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Judges to consider new privacy battle involving public figure

Published 25/05/2016

An injunction barring publication of names remains pending a Court of Appeal hearing
An injunction barring publication of names remains pending a Court of Appeal hearing

A second privacy battle involving a public figure and tabloid newspaper journalists is set to be analysed by senior judges.

Last week a celebrity who wants to keep his name out of a tabloid newspaper story about "extra-marital activities" won a Supreme Court fight.

Justices ruled that The Sun on Sunday should be barred from revealing the identity of the man, referred to in court as PJS.

Now Court of Appeal judges are set to consider another injunction fight - this time involving a "well-known public figure" who wants to keep his name out of a newspaper story after being sued for unfair dismissal by a former hairdresser.

Two judges have ruled that News Group Newspapers, publishers of The Sun and The Sun on Sunday, should not be barred from revealing the identities of people involved in the hairdresser case following employment tribunal hearings.

But the "well-known" figure - referred to as RA in tribunal rulings - is preparing to ask appeal judges to consider the case and an injunction barring publication of names remains pending a Court of Appeal hearing.

A spokesman for the Judicial Office, which provides support to judges, said RA had been given the go-ahead to take the case to the Court of Appeal.

The spokesman said an order barring the revelation of names remained in place pending an appeal court hearing. He said no date had been fixed for the hearing.

PJS had asked the Supreme Court to consider his case after losing a fight in the Court of Appeal.

Three appeal court judges ruled in April that an injunction barring The Sun on Sunday from naming him should be lifted, b ut a panel of five Supreme Court justices overturned that decision by a four to one majority and ruled the injunction should stay in place.

The Sun on Sunday wants to publish an account of the man's activities, but he argues that he has a right to privacy and has taken legal action.

He had sued News Group Newspapers, claiming that publication of information about alleged extra-marital activity would be a misuse of private information and a breach of confidence.

Any trial of those claims is likely to be overseen by a High Court judge, who could decide to lift the anonymity injunction after analysing evidence from both sides.

Detail of the case involving RA and the hairdresser emerged earlier this month in a ruling following the latest in a number of employment tribunal hearings.

Mrs Justice Simler refused to overturn a decision by a less senior judge who had concluded there was no reason for an order barring News Group journalists from revealing the identities of people involved.

She said the hairdresser had been employed by the public figure but was dismissed about a year ago. The hairdresser has alleged unfair dismissal and sex discrimination.

Mrs Justice Simler said parties had agreed a "confidential settlement" of the dispute.

She said News Group wanted to write about the case but RA wanted an order preventing names being revealed.

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