What claims can I make?

Types of claim

You can use the IPSO arbitration scheme for legal claims about:

  • publication of statements that may have caused you harm
  • publication or use of information that is confidential or private
  • unacceptable behaviour of journalists or photographers.


A defamatory statement is one that seriously harms the reputation of a person or organisation, not simply a statement that is untrue. It is important to note that whilst you may feel that your reputation has been damaged by the publication, it is the arbitrator who will ultimately determine whether this is the case.

Malicious falsehood

A statement is considered to be malicious if it can be shown that the person publishing it knew it was untrue or that it was published in order to cause harm. This statement must also be false and have caused financial harm.

Breach of confidence

Breach of confidence relates to the unauthorised publication of confidential information.

Misuse of private information

Everyone has the right to privacy. The person making the claim must show they had a reasonable expectation of privacy about the information that was published. Where the right to privacy does apply, it will be balanced against the publisher’s right to free expression.

Data protection

The use of personal data is regulated by the Data Protection Act 2018. Data handlers (including newspaper and magazine publishers) are required to keep private information which they process safe. The 2018 Act also seeks to prevent anyone from obtaining personal data without consent.


Protection from harassment is provided under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. The Act does not mention journalism or photography specifically but does make it an offence to pursue a “course of conduct” which a reasonable person would consider to be harassment. The behaviour complained about must have occurred on more than one occasion before it is deemed harassment.