woolrich piumini prezzi CASE OF MGN LIMITED v
1. The case originated in an application (no. 39401/04) against the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland lodged with the Court under Article 34 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (“the Convention”) by a British company, MGN Limited (“the applicant”), on 18 October 2004.
2. The applicant was represented by Mr K. Bays of Davenport Lyons, a lawyer practising in London, assisted by Mr D. Pannick QC, Mr K. Starmer QC and Mr A. Hudson, Counsel. The United Kingdom Government (“the Government”) were represented by their Agent, Ms H. Upton.
3. The applicant alleged two violations of its right to freedom of expression guaranteed by Article 10 of the Convention. In particular, it complained about a finding of breach of confidence against it and, further, about being required to pay the claimants costs including success fees.
4. The Government filed written observations (Rule 59 1) on the merits and on the third parties comments (Rule 44 6 and see immediately hereafter) and the applicant responded thereto making also its claims for just satisfaction, to which submissions the Government further responded.
Combined third party comments were received from the Open Society Justice Initiative, the Media Legal Defence Initiative, Index on Censorship, the English PEN, Global Witness and Human Rights Watch, which had been given leave by the President to intervene in the written procedure (Article 36 2 of the Convention and Rule 44 3). The Chamber decided, after consulting the parties, that no hearing on the merits was required (Rule 59 3 in fine).
I THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE
5. The applicant is the publisher of a national daily newspaper in the United Kingdom known as The Daily Mirror (formerly known as the Mirror). It is represented before the Court by Mr K. Bays of Davenport Lyons, a solicitor practising in London.
6. On 1 February 2001 the “Mirror” newspaper carried on the front page an article headed “Naomi: I am a drug addict”, placed between two colour photographs of Ms Naomi Campbell, a well known model. The first photograph, slightly indistinct, showed her dressed in a baseball cap and had a caption: “Therapy: Naomi outside meeting”. The second showed her glamorously partially covered by a string of beads.
7. The article read as follows:
“Supermodel Naomi Campbell is attending Narcotics Anonymous meetings in a courageous bid to beat her addiction to drink and drugs.
The 30 year old has been a regular at counselling sessions for three months, often attending twice a day.
Dressed in jeans and baseball cap, she arrived at one of NA lunchtime meetings this week. Hours later at a different venue she made a low key entrance to a womenonly gathering of recovered addicts.
Despite her 14million fortune Naomi is treated as just another addict trying to put her life back together. A source close to her said last night: wants to clean up her life for good. She went into modelling when she was very young and it is easy to be led astray. Drink and drugs are unfortunately widely available in the fashion world.
But Naomi has realised she has a problem and has bravely vowed to do something about it. Everyone wishes her well. The story continued inside the newspaper with a longer article across two pages. This article was headed “Naomi finally trying to beat the demons that have been haunting her” and the opening paragraphs read:
“She just another face in the crowd,
but the gleaming smile is unmistakeably Naomi Campbell In our picture, the catwalk queen emerges from a gruelling twohour session at Narcotics Anonymous and gives a friend a loving hug.
This is one of the world most beautiful women facing up to her drink and drugs addiction and clearly winning.
The London born supermodel has been going to NA meetings for the past three months as she tries to change her wild lifestyle. Not the supermodel. Not the style icon.”
9. The article made mention of Ms Campbell efforts to rehabilitate herself and that one of her friends had said that she was still fragile but “getting healthy”. The article gave a general description of Narcotics Anonymous (“NA”) therapy and referred to some of Ms Campbell recently publicised activities including an occasion when she had been rushed to hospital and had her stomach pumped: while she had claimed it was an allergic reaction to antibiotics and that she had never had a drug problem, the article noted that “those closest to her knew the truth”.
10. In the middle of the double page spread, between several innocuous pictures of Ms Campbell, was a dominating picture with a caption “Hugs:
Naomi, dressed in jeans and baseball hat, arrives for a lunchtime group meeting this week”. The picture showed her in the street on the doorstep of a building as the central figure in a small group. She was being embraced by two people whose faces had been masked on the photograph. Standing on the pavement was a board advertising a certain café. The photograph had been taken by a free lance photographer contracted by the newspaper for that job. He took the photographs covertly while concealed some distance away in a parked car.
11. On 1 February 2001 Ms Campbell solicitor wrote to the applicant stating that the article was a breach of confidentiality and an invasion of privacy and requesting an undertaking that it would not publish further confidential and/or private information.
12. The newspaper responded with further articles.
On 5 February 2001 the newspaper published an article headed, in large letters, “Pathetic”. Below was a photograph of Ms Campbell over the caption “Help: Naomi leaves Narcotics Anonymous meeting last week after receiving therapy in her battle against illegal drugs”. This photograph was similar to the street scene picture published on 1 February. The text of the article was headed “After years of self publicity and illegal drug abuse, Naomi Campbell whinges about privacy”. The article mentioned that “the Mirror revealed last week how she is attending daily meetings of Narcotics Anonymous”. Elsewhere in the same edition, an editorial, with the heading “No hiding Naomi”, concluded with the words: “If Naomi Campbell wants to live like a nun, let her join a nunnery. If she wants the excitement of a show business life, she must accept what comes with it”.
On 7 February 2001, the Mirror published, under the heading “Fame on you, Ms Campbell”, a further article mocking Ms Campbell threatened proceedings, referring to the years during which she thrust “her failed projects like the nauseating book Swan and equally appalling record Love and Tears down our throats”, stating that Ms Campbell was not an artist and that she was “about as effective as a chocolate soldier”, implying that her prior campaign against racism in the fashion industry was self serving publicity and that “the problem is that Naomi doesn actually “stand” for anything. She can sing, can act, can dance, and can write.”
B. The substantive proceedings
1. High Court ( EWHC 499 (QB))
13. Ms Campbell claimed damages for breach of confidence and compensation under the Data Protection Act 1998. A claim for aggravated damages was made mainly as regards the article of 7 February 2001. On 27 March 2002 the High Court (Morland J.) upheld Ms Campbell claim, following a hearing of 5 days.