Supreme Court upholds 'PJS' injunction pending full trial

The Supreme Court has extended the interim privacy injunction preventing the celebrity known as 'PJS' from being identified by the media in England and Wales.

The Supreme Court: Upheld its injunction regarding 'PJS' today (credit: claudiodivizia/Thinkstock 9)
The Supreme Court: Upheld its injunction regarding 'PJS' today (credit: claudiodivizia/Thinkstock 9)
The judgement will remain until a full trial is held to decide the matter later this year.

The decision follows a legal battle with the Sun on Sunday that began in January, when the newspaper contacted a spokesperson for PJS asking for comment on an allegation that they had had an extramarital affair that involved a three-way sexual encounter.

The court considered whether the publication overseas of the identity of PJS and details of PJS’s sexual encounters had resulted in the protected information no longer being confidential or private, such that the injunction preventing publication in England and Wales should be set aside.

During an oral hearing last month, the Supreme Court heard arguments as to whether permission to appeal should be granted, and, if it was granted, whether the appeal should be allowed or dismissed.

The case has led to debate over the viability of super-injunctions in the digital age and the question of when information is in the public interest, especially with the identity of PJS having been published in other jurisdictions.

Delivering today’s judgement, by a four-to-one majority, Lord Mance said that revealing the details of the affair would breach the family’s privacy and that there was no public interest in doing so.

He said: "Publication of the story would infringe privacy rights of PJS, his partner and their children... There is no public interest (however much it may be of interest to some members of the public) in publishing kiss-and-tell stories or criticisms of private sexual conduct, simply because the persons involved are well known; and so there is no right to invade privacy by publishing them.

"It is different if the story has some bearing on the performance of a public office or the correction of a misleading public impression cultivated by the person involved. But... that does not apply here."

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