Amendments to the CPR which came into force on 1 October 2019 establish a designated specialist list of the High Court to deal with claims concerning media and communications (the MAC List). These changes reflect a recognition that media law is complex and extends beyond defamation claims. They comprise a new CPR Part 53, two new practice directions, and a new pre-action protocol. In accordance with the new Rule 53.1(3), a High Court claim must be issued in the MAC List in the QBD if it is or includes a claim for defamation, for misuse of private information, involving data protection law, or for harassment by publication. Rule 53.2 makes the MAC List a designated specialist list of the High Court. The new practice directions include rules about statements of case and transfers into and out of the MAC List. The new pre-action protocol includes provision for letters of claim in claims falling within Rule 53.1(3), and ADR. Warby J (the senior media specialist judge since the retirement of Tugendhat J in 2014) has been appointed as the Judge in Charge of the MAC List.
Richard is authorised to sit as a Deputy Judge of the High Court in both the Chancery Division and the Queen’s Bench Division. He was authorised to hear claims in the MAC List pursuant to Rule 52.2(3), which provides that a “Media and Communications List Judge” is a judge authorised by the President of the Queen’s Bench Division, in consultation with the Chancellor of the High Court, to hear claims in the MAC List.