Adelson and Another v Associated Newspapers: QBD 19 Feb 2008

Complaint was made that an article was defamatory of the owner of Manchester United. The defendant now argued that the game was not worth the candle. The costs vastly exceeded any possible recovery, and it had openly offered vindication, and that the case had now become an abuse of process and should be stayed. The claimant said that the defendant was not free to assert justification as a defence whilst offering a public apology inconsistent with its statement of truth.
Held: The request failed. There was no difference in principle between an open offer and one made without prejudice save as to costs in this context. A judge should not give permission for a Statement in Open Court to be read if, before the Statement is read, he is informed by one of the parties that that party proposing to join in the making of a statement which he believes to be false. It is one thing for the court to be unable to guarantee that all its judgments or verdicts are the whole truth. It is quite another for the court to permit itself to be used for the making of a statement that the maker is at the same time declaring he believes to be untrue. The court expects an apology to be frank. It does not expect a claimant to accept an apology which is not full and frank, and which the defendant does not believe in.


Tugendhat J


[2008] EWHC 278 (QB), [2009] EMLR 10




Contempt of Court Act 1981 4(2)


England and Wales


See AlsoAdelson and Another v Associated Newspapers Ltd QBD 1-May-2007
. .
See AlsoAdelson and Another v Associated Newspapers Ltd CA 9-Jul-2007
The claimant sought to add the name of a further claimant. The defendant objected, saying that it was after the expiry of the limitation period.
Held: The claimant was seeking to use the rules for substitution of parties to add a party. In . .
See AlsoAdelson and Another v Associated Newspapers Ltd QBD 19-Dec-2007
Applications were launched with in defamation proceedings to seek to recover damages for parties who had not previously been part of the proceedings.
Held: The amendments were refused. The new claimants were now out of time, and it was clear . .
CitedDow Jones and Co Inc v Jameel CA 3-Feb-2005
Presumption of Damage in Defamation is rebuttable
The defendant complained that the presumption in English law that the victim of a libel had suffered damage was incompatible with his right to a fair trial. They said the statements complained of were repetitions of statements made by US . .
CitedSchellenberg v British Broadcasting Corporation QBD 2000
The claimant had settled defamation actions against the Guardian and the Sunday Times on disadvantageous terms, when it seemed likely that he was about to lose. He then pressed on with this almost identical action against the BBC.
Held: A . .
CitedWallis v Valentine and Others CA 18-Jul-2002
The claimant in a defamation case appealed a decision to strike out his claim on the basis that it was an abuse of process, being intended to act as an harassment of the defendant, or to cause commercial embarrassment or undue cost.
Held: . .
CitedMcDonald Corporation v Steel CA 1995
A defendant may not put on the record a plea of justification unless he believes it to be true: ‘It is true that a pleader must not put a plea of justification (or indeed a plea of fraud) on the record lightly or without careful consideration of the . .
CitedCleese v Clark QBD 2003
The court looked at the calculation of damages after an offer of amends under the Act by the defendant.
Held: Such calculations have to be linked to the very different circumstances of each case. Comparisons with awards after jury trial were . .
CitedAir Canada v Secretary of State for Trade HL 1983
The court considered the test to be applied before a document could be ordered to be discovered.
Held: (Majority) Discovery is an exception to the adversarial character of the legal process. It assists both the parties and the court to . .
CitedRisk Allah Bey v Johnstone 1868
A court should not allow an apology where the person apologising did not believe in its truth. . .
CitedMalcolm v Moore 1901
. .
CitedCharlton v Emap Plc and Others QBD 11-Jun-1993
A defendant offering an explanation as part of a defamation settlement must not detract from the Plaintiff’s vindication. The court rejected the submission of the defendant in a libel action that the claimant should be refused permission to read a . .
CitedBarnet v Crozier CA 1987
The court considered an application by a third party to proceedings to prevent a statement being read out in open court in defamation proceedings. Justification had originally been pleaded by both defendants but, as part of a settlement with the . .
CitedGleaner Company Ltd and Another v Abrahams PC 14-Jul-2003
Punitive Defamation Damages Order Sustained
(Jamaica) The appellants challenged a substantial award of damages for defamation. They had wrongfully accused a government minister of corruption. There was evidence of substantial financial loss. ‘For nearly sixteen years the defendants, with all . .
CitedMilne v Telegraph Ltd QBD 2001
The defendant requested entry of summary judgment against itself under section 8(3) to limit the maximum damages to andpound;10,000. If it went to trial the defendant might argue qualified privilege. To have jurisdiction it had to appear to the . .

Cited by:

CitedMcLaughlin and Others v Newall QBD 31-Jul-2009
The claimant asked the court to strike out the defence that the claimant had compromised his claim by agreement. The defendant had written letters critical of the claimants who were governors of a school which had disciplined his daughter a teacher . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contempt of Court, Defamation

Updated: 21 June 2022; Ref: scu.278220