Trial of claims for slander and libel brought by the comedian and entertainer, Freddie Starr, against Karin Ward. They arise out of an interview which Ms Ward gave to the BBC in November 2011 and to ITV in October 2012 and the subsequent broadcasts of parts of those interviews and also out of online publications … Continue reading Starr v Ward: QBD 10 Jul 2015
The claimant sought damages against the police, and wanted to bring in evidence of previous misconduct by the officers on a similar fact basis. They had been imprisoned and held for several years based upon admissions which they said they had obtained by improper pressure. Held: Evidence in civil cases is dealt with in two … Continue reading O’Brien v Chief Constable of South Wales Police: HL 28 Apr 2005
The House gave guidance how it would treat an invitation to depart from a previous decision of the House. Such a course was possible, but the direction was not an ‘open sesame’ for a differently constituted committee to prefer their views to those of the committee which determined the decision unanimously or by a majority. … Continue reading Practice Statement (Judicial Precedent): HL 1966
Chilling effect of defamation costs structures Eady J said: ‘The claimant in these proceedings is seeking damages against News Group Newspapers Ltd, as publishers of The News of the World, in respect of articles appearing in the editions of that newspaper dated 3 November 2002 . . He issued his claim form under an assumed … Continue reading Turcu v News Group Newspapers Ltd: QBD 4 May 2005
Fair Comment Crticism of Newspaper Publisher The plaintiff alleged that the headline to an article written by the defendant which criticised the behaviour of the Beaverbrook Press, and which read ‘Lower than Kemsley’ was defamatory. The defendant pleaded fair comment. The plaintiff appealed. An application on the RSC Order 19 rule 27 and RSC order … Continue reading Kemsley v Foot: HL 25 Feb 1952
The courts adopt an approach similar to that of the United States courts where there has been a significant contempt on the part of a party to litigation. Denning LJ said: ‘Those cases seem to me to point the way to the modern rule. It is a strong . .
The plaintiff newspaper proprietor complained that the defendant had defamed him in a publication ‘The Tribune’ with a headline to an article ‘Lower than Hemsley’ which article otherwise had no connection with the plaintiff. He said it suggested . .
The claimant said that the defendant, in its Top Gear programme in a review of its car, caused it damage through malicious falsehood and defamation. They appealed against a finding that the words used were incapable of bearing the defamatory . .
The claimant sought damages after publication by the first defendant of articles which it was claimed implied that he had taken drugs. The paper claimed qualified privilege, and claimed Reynolds immunity.
Held: The defence of qualified . .
No specific privilege arises from the fact that a statement has been made in the context of an election campaign. . .
The Claimant requested summary judgment on the fair comment defence to his defamation claim which was pleaded by the Defendant: ‘the Claimant’s conduct in relation to the false claims and criticisms has contributed in large part to a madness which . .
The defendant appealed agaiunst a finding that it had defamed the claimant by repeating the contents of papers found after the invasion of Iraq which made claims against the claimant. The paper had not sought to justify the claims, relying on . .
The claimant wished to pursue his claim for defamation against the defendant, but was reluctant to return to the UK to give evidence, fearing arrest and extradition to the US. He appealed refusal of permission to be interviewed on video tape. Held . .
The plaintiff complained that the defendant had defamed him with a headline to an article ‘Lower than Hemsley’ which otherwise had no connection with the plaintiff. He said it suggested that he was a byword for poor journalism.
Held: Criticism . .
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Application for permission to appeal. Citations:  EWCA Civ 1197 Links: Bailii Statutes: Defamation Act 1952 5 Jurisdiction: England and Wales Defamation Updated: 31 May 2022; Ref: scu.147626
An article was published which the plaintiff said left readers with the false apprehension that she had written it. She claimed under the statutory tort of false attribution. Held: The judge was correct to direct the jury to make up their minds what the impression was to the reader. Confirming that a judge need not … Continue reading Moore v News of the World: CA 1972
The plaintiffs complained of the whole of one article and parts of two other articles published about them in The Observer. The defamatory sting was that Mr Asil Nadir (the fourth plaintiff) had deceived or negligently misled shareholders, investors, and members of the general public as to the operation of the first three plaintiffs, which … Continue reading Polly Peck PLC v Trelford: CA 1986
The claimant had been awarded andpound;85,000 damages in defamation after the defendant had wrongly accused him of cheating at football. The newspaper sought to appeal saying that the verdict was perverse and the defence of qualified privilege . .
The defendant sought a retrial of his action for defamation.
Held: The judge’s directions on meaning as to the respective contentions was correct, and also the allocation of the burden of proof. Whilst the court had reservations about the . .
In considering what evidence can be used in mitigation of damages in defamation, it is necessary to draw a distinction between evidence which is put forward to show that the plaintiff is a man of bad reputation and evidence which is already before . .
The claimant said that the defendant had accused her of falsifying hospital waiting statistics. The defendant pleaded justification.
Held: There were stark differences in the evidence given by different witnesses. Nevertheless the evidence . .
PC Grenada ‘Whilst Saudi Eagle is clear authority, if authority were needed, for the proposition that an application to set aside a default judgment can be made (and, if refused, can then be appealed) notwithstanding that final judgment has been entered, it is certainly not authority for saying that on an appeal against an assessment … Continue reading Dipcon Engineering Services Ltd v Bowen and Another: PC 1 Apr 2004
The claimant and her son sought to visit her other son in Leeds Prison. He was suspected of involvement in drugs, and therefore she was subjected to strip searches. There was no statutory support for the search. The son’s penis had been touched which was a battery. Held: The policy considerations which limit the heads … Continue reading Wainwright and another v Home Office: HL 16 Oct 2003
The claimant had registered trade marks under the name websphere, and accused the defendant of infringement using the name with a hyphen. Held: The claim suceeded. As to the requirement for calculation of damages, ‘the word ‘calculated’ should be interpreted as meaning ‘likely’ or ‘probable’, in an objective sense, rather than something which might well … Continue reading International Businesss Machines Corporation and Another v Web-Sphere Ltd and others: ChD 17 Mar 2004
The prisoner complained that having written an autobiography, the manuscript materials had been withheld, and that this interfered with his rights of freedom of expression. Held: Such an action by the prison authorities was not incompatible with the prisoner’s rights. The materials were not privileged, but were intended for publication contrary to the standing orders. … Continue reading Nilsen, Regina (on the Application of) v Governor of HMP Full Sutton and Another: Admn 19 Dec 2003
A question arose under the section as to whether a news piece was a fair and accurate report of proceedings at a local public enquiry. The judge had ruled that no reasonable jury properly directed could conclude that the words complained of were other than a fair and accurate report of the proceedings. Held: This … Continue reading Kingshott v Kent Newspapers Limited: 1991
The claimants sought damages for injuries alleged to have been received at the hands of prison officers whilst in prison. They now sought disclosure by the police of statements made to the police during the course of their investigation. Held: The court ordered the police to disclose witness statements obtained during a criminal investigation, because … Continue reading Frankson and Others v Secretary of State for the Home Department; Johns v Same: CA 8 May 2003
(Court of Final Appeal of Hong Kong) For the purposes of the defence to defamation of fair comment: ‘The comment must explicitly or implicitly indicate, at least in general terms, what are the facts on which the comment is being made. The reader or hearer should be in a position to judge for himself how … Continue reading Tse Wai Chun Paul v Albert Cheng: 13 Nov 2000
Qualified privilege reporting statutory proceedings stays despite doubts on findings. Jonathan Sumption QC said: ‘Historically, qualified privilege meant a state of affairs which negatived legal malice and meant that the plaintiff had to prove malice in fact. The classic form of qualified privilege, which depends on a social or moral duty to communicate information and … Continue reading Tsikata v Newspaper Publishing Plc: QBD 28 Oct 1994
A party who was in contempt of court should not be debarred from continuing to take a proper part in a court action unless that contempt was serious enough seriously to interfere with the fair conduct of the trial. ‘The courts need powers of punishment with which to enforce their orders. The ones they have … Continue reading In Re Swaptronics Ltd: ChD 24 Jul 1998
Malicious falsehood claim fails – complainant not prejudiced in treatment. Citations: Times 31-Dec-1994 Statutes: Defamation Act 1952 3(1)(a) Jurisdiction: England and Wales Defamation Updated: 08 April 2022; Ref: scu.78550
Ascertaining Meaning of Words for Defamation The Daily Telegraph had published an article headed ‘Inquiry on Firm by City Police’ and the Daily Mail had published an article headed ‘Fraud Squad Probe Firm’. The plaintiffs claimed that those articles carried the meaning that they were guilty of fraud. The defendants admitted that the articles were … Continue reading Lewis v Daily Telegraph Ltd: HL 1964
Tugendhat J  EWHC 1981 (QB) Bailii Defamation Act 1952, Civil Evidence Act 1968 5 England and Wales Citing: Cited – McManus and others v Beckham CA 4-Jul-2002 The claimant sought damages from the defendant who was a pop star, and had vociferously, publicly, and wrongly accused the claimant of selling pictures with fake autographs … Continue reading S v Suren and Another: QBD 10 Sep 2004
In each case the local authority sought to recover possession of its own land. In the Lambeth case, they asserted this right as against an overstaying former tenant, and in the Leeds case as against gypsies. In each case the occupiers said that the recovery of possession interfered with their right respect for their family … Continue reading Kay and Another v London Borough of Lambeth and others; Leeds City Council v Price and others and others: HL 8 Mar 2006
Ban on Prisoners talking to Journalists unlawful The two prisoners, serving life sentences for murder, had had their appeals rejected. They continued to protest innocence, and sought to bring their campaigns to public attention through the press, having oral interviews with journalists without undertakings from the journalists not to publish any element of the interview. … Continue reading Regina v Secretary of State for The Home Department Ex Parte Simms: HL 8 Jul 1999
Appeal and a cross-appeal against a decision of Jay J by which he granted the claimant permission to serve five media defendants in their jurisdictions of domicile in the United States of America with proceedings for libel and limited claims for misuse of private information, but refused permission to serve a variety of other claims … Continue reading Soriano v Forensic News Llc and Others: CA 21 Dec 2021
Saini J  EWHC 2988 (QB),  WLR(D) 571 Bailii, WLRD Defamation Act 1952 3(1) England and Wales Defamation, Torts – Other Updated: 05 December 2021; Ref: scu.669936
The claimant sought damages for malicious prosecution, and sought to adduce similar fact evidence. The defendant appealed an order admitting the evidence. Held: Comparisons between admission of similar fact evidence in civil and criminal proceedings were made. In general, the greater the putative force of the evidence the less ready a court should be to … Continue reading O’Brien v Chief Constable of the South Wales Police: CA 23 Jul 2003
The defendants had published remarks on its website about the reliability of the claimant. When sued in defamation, they pleaded fair comment, but that was rejected by the Court of Appeal. Held: The defendants’ appeal succeeded, and the fair comment defence was re-instated. The phrase ‘honest comment’ should now be used to reflect the nature … Continue reading Spiller and Another v Joseph and Others: SC 1 Dec 2010
The defendant published an article accusing the plaintiff of theft. Not having funds to launch a claim in libel, the plaintiff obtained legal aid to claim in malicious falsehood. She now appealed against a strike out of that claim. Held: A claim in malicious falsehood was a possible and proper alternative to a libel claim. … Continue reading Joyce v Sengupta and Another: CA 31 Jul 1992
Defamation – presumption of damage after 2013 Act The claimant said that the defendant had published defamatory statements which were part of a campaign of defamation brought by his former wife. The court now considered the requirement for substantiality in the 2013 Act. Held: The defendant’s appeal failed: ‘, the gravity of the imputations derived … Continue reading Lachaux v Independent Print Ltd (1): CA 12 Sep 2017
The claimant sought damages in defamation and malicious falsehood and in respect of a conversation with a journalist and the defendant’s website. The defendant had made offers of support to her business venture in a television program. After she withdrew, the defendant made the comments of which the claimant now complained to a journalist reporting … Continue reading Wright v Caan: QBD 27 Jul 2011
One election candidate said that another had defamed him in an election leaflet. Additional claims were made in injurious falsehood and under the Data Protection Act. Held: The claim in defamation failed. There were no special privileges in defamation attaching to election materials. However the claimant had not been able to establish any malice. The … Continue reading Quinton v Peirce and Another: QBD 30 Apr 2009
The claimant, an MP, complained in defamation of the defendant’s description of his rejected expenses claim regarding an assistant’s charitable donation. The paper pleaded a Reynolds defence. The claimant said that when published the defendant knew that the article was untrue. The defendant sought summary judgment. Held: It was not possible to say there was … Continue reading Cook v Telegraph Media Group Ltd: QBD 29 Mar 2011
The claimant complained that the defendant had published on its internet forums comments by posters which were defamatory of it, and which were then made available by the second defendant search engine. The court was asked what responsibility a search engine might have for a defamation pointed to by its results pages. Held: As to … Continue reading Metropolitan International Schools Ltd. (T/A Skillstrain And/Or Train2Game) v Designtechnica Corp (T/A Digital Trends) and Others: QBD 16 Jul 2009
The court should decide on whether an article is ‘fact or comment’ purely by reference to the article itself, and not taking into account any of the earlier background coverage. It is the obligation of the relevant commentator to make clear that the content of his or her communication is comment rather than fact. As … Continue reading Telnikoff v Matusevitch: HL 14 Nov 1991
The claimant sought damages for an article in the defendant’s newspaper, a review of her book which said she had falsely claimed to have interviewed artists including the review author and that the claimant allowed interviewees control over what was said. The claimant sought to have struck out the defence of fair comment. Held: A … Continue reading Thornton v Telegraph Media Group Ltd: QBD 12 Nov 2009
Where an action had been begun on basis of allegations of negligence and breach of trust, new allegations of fraud where quite separate new causes of claim, and went beyond amendments and were disallowed outside the relevant limitation period. Sections 23 and 36 and the absence of express statutory mention in the 1980 Act of … Continue reading Paragon Finance Plc (Formerly Known As National Home Loans Corporation Plc v D B Thakerar and Co (a Firm); Ranga and Co (a Firm) and Sterling Financial Services Limited: CA 21 Jul 1998
In a case where a contemnor not only fails wilfully and contumaciously to comply with an order of the court but makes it clear that he will continue to defy the court’s authority if the order should be affirmed on appeal, the court must have a . .
The claimant asserted defamation by the defendant. The parties sought a decision on whether the article at issue was a comment piece, in which case the defendant could plead fair comment, or one asserting fact, in which case that defence would not . .
The parties competed in providing employment law services. The claimant complained of slanderous comments said to have been made by the defendant in discussions with a firm of solicitors seeking to select a firm. The claimant now appealed against . .
The word ‘calculated’ as used in s.2 of the 1952 Act meant ‘likely’: accepting that, in that context, that meant something less than ‘more likely than not’. . .
The court had been asked to intervene in an internal dispute as to the role of an Imam in a mosque community.
Held: The request was denied. The case was not one of public law: ‘ the particular function which the Imam was performing affected . .
World-wide freezing orders had been made under the 1982 Act. The defendants were members of a Turkish family with substantial business interests in the telecommunications industry. In breach of orders made in the US some defendants had sought to . .
Appeal from strike out of claim as abuse of process.
Held: Denied. . .
The claimant alleged complicity by the defendant, (now former) Foreign Secretary, in his mistreatment by the US while held in Libya. He also alleged involvement in his unlawful abduction and removal to Libya, from which had had fled for political . .
The claimant issued defamation proceedings against two newspapers. The court considered the meanings complained of in each case, and whether the cases should be tried together. He was on leave for injury and was said to have been attempting to dance . .
The defendant sought to defend the claim for defamation by claiming fair comment. The claimant said that the relevant facts were not known to the defendant at the time of the publication.
Held: To claim facts in aid of a defence of fair . .
Ruling on the question whether the slanders of which the Claimant complains in this action were uttered by the Defendant on occasions protected by qualified privilege. . .
Ruling on the application by the Defendant that judgment be entered in his favour in relation to the claim against him in slander. The basis of the application is in short that no special damage is alleged to have been suffered by the Claimant and . .
The newspaper appealed an award of damages for defamation after its theatre critic’s review of an opera written by the claimant. The author said the article made him appear to sympathise with terrorism.
Held: The appeal succeeded. Keene LJ . .
The two prisoners, serving life sentences for murder, had had their appeals rejected. They continued to protest innocence, and sought to bring their campaigns to public attention through the press, having oral interviews with journalists without . .
References:  EMLR 777,  3 HKLRD 418,  HKCFA 35 Links: hklii Coram: Chief Justice Li, Mr Justice Bokhary PJ, Mr Justice Ribeiro PJ, Sir Denys Roberts NPJ and Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead NPJ (Court of Final Appeal of Hong Kong) For the purposes of the defence to defamation of fair comment: ‘The comment … Continue reading Tse Wai Chun Paul v Albert Cheng; 13 Nov 2000