Meghan Markle has won a significant legal victory in her court battle with a British newspaper.

The Duchess of Sussex has sued Associated Newspapers, the publisher of the Mail On Sunday and MailOnline, over five items published in August 2018 that were excerpts from a personal and private letter she addressed to her father, Thomas Markle.

The 40-year-old former actress won her case when a High Court judge ruled in her favor without a full trial, but the publisher appealed, arguing that the case should go to trial on the Duchess' claims against the publisher - including breach of privacy and copyright infringement - during a three-day hearing in November.

Three senior justices handed down their judgement on the appeal on Thursday, dismissing it.

"The Court of Appeal supported the judge's conclusion that the duchess had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the contents of the letter," said Judge Sir Geoffrey Vos in a short judgement.

"Those contents were personal, private, and not topics of reasonable public concern," he continued.

"The stories in the Mail on Sunday infringed on the duchess' reasonable expectation of privacy and were not warranted nor appropriate in addressing the letter's mistakes."

According to a legal expert, this ruling is a "troubling judgment."

Media lawyer Matthew Dando told Express the current verdict creates a "dangerous precedent" for future media outlets.

"By presumptively elevating the Duchess' privacy rights above concerns of public interest and freedom of speech, the Court of Appeal has presumptively elevated the Duchess' privacy rights over matters of public interest and freedom of expression."

 

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The judge's judgment raises serious concerns that privacy regulations allow prominent personalities to pick and control what may be broadcast about them, allowing them to steer the media narrative.

"It also creates a hazardous precedent," he continued, "in that anybody arguing against the status quo may not even be permitted to challenge the claimant's evidence in court."

After the courts decided in Meghan Markle's favor, the Associated Newspapers reportedly considering filing a Supreme Court appeal.

Thomas Markle intended to counterpoints made by friends of the Duchess of Sussex who had given an interview to People magazine in the United States, according to the publisher's lawyers.

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