Alexander v Arts Council of Wales: QBD 20 Jul 2000

A representative of the Arts Council of Wales was held to have been protected by qualified privilege in making statements at a press conference held to explain the Council’s refusal of a particular application for arts funding, and after the Council’s decision had been attacked in the press by the applicant. The meaning of the statement was essentially that the Claimant had a cavalier attitude to the use of public funds and was a reckless, negligent or incompetent administrator: this was why the Council had refused the application.
Eady J said: ‘It seems to me that the matter can be put on both bases, that is to say the general duty/interest test and the ‘reply to an attack’ test. I prefer to place the matter on the more general footing by saying that this was a matter concerning public funding and decisions made in relation to it which were likely to have a considerable impact on the arts in South Wales. It seems to me to be clear that someone in [the second defendant’s] position had a duty to explain, as far as she could, the nature of the decision and, if pressed upon it, the reasons for the decision. That is particularly so in a case where the matter had been placed in the public domain very recently and had thereby become a matter of legitimate interest.’


Eady J


Unreported, 20 July 2000


England and Wales

Cited by:

Appeal fromAlexander v Arts Council of Wales CA 9-Apr-2001
In a defamation action, where the judge considered that, taken at their highest, the allegations made by the claimant would be insufficient to establish the claim, he could grant summary judgment for the defence. If the judge considered that a . .
ApprovedBento v The Chief Constable of Bedfordshire Police QBD 1-Jun-2012
The claimant had been convicted of the murder of his girlfriend. On his acquittal on appeal, the police criticised the CPS decision not to retry the claimant, in effect, the claimant now said, continuing the accusation against him, and so defaming . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 22 July 2022; Ref: scu.460273