Court of Appeal victory in Mirror hacking case underlines need for completion of Leveson Inquiry
This morning, the Court of Appeal has dismissed MGN’s appeal against awards of damages made in the Mirror Group phone hacking litigation.
MGN had argued on four legal grounds that the damages awarded were excessive, and lost on all four.
The Court of Appeal has also not given MGN the permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.
Joint Executive Director of Hacked Off, Dr Evan Harris, said:
“Today’s victory in the Court of Appeal for victims of phone hacking backs up the findings in the High Court that there was widespread prolonged and extensive criminal intrusion into the privacy of ordinary citizens as well as public figures.
“The high damages are justified because of the fact (confirmed today) that the wrongdoing was supervised, encouraged and even carried out by newspaper editors in an organised conspiracy starting in the last century and, as admitted by Trinity Mirror, lasting until 2010 – four years after the News of the World hacking was exposed.
“It must be remembered that these proceedings, according to the Mirror’s Chief Executive himself, were not the place where the full truth could be discovered. That is why this judgment underlines the need for the final part of the Leveson Inquiry to take place because that will expose the extent of the cover ups, the failures of corporate governance, and why journalists and executives felt that they were immune from police action.
“In any other industry the press would be demanding answers and sanctions were this to have been exposed, but in the case of the newspaper industry they appear content with payoffs, share options and suggestions that the promised Public Inquiry should not take place. We estimate that the failure of Trinity Mirror executives to prevent, detect or even investigate this conduct will eventually cost the company a hundred million pounds that it cannot afford, due in part to Trinity Mirror’s decision to reject the cheap arbitration that Leveson recommended. It is tragic that the price will be paid in the jobs of journalists.”