Confidential information, privacy and injunctions

The following Information Law practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Confidential information, privacy and injunctions
  • Interim injunctions
  • Interim injunctions involving rights under the ECHR
  • Ex-parte injunctions
  • Anonymised injunctions
  • Super-injunctions
  • Final injunctions
  • Injunctions relating to confidential, commercial information (‘springboard principle’)
  • Breach of an injunction
  • Injunctions against employees to prevent breach of confidence

Confidential information, privacy and injunctions

While there are other remedies available to claimants in breach of confidence cases, an injunction preventing publication of the relevant information is often the only remedy that has any real value to the claimant.

There has been some controversy regarding injunctions relating to confidential information and privacy in recent years. ‘Super-injunctions,’ as they are commonly called, have been criticised in the media for fettering freedom of speech. However, much of this criticism stems from confusion as to what the term ‘super-injunction’ means and the impression that they are far more prevalent than is the case.

This Practice Note deals with the general principles of obtaining an injunction in this area. For detail on its main scope, which is injunctions for breaches of privacy, see Practice Notes:

  1. Privacy law—misuse of private information

  2. Misuse of private information and related claims

  3. Privacy law—remedies

  4. Practical and procedural matters in privacy proceedings

  5. Applications for interim injunctions for breaches of privacy

Interim injunctions

Interim injunctions allow claimants who become aware of imminent disclosures to act swiftly to prevent publication. However, in Mosley it was held that the media have no obligation to forewarn claimants of such disclosures, thus giving them the opportunity to obtain injunctive relief.

The American Cyanamid principles governing whether an interim injunction should be granted apply. However, see below for cases involving the right to freedom of expression.


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