In March 2018, the Ministry of Justice published quarterly provisional civil justice statistics for England and Wales.
These statistics include interesting details regarding the increase in court applications for privacy injunctions in 2017. The guidance to the Civil Justice Statistics Quarterly bulletin published in December 2017 notes that the statistics provided in respect of privacy injunctions relate to “applications concerned with data protection and rights to respect for private and family life protected by Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), whether the injunction is sought by an individual, a public authority, or a company.” It is important to note that the statistics only relate to civil proceedings in the High Court at the Royal Courts of Justice and the Court of Appeal.
According to the statistics, over the course of 2017, 14 applications were made for new interim privacy injunctions, over double the number that were made in 2016. Of the 8 new interim privacy injunction applications made in the last six months of 2017, all 8 were granted (a significantly higher success rate than in the first six months of the year).
The figures also show a steady increase in the number of applications for privacy injunctions made from 2015 onwards after the number of such applications being brought fell dramatically in 2014. While the previous decline may be attributed to a number of factors (including the growth of social media platforms over this period and the use of those platforms to circumvent such injunctions), the increasing number of applications made for privacy injunctions in 2017 together with the significant success rate that parties achieved pursuing such applications in the last six months of 2017, suggest that the privacy injunction constitutes a valuable and viable option available to parties in their attempts to protect their Article 8 rights.