Key rulings 2010


  1. In February 2010, the Daily Mirror and the Daily Record reported that Dannii Minogue was pregnant with her first child, despite the fact that she had not yet had her 12-week scan. The newspapers argued that publication could be justifi ed on the grounds that the information about the pregnancy was already in the public domain, having appeared on the Sydney Morning Herald website the day before, as well as on a blog. As such, they argued, the information ceased to be private.

    Taking into account the possibility of complications that the 12-week scan can show, the Commission's case law on the subject of pregnancy is very clear: 'as a matter of common sense newspapers and magazines should not reveal news of an individual's pregnancy without consent before the 12-week scan, unless the information is known to such an extent that it would be perverse not to refer to it'.

    The Commission did not accept the public domain argument put forward by the newspapers in this case: these references to the pregnancy were speculative rather than confirmed, and did not mean that the information was so extensively in the public domain that it would have been perverse not to refer to it. This was 'no more than common sense; otherwise, any reference online would represent automatic justification for a newspaper to publish otherwise intrusive material'. The Commission upheld the complaints, citing a 'regrettable lapse in editorial judgement'.