Adam v Fisher: 1914

There were two possible reasons why a newspaper might be treated differently from another organisation in defamation proceedings, in that discovery of the source of information will not be ordered. First, it might be expected that it was the purpose of such an interrogatory to sue the informant, which would be improper, and second that it would be against the public interest.


Buckley J


[1914] 39 TLR 288


England and Wales


CitedPlymouth Mutual Co-operative Soceiety and Industrial Society Ltd v Traders’ Publishing Organisation 1908
Interrogatories in defamation proceedings will not be allowed to request from a newspaper the source of the journalist’s information where there may be considerable public interest. . .

Cited by:

CitedBritish Steel Corporation v Granada Television Ltd HL 7-May-1980
The defendant had broadcast a TV programme using material confidential to the plaintiff, who now sought disclosure of the identity of the presumed thief.
Held: (Lord Salmon dissenting) The courts have never recognised a public interest right . .
CitedLyle-Samuel v Oldhams Ltd 1919
The rule that in defamation proceedings, a newspaper defendant should not be obliged in interrogatories to disclose the name of an informant is so well established as to be beyond argument. ‘All I say is that this is an action of libel against the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Litigation Practice, Defamation

Updated: 06 May 2022; Ref: scu.193368