Man fails in High Court privacy battle

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A man who has obtained an order preventing the media from publishing private information has failed in a new bid to preserve his anonymity.

But the identity of the individual, who can only be identified as JIH, can still not be disclosed pending any application to appeal, which must be lodged by 4pm on Wednesday November 24.

The extension of the deadline, which was originally due to expire tomorrow, followed a fresh application for anonymity to Mr Justice Tugendhat as a result of press coverage of his original ruling on November 5.

Counsel David Sherborne told the judge at London's High Court that two publications in the press had been "deeply troubling and distressing" for JIH.

Their effect was that, if and when the anonymity provision expired, the publication of JIH's identity, taken together with the two publications, would lead to the public knowing information about the subject matter of the action.

Counsel said that a new order was necessary to protect JIH's right to privacy. The judge said that the extent of the information which was disclosed by the publications was "very limited".

"While I assume that what has been disclosed by the two publications complained of before me would in each case amount to an interference with the private life of the claimant and others, on the scale of possible interferences, the disclosure does not rank high.

"What was published was at a high level of generality, lacking all detail."

He said that, having regard to the privacy rights of JIH and others concerned, it was not necessary to make a fresh order.

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