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Family Law

The leading authority on all aspects of family law

12 OCT 2010

CONFIDENTIALITY: AMM v HXW [2010] EWHC 2457 (QBD)

(Queen's Bench Division; Tugendhat J; 7 October 2010)

A married man claimed that his ex wife had attempted to blackmail him threatening that she would contact newspapers about a sexual relationship after his remarriage. The ex wife had identified certain reporters to whom she had spoken, and had not presented any evidence to contradict that given by the man. The man denied that he had a sexual relationship with his ex-wife post-remarriage, although the ex-wife had not made that assertion in evidence. The accusation was potentially highly damaging to the man's private life and damages were not an adequate remedy. No public interest argument was advanced.

Sufficient details had been made public to mean that anonymity was the only order in the face of blackmail.  It was not a matter of discretion but of duty having regard to public policy. Blackmail did not extinguish, but did weaken, the Art 10 rights of blackmailer.

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