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Media law disputes involving children can often be complex and distressing, with the need for additional legal, regulatory and procedural considerations that do not apply to adults. If your child has had their rights or privacy infringed by the media, or a large organisation, it is important to seek advice from a legal team with specialist expertise in this area.
At JMW Solicitors, we have worked on many cases protecting the legal rights of children, and have a strong track record of helping our clients to safeguard children’s privacy and enforcing, for example, copyright and data protection rights.
We understand that wrongful intrusion into a child’s life can cause serious and lasting damage, and we help our clients to secure substantial compensation for both emotional distress and financial damage, as well as other legal remedies.
How JMW Can Help
Our media law department has a strong track record of helping and advising individuals and companies in a wide variety of different situations. We call on years of experience to help guide you towards the best possible result.
We deal with many different types of cases involving children, including:
- magazines or newspapers publishing photographs of children without parental consent
- problems arising from press intrusion or paparazzi
- sensitive information or data belonging to a child being lost or wrongly disclosed
- dealing with reporting restrictions or anonymity orders
- media reporting on pregnancy
In addition to negotiating compensation, we are able to ensure that appropriate steps are taken to avoid future problems, as well as secure formal apologies and statements in court from those responsible.
Our media law team is one of the most respected in the industry, with the most recent Legal 500 ranking highlighting its ability to provide “first-class service and give very good advice in a timely and efficient way”.
How Are Children’s Rights Protected by Media Law?
Numerous laws and media guidelines are in place to prevent the rights of vulnerable children from being undermined due to media coverage.
For example, one of the most important pieces of regulatory guidance is contained in the Editors’ Code of Practice, established by the Independent Press Standards Organisation and its predecessor the Press Complaints Commission.
According to this industry-produced guidance, press coverage must take the following steps to ensure the protection of children:
- School pupils should be free to complete their time at school without unnecessary intrusion.
- Children must not be approached or photographed at school without the permission of the school authorities.
- Under-16s must not be interviewed or photographed on issues involving their own or another child’s welfare unless a custodial parent or similarly responsible adult has provided explicit consent.
- Children under 16 must not be paid for material involving their welfare unless it is clearly in the child's interest; this also applies to parents or guardians providing material about their children or wards.
- Editors must not use the fame, notoriety or position of a parent or guardian as the sole justification for publishing details of a child's private life.
Additionally, the code forbids the press from identifying children under 16 who are victims or witnesses in cases involving sex offences, even when they would otherwise be legally permitted to do so. Equally, the OFCOM Code deals with the protection of under-18s.