Norwich Pharmacal disclosure ordersPosted on
I’ll accept, this isn’t the most glamorous title for a blog but, in the digital age, a Norwich Pharmacal Order can be of profound importance if you are being smeared, impersonated or otherwise attacked online.
The Order, in simple terms, is made against a company or individual where:
(1) he/she/it is mixed up in or involved in a legal wrongdoing (i.e. false and defamatory claims, breaches of copyright etc)
(2) he/she/it are unlikely to be involved in any legal proceedings (i.e. they are innocently hosting the wrongdoing or some such); and
(3) he/she/it are not just a mere witness
It is aimed, effectively, at the unwitting facilitator. A role often fulfilled by a social network, webhost or other online or techonological facility.
It’s a powerful tool if you’re being attacked but should not be used lightly. Here are 3 things to remember before instructed your lawyer to apply:
(1) you must give full and frank disclosure to the court if you are applying (i.e. the court can only make a decision if it knows the full facts)
(2) you must undertake to bear the legal costs of the webhost or other person/company (these costs are not usually high if the webhost doesn’t contest the application – which they often do not) and also for any other losses which may occur
(3) the hearing will usually be held in public unless there is a compelling reason for private proceedings