Adams v Sunday Pictorial Newspapers (1920) Ltd and Champion: CA 1951

The court was asked whether interrogatories should be ordered in relation to the question of whether a defendant who was relying on the defence of fair comment had been activated by malice.
Held: Lord Justice Denning said: ‘The truth is that the burden on the defendant who pleads fair comment is already heavy enough. If he proves that the facts were true and that the comments, objectively considered, were fair, that is, if they were fair when considered without regard to the state of mind of the writer, I should not have thought that the plaintiff had much to complain about; nevertheless it has been held that the plaintiff can still succeed if he can prove that the comments, subjectively considered, were unfair because the writer was actuated by malice.’


Denning LJ


[1951] 1 KB 354


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedSpiller and Another v Joseph and Others SC 1-Dec-2010
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 . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 02 May 2022; Ref: scu.427742