Bonnard v Perryman: QBD 1891

The libel in issue was a very damaging one. Unless it could be justified at the trial it was one in which a jury would give the plaintiff ‘very serious damages’. The court was asked to grant an interlocutory injunction to restrain publication.
North J said: ‘I have this to bear in mind, that, if in such a case as this an interlocutory injunction is not granted, I cannot imagine any case in which an interlocutory injunction to restrain a libel could be granted, whereas it is clear on the authorities that there are cases in which it would be proper to grant it. Then there is this further matter to be considered with reference to the point made, that the matter ought to be tried before a jury. I am satisfied of this, that if the matter was before a jury now, upon the evidence which is before me – that is to say, the evidence of the Plaintiffs uncontradicted, not cross-examined to, and merely resting on the Defendant’s evidence in answer to it – I am perfectly satisfied there is not any jury in England who would say there should be a verdict for the Defendant in such a case, and, what is more, if they did, I am quite satisfied it is a case in which a new trial would be directed. This, of course, does not touch what may be the case when the action comes to be tried. There may be evidence before the Court then which would satisfy a jury who tries it that the Defendant has made out a justification. I am merely referring to the materials before me, which are all I can look to now in considering what I am to do in the matter. In these circumstances I have come to the conclusion that an injunction must be granted in the terms which I have mentioned.’

North J
[1891] 2 Ch 269
England and Wales
CitedWilliam Coulson and Sons v James Coulson and Co CA 1887
Lord Esher MR said: ‘It could not be denied that the court had jurisdiction to grant an interim injunction before trial. It was, however, a most delicate jurisdiction to exercise, because, though Fox’s Act only applied to indictments and . .

Cited by:
Appeal fromBonnard v Perryman CA 2-Jan-1891
Although the courts possessed a jurisdiction, ‘in all but exceptional cases’, they should not issue an interlocutory injunction to restrain the publication of a libel which the defence sought to justify except where it was clear that that defence . .
CitedGreene v Associated Newspapers Ltd CA 5-Nov-2004
The claimant appealed against refusal of an order restraining publication by the respondent of an article about her. She said that it was based upon an email falsely attributed to her.
Held: ‘in an action for defamation a court will not impose . .
CitedCC v AB QBD 4-Dec-2006
The claimant sought an order to prevent the defendant and others from making it known that the claimant had had an adulterous relationship with the defendant’s wife. . .
CitedMerlin Entertainments LPC and Others v Cave QBD 25-Sep-2014
The claimants operated amusement parks. The defendant, believing that the parks were not being opearated as safely as they should be set up web-sites attacking the claimants and some employees in intemperate terms. The claimants sought interim . .
CitedBrett Wilson Llp v Person(s) Unknown, Responsible for The Operation and Publication of The Website QBD 16-Sep-2015
The claimant solicitors sought remedies against the unknown publishers of the respondent website which was said to publish material defamatory of them, and to ampunt to harassment.
Held: The alleged defamatory meanings were not challenged by . .
CitedNT 1 and NT 2 v Google Llc QBD 13-Apr-2018
Right to be Forgotten is not absolute
The two claimants separately had criminal convictions from years before. They objected to the defendant indexing third party web pages which included personal data in the form of information about those convictions, which were now spent. The claims . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Leading Case

Updated: 09 November 2021; Ref: scu.219252