The Supreme Court yesterday refused Mirror Group permission to appeal against the very substantial phone hacking damages awards made by Mr Justice Mann in May 2015. 

Mirror Group had appealed the damages awards to the Court of Appeal, which in a judgment handed down shortly before Christmas unanimously dismissed the appeal on all grounds.  In a last throw of the dice, Mirror Group therefore applied to the Supreme Court for permission to appeal the decision of the Court of Appeal. 

The Supreme Court declined to entertain that appeal on the basis that it did not "raise an arguable point of law". 

The practical effect is that, even allowing for the particular facts of the phone hacking by Mirror titles, including the egregious extent and nature of the intrusion carried out by their journalists, the days when awards of damages for invasion of privacy were the poor relation of awards for defamation appear to be over.

In particular, anybody who has good evidence that his or her voicemail was hacked into by a newspaper can now look forward to the prospect of recovering substantial damages.