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Mulcaire defeated in Supreme Court phone-hacking case

5th July 2012

A barrister holding one of the top human rights London legal jobs has been successful in his bid to force the convicted private investigator Glenn Mulcaire to reveal who instructed him to hack into the telephone messages of public figures on behalf of the News of the World newspaper.

There was no disagreement between the Supreme Court judges chosen to oversee the case, with all five ruling that previous corresponding decisions reached by the High Court and Court of Appeal should be upheld.

This latest action came about after a disclosure claim was lodged by a former employee of the PR guru Max Clifford, Nicola Phillips, whose answer phone messages were unlawfully obtained by Mulcaire in 2010.

The crux of the case lay in whether the messages in question could be considered intellectual property because, if this was not the case, Mulcaire may have been able to claim privilege against self-incrimination. However, due to the important financial and legal content of Phillips’s communications, it was decided that the court was dealing with effectively copyrighted material.