Associated Newspapers Ltd v Murray: CA 15 May 2015

The newspaper had been sued in defamation, and it had been agreed that a statement would be made. The parties however differed as to the form of statement to be read out in court.
Held: The appeal failed: ‘The allegation complained of is that the claimant had given a knowingly false account of her time as a single mother in which she falsely and inexcusably accused her fellow churchgoers of behaving badly towards her. This pleaded meaning is accurately and unambiguously set out in the draft statement, where, as can be seen, it is stated in terms that this is what the article alleged (defined as ‘the Allegations’). It is plain beyond sensible argument, as Mr Rushbrooke QC for the claimant submits, that anyone hearing the statement being read, or reading it could be in no doubt that this is the meaning complained of. Nor would such a notional third party be misled as to the defendant’s position. A later passage from the unilateral statement, about which the defendant does not complain, expressly records that the defendant accepts as ‘completely false and indefensible’ ‘the Allegations’ i.e. the accurately recorded pleaded meaning. The premise of the defendant’s argument on this appeal is therefore a flawed one.’

Longmore, Ryder, Sharp LJJ
[2015] EWCA Civ 488
Defamation Act 1996 3
England and Wales
CitedWinslet v Associated Newspapers Ltd QBD 3-Nov-2009
The parties had compromised a defamation claim with an offer of amends, but the claimant wished to read out a statement in accordance with the rules, being unhappy with the apology offered. The defendant objected, saying that she had no entitlement . .
Appeal fromMurray v Associated Newspapers Ltd QBD 15-Apr-2014
Application to read unilateral statement in satisfaction of defamation claim.
Held: It follows from the terms of section 3 of the 1996 Act that the court should not regard as normal an oral hearing of submissions by a defendant that a claimant . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 30 December 2021; Ref: scu.546825