Get out of jail card Dubai's view on jailing journalists for defamation has changed. Amber Melville-Brown says the public should welcome the move.
British Journalism Review
18 November 2007
Chrildren and the Media Quicksand With a missing child dominating the headlines this summer, and reports that their obesity means our children may not outlive their parents, the question pf protecting the next generation is high on the news agenda. But is not only the physical health and well-being of children that is at stake In our modern society. The public's appetite for news - serious or gossip - and photographic evidence of both, together with the media's preparedness to feed this hunger, is putting our children at risk of media over-exposure.
Amber Melville-Brown reports on the law of privacy and its impact on children.
Thursday 08 Novemeber 2007
By Amber Melville-Brown, David Price Solicitors and Advocates, London
No invisible cape for JK Rowling's son
Murray v Express Newspapers Plc & Another  1909 (Ch)
JK Rowling is a private woman. Given her role as celebrated author of the hugely popular Harry Potter series of children's books, she has to accept that some publicity will go with the rewards that she reaps. But JK Rowling is also a litigious woman. And she is not afraid to seek the assistance of the courts when the media attention that she is prepared to accept crosses the line into the lives of her children.
The Brief, October 2007,
Al Maha, Dubai, United Arab Emirates When the pressures and pace of urban life pile up, it is possible to get away to a resort that manages to combine luxury with an ecological conscience. Amber Melville-Brown reports. Download PDF
Amber Melville-Brown is representing Robert Brown The Jersey accountant seeking to open the wills of her Majesty the Queen Mother and HRH Princess Margaret, sealed by order of the court. There is a statutory presumption in favour of openness of wills and the vast majority of wills is open to public inspection. However, these wills have been sealed. Robert Brown's application to open the wills was struck out by the President of the Family Division and leave to appeal the decision was refused. But on 17 October, we were granted permission by the Court of Appeal to appeal the President's decision to strike out Robert Brown's case. The Telegraph article The Times Guardian The BBC Daily Mail The Mirror Reuters UK
British Journalism Review
Children and the media quicksand With a missing child dominating the headlines this summer, and reports that their obesity means our children may not outlive their parents, the question of protecting the next generation is high on the news agenda. But it is not only the physical health and well-being of children that is at stake in our modern society. The public's appetite for news - serious or gossip - and photographic evidence of both, together with the media's preparedness to feed this hunger, is putting our children at risk of media over-exposure. http://www.bjr.org.uk/data/2007/
Moving on Up Women in law, business and society in the Middle East Women lawyers globally struggle to climb up the career ladder. Amber Melville-Brown reports on progress in the region. Download PDF
Sailing and A Meaty Bill Amber Melville-Brown gets involved in a bit of surf and turf - seafood at The Dhow; followed by beef at The Exchange. Download PDF
Douglas v Hello! Ltd (No8) (HL)  UKHL 21, 2 May 2007
Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas will shortly be celebrating their seventh wedding anniversary; a gift of copper is the traditional gift. No doubt OK! will be hoping that the recent House of Lords judgment will prove to be a copper-bottomed conclusion for them, given that this decision has a potentially profound impact on the power of the scoop and the ability to protect it.
Mum's the word
The delivery of the glad tidings of pregnancy is a matter for the expectant mother, not a national newspaper. This is the finding of the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) in a complaint against The Sun by singer Charlotte Church, reiterating what it said in a ruling against The Independent newspaper in Riding v Independent (see)  Gazette, 7 September, 30
The right not to be offended Veronica Connolly v Director of Public Prosecutions  EWHC 237 (Admin)
The High Court has held that the rights of pharmacists not to receive grossly offensive material through the post outweighed the right of a Catholic protestor against the 'morning-after pill'.
Veronica Connolly was convicted in the magistrates' court of an offence under the Malicious Communications Act 1988, which provides that any person who sends to another person an article that conveys a message which is indecent or grossly offensive is guilty of an offence if his purpose or one of his purposes in sending it is to cause distress or anxiety to the recipient.
Bid to open Royal Wills
Amber is acting for the applicant in a bid to have unsealed the wills of HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and HRH The Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon. In March 2007, Sir Mark Potter, President of the Family Division, heard an application of the executors of the estates to strike out the plaintiff's case. He accepted that the claim was brought in good faith in that the plaintiff has a genuine belief that he is or may be the illegitimate son of Princes Margaret, but he dismissed the claim as he could not find that Mr Brown had been adversely affected by the sealing of the wills. However, given the importance of the matter both to Mr Brown personally and for public interest reasons, we are seeking permission to appeal. Amber said: "In an age when transparency for those in positions of power and privilege is paramount, it is incongruous that these royal wills, and the reasons for their closure, should remain closed to public scrutiny. This is especially so given the presumption of openness in wills generally - even Her Majesty's Court Service website confirms the importance of wills as a possible source for 'vital pieces of the genealogical puzzle'. With members of the Royal Family apparently trying to cast off the "them and us" status - partying at night clubs, engaging in modern relationships, giving TV interviews, rocking out at gigs at Wembley - it seems inappropriate that the Royal status should carry such weight, allowing the privacy of Royals to be protected when that of the general public is not. Given the important private and public interest issues that this case raises, Robert Brown will be seeking permission to appeal this decision.' http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/