Horton’s claim against the Times

On 11 April 2012, a claim form was issued in the Chancery Division of the High Court by Richard Horton against Times Newspapers Limited.   (Guardian story here.)

I understand Horton was forced to issue a claim form as the Times did not bother to respond to his formal letter of claim.

The claim is stated as follows:

“A Claim for damages for breach of confidence, misuse of private information and deceit including a claim for aggravated and exemplary damagaes.”

The more detailed “particulars of claim” have not yet been filed.

The claim for deceit is interesting. This is an uncommon tort for damages which flow from a dishonest act: in this case, it would be for the damages caused by the High Court being misled.

The claims for damages for breach of confidence and misuse of private information are for how the information obtained from the hack was used by the Times rather than for the hack itself. Unlike phone hacking, where there is a tort of unlawful intereference under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, there is no tort per se for computer hacking.

My narrative of the hack and the effective misleading of the High Court is now up at the New Statesman.

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