the number of cases dealt with by the courts in England and Wales concerning applications for privacy injunctions during the first half of this year, according to new statistics published by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ).

The MoJ said (9-page / 425KB PDF) that the courts dealt with eight privacy injunction cases in total over the period of January to June 2017, up from the seven cases that were handled between July and the end of December last year.

The January to June 2017 figures show the highest number of privacy injunction cases dealt with by the courts in England and Wales during any six month period since the first half of 2013.

According to the MoJ's figures, five of the eight cases that arose during the first half of this year were interim privacy injunction proceedings. Those cases came before the High Court, which granted two interim injunctions and refused the other three that were applied for.

One case that also came before the High Court was a continuation of earlier proceedings. That application was "granted/varied", the MoJ said.

The last two cases concerned final privacy injunction proceedings, and in both cases the injunctions applied for were granted, it said.

Media law expert Imogen Allen-Back of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com, said: "The Supreme Court’s decision in May 2016 to uphold the High Court’s decision to grant an interim injunction in the high profile sex scandal case involving an unnamed celebrity was an important reminder that the privacy injunction still serves an important function, particularly in preventing intrusion into people’s private lives."

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