Barron and Others v Collins MEP: QBD 22 Dec 2016

The defendant MEP had had adjourned the claim against her for defamation, claiming that her actions has been as an MEP and therefore exempt from proceedings. The chair of the European Parliament Legal Affairs Committee had received and rejected her request for protection. She now said that she had not been properly advised when settling.
Held: After discussing each of them, the court jeld that: ‘the defendant falls a long way short of demonstrating that the public interest requires an investigation of the matters of defence that she has put forward.’ Her application was dismissed.

Warby J
[2016] EWHC 3350 (QB)
Bailii
Defamation Act 1996 2 3 4
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedDi Placito v Slater and others CA 19-Dec-2003
The parties had earlier compromised their dispute, with the claimant undertaking not to lodge any further claim unless he did so within a certain time. They now sought to commence action.
Held: When considering whether to discharge such an . .
CitedWarren v The Random House Group Ltd CA 16-Jul-2008
An offer of amends by the defendant had been accepted by the claimant. The defendant then sought to set aside the agreement and to resist the claim on its merits in reliance on a defence of justification. The parties disputed whether such an offer . .
See AlsoBarron MP and Another v Vines QBD 29-Apr-2015
The court considered the damages to be awarded afer a libellous television broadcast on Sky TV. The claimants were MPs for Rotherham. There had been a large scale abuse of children, and they had been accused of not responding properly to it by the . .
See AlsoBarron MP and Others v Collins MEP QBD 29-Apr-2015
Trial of preliminary issues in for defamation. The claimants, MPs for Rotherham areas, said that a speech by the defendant to the UKIP conference and repeated on TV contained assertions defamatory of them.
Held: The words complained of bore . .
CitedDecker v Hopcraft QBD 30-Apr-2015
The claimant, a litigant in person, was absent from the hearing of a defamation action arising from a dispute between the parties in their capacities as committee members of the Crawley Boxing Club.
Held: The court gave its reasons for . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation, Constitutional

Updated: 27 January 2022; Ref: scu.572647

Begg v British Broadcasting Corporation: QBD 28 Oct 2016

The claimant, a Chief Immam, sued in defamation in respect of a broadcast of the Sunday Politics, suggesting that his mosque had served as ‘the venue for a number of extremist speakers and speakers who espouse extremist positions.’ The defendant pleaded justification.
Held: The claim failed: ‘the cumulative effect of [the claimant’s] speeches is consistent with an extremist Salafist Islamist worldview, with positions articulated on the particular issue of jihad that are violently extreme, and these speeches would be regarded by the vast majority of the Muslim community as theologically extreme. ‘

Haddon-Cave J
[2016] EWHC 2688 (QB)
Bailii
England and Wales

Defamation

Updated: 24 January 2022; Ref: scu.570722

Bode v Mundell: QBD 19 Oct 2016

The court considered issues about the application of the rules on pleading and proof of publication in defamation, the serious harm requirement in s 1(1) of the Defamation Act 2013, and the abuse of process doctrine in Jameel (Yousef) v Dow Jones Inc
Held: The Defendant had, on the evidence, demonstrated that no serious harm to reputation had been caused by the publication of a limited circulation email. The Judge was satisfied that: ‘(1) there was no evidence of the Claimant’s reputation having been harmed in the eyes of the publishees; on the contrary
(2) of those who had read the allegations, the evidence demonstrated that none of the publishees believed them.’

Warby J
[2016] EWHC 2533 (QB)
Bailii
Defamation Act 2013
England and Wales
Citing:
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 . .

Cited by:
CitedDhir v Saddler QBD 6-Dec-2017
Slander damages reduced for conduct
Claim in slander. The defendant was said, at a church meeting to have accused the client of threatening to slit her throat. The defendant argued that the audience of 80 was not large enough.
Held: ‘the authorities demonstrate that it is the . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation

Updated: 24 January 2022; Ref: scu.570513

Lokhova v Longmuir: QBD 20 Oct 2016

Application for permission to amend the Particulars of Claim in this action for defamation. The claimant presently complains of seven defamatory statements published in 2011. By an application notice issued nearly a year ago, in November 2015, she now seeks to add three further causes of action: two in libel arising from emails sent by the defendant in May 2011, and one in slander, arising from words allegedly spoken in February 2014. At the same time, the claimant seeks to expand by amendment her case on damages, by adding details of matters to be relied on in aggravation.

Warby J
[2016] EWHC 2579 (QB)
Bailii
England and Wales

Defamation, Limitation

Updated: 24 January 2022; Ref: scu.570515

Gahir v Bansal: QBD 3 Aug 2016

Libel action arising from two hand-written letters alleged to have been written by the Defendant and sent by him to various members of the Sikh community in the midlands and, in particular, to members of the Gurdwara to which the Claimant and Defendant each belong. The recipients are said to have included among others the Trustees, the Management Committee and the Executive Committee. The defendant denied authorship.

Sir David Eady
[2016] EWHC 2041 (QB)
Bailii

Defamation

Updated: 22 January 2022; Ref: scu.569078

Broome v Agar: CA 1928

The court discussed the differing responsibilities of the judge and jury in defamation cases: ‘It is not, however, open to the judge to say that the words do bear a defamatory meaning, that is for the jury, but the jury must have evidence upon which they can found their verdict and if there is no evidence upon which they can find that the words were not defamatory, or if it can be conclusively proved that they have not exercised any reasonable discretion at all, an Appellate Court may grant a new trial.’

Sankey LJ
(1928) 44 TLR 339
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedSafeway Stores Plc v Albert Tate CA 18-Dec-2000
The respondent, a neighbour of the claimant, had fallen into dispute with the claimant, and issued a leaflet and signs alleging fraud. The claimants obtained an injunction, and in the absence of a substantive defence, judgement. He claimed that the . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation

Updated: 22 January 2022; Ref: scu.182788

Simpson v Mirror Group Newspapers Ltd: CA 26 Jul 2016

When looking for a defamatory meaning, the court should adopt a neutral approach

Laws, King, Lindblom LJJ
[2016] EWCA Civ 772, [2016] EMLR 26
Bailii
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedMonroe v Hopkins QBD 10-Mar-2017
The claimant, a transgender chef and food blogger claimed in defamation against the defendant journalist in respect of two tweets. The court now set out to decide the meanings, whether they were defamatory by nature, and whether the serious harm . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation

Updated: 20 January 2022; Ref: scu.567677

Johnston v League Publications Ltd and Others: QBD 26 Mar 2014

Application to determine meanings.
Held: When asked to determine the meanings in a statement alleged to be defamatory, the court is not restricted to the meaning put forward by the parties: ‘The test is that of the ‘ordinary reader’. That concept is wide enough to embrace, in cases such as the present, the readers of a specialist publication, who are likely to bring a degree of specialist background knowledge to their interpretation. This factor is likely to be of particular significance when considering possible innuendo meanings. The court will not, of course, simply ignore the parties’ meanings or counsel’s submissions about them. It is, however, when these come to be addressed in the course of a judgment that the risk becomes most acute of being drawn into too much analysis – especially when explaining why any of those submissions are being rejected.’

Sir David Eady
[2014] EWHC 874 (QB)
Bailii
Defamation Act 2013 11
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedHamaizia and Another v The Commissioner of Police for The Metropolis QBD 21-Oct-2014
The two claimants, each convicted of serious offences of false imprisonment and violent assault, complained of a press release issued by the defendant which, they said accused them of involvement in a murder.
Held: The words complained of did . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation

Updated: 20 January 2022; Ref: scu.523306

Milne v Express Newspapers Ltd: QBD 29 Nov 2002

The defendant newspaper had made a full apology and offer of amends under the section, and relied upon it as a defence. The claimant sought to impugn that apology, saying that the article had been malicious. He sought disclosure to support the claim.
Held: The request was a fishing expedition. To undermine the defence, the claimant had to show bad faith, not just negligence, and actual rather than constructive knowledge of the falsity.

Eady J
Times 09-Dec-2002
Defamation Act 1996 2 4(2)
England and Wales

Defamation

Updated: 20 January 2022; Ref: scu.178363

Miller v Associated Newspapers Ltd: QBD 5 Feb 2016

Mitting J
[2016] EWHC 397 (QB), [2016] 2 Costs LR 195
Bailii
England and Wales
Cited by:
Appeal fromTimes Newspapers Ltd and Others v Flood and Others SC 11-Apr-2017
Three newspaper publishers, having lost defamation cases, challenged the levels of costs awarded against them, saying that the levels infringed their own rights of free speech.
Held: Each of the three appeals was dismissed. . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation, Costs

Updated: 18 January 2022; Ref: scu.566570

Mazure v Stubbs Ltd: HL 28 Jul 1919

A weekly paper with a large trade circulation published weekly the decrees in absence obtained in the small-debt courts. The list was prefaced by an explanatory note that the publication in the paper of the decree in absence did not imply that the party against whom the decree had been pronounced was unable to pay, or anything more than that the entry appeared in the court books. The list on one occasion had in it the name of the pursuer as a person against whom a decree in absence had been pronounced. Admittedly no such decree had been pronounced. The pursuer brought an action of damages for slander; innuendoed the publication as meaning that he ‘was given to or had begun to refuse or delay to make payment of his debts, and that he was not a person to whom credit should be given;’ and averred that it was so understood, and had in that way seriously affected him in business. Held ( dis. Lord Wrenbury) (1) that the case was not covered by Russell v. Stubbs, Limited, [1913] A.C. 386, 1913 S.C. (H.L.) 14, 50 SLR 676, and (2) that the averments were relevant.

Viscount Finlay, Viscount Cave, Lord Dunedin, Lord Shaw, and Lord Wrenbury
[1919] UKHL 535, 56 SLR 535
Bailii
Scotland

Defamation

Updated: 14 January 2022; Ref: scu.632785

Langlands v John Leng and Co, Ltd: HL 21 Jan 1916

In an action of damages for slander against a newspaper the innuendo of corrupt conduct in giving interested advice to a public authority by an architect, its official, disallowed, reversing judgment of the Second Division.

Viscount Haldane, Lord Kinnear, Lord Shaw, Lord Parmoor, and Lord Wrenbury
[1916] UKHL 212, 53 SLR 212
Bailii
Scotland

Defamation

Updated: 14 January 2022; Ref: scu.630669

Undre and Another v The London Borough of Harrow: QBD 26 Apr 2016

Preliminary issue as to whether words used carried a defamatory meaning, and whether they had caused serious harm to a reputation under section 1 of the 2013 Act.

Warby J
[2016] EWHC 931 (QB)
Bailii
Defamation Act 2013 1
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedEconomou v De Freitas QBD 27-Jul-2016
Failed action for defamation on rape allegations
The claimant had been accused by the defendant’s daughter of rape. He was never charged but sought to prosecute her alleging intent to pervert the course of justice. She later killed herself. The defendant sought to have the inquest extended to . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation

Updated: 14 January 2022; Ref: scu.563189

Telnikoff v Matusevitch: CA 1991

The court considered the element of malice in a defamation defence: ‘If a piece of evidence is equally consistent with malice and the absence of malice, it cannot as a matter of law provide evidence on which the jury could find malice. The judge would be bound so to direct the jury. If there are no pieces of evidence that are more consistent with malice than the absence of malice, there is no evidence of malice to go to the jury’.

Lloyd, Glidewell and Woolf LJJ
[1991] 1 QB 102
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedTurner v Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Ltd (MGM) HL 1950
A letter was published which criticised a film critic’s review of the week’s films.
Held: A person (including a corporation) whose character or conduct has been attacked is entitled to answer the attack, and the answer will be protected by . .
AppliedSomerville v Hawkins 1851
It is necessary for a claimant who wishes to prove malice in an alleged defamation to plead and prove facts which are more consistent with its presence than with its absence. Mawle J said: ‘it is certainly not necessary in order to enable a . .
Appeal fromTelnikoff v Matusevitch 24-May-1989
The plaintiff claimed in libel. Drake J upheld a submission that there was no case to go before the jury, in respect that (1) any reasonable jury properly directed would be bound to sustain the defence of fair comment, and (2) there was no evidence . .

Cited by:
Appeal fromTelnikoff v Matusevitch HL 14-Nov-1991
The court should decide on whether an article is ‘fact or comment’ purely by reference to the article itself, and not taking into account any of the earlier background coverage. It is the obligation of the relevant commentator to make clear that the . .
CitedMcHarg v Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police ChD 9-Jan-2004
The claimant police officer sought damages for malicious prosecution. The defendant applied for the claim to be struck out.
Held: There was insufficient evidence to establish malice. The claim was struck out. . .
CitedMeade v Pugh and Another QBD 5-Mar-2004
The claimant was a social work student. He attended a work experience placement, and challenged the report given by the defendants on that placement, saying it was discriminatory and defamatory. He appealed a strike out of his claim.
Held: The . .
CitedAlexander 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 . .
CitedMcBride v The Body Shop International Plc QBD 10-Jul-2007
The claimant sought damages for libel in an internal email written by her manager, accusing her of being a compulsive liar. The email had not been disclosed save in Employment Tribunal proceedings, and the claimant sought permission to use the email . .
CitedSeray-Wurie v The Charity Commission of England and Wales QBD 23-Apr-2008
The defendant sought an order to strike out the claimant’s allegations of defamation and other torts. The defendants claimed qualified privilege in that the statements complained of were contained in a report prepared by it in fulfilment of its . .
CitedHughes v Risbridger and Another QBD 9-Dec-2009
The defendants, employees of British Airways, sought summary judgement against the claimant in his claim for defamation in several emails. They had discussed the detention of the claimant under suspicion of theft at the airport, and claimed . .
CitedLewis v Commissioner of Police of The Metropolis and Others (Rev 1) QBD 31-Mar-2011
The defendant sought a ruling on the meaning of the words but using section 69(4) of the 1981 Act. The claimant solicitor was acting in complaints as to the unlawful interception of celebrity voicemails by agents of the press. There had been debate . .
CitedKhader v Aziz and Another QBD 31-Jul-2009
The defendant sought to strike out a claim in defamation. Acting on behalf of his client the solicitor defendant was said to have called a journalist and defamed the claimant. The words were denied.
Held: Assuming (which was denied) that the . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation

Updated: 13 January 2022; Ref: scu.184402

Spring v Guardian Assurance Plc and Others: CA 1993

The test for malice is the same whether it arises in the context of libel or of injurious falsehood. Glidewell LJ said that ‘Maliciously’ in this context means either knowing that the words were false or being reckless as to whether they were false or not or being actuated by a dishonest or other improper motive. It suffices that a defendant was activated by an improper dominant purpose.

Glidewell LJ
[1993] 2 All ER 273, [1993] IRLR 122, [1993] ICR 412
England and Wales
Cited by:
Appeal fromSpring v Guardian Assurance Plc and Others HL 7-Jul-1994
The plaintiff, who worked in financial services, complained of the terms of the reference given by his former employer. Having spoken of his behaviour towards members of the team, it went on: ‘his former superior has further stated he is a man of . .
CitedWright v Caan QBD 27-Jul-2011
The claimant sought damages in defamation and malicious falsehood and in respect of a conversation with a journalist and the defendant’s website. The defendant had made offers of support to her business venture in a television program. After she . .
CitedKhader v Aziz and Another QBD 31-Jul-2009
The defendant sought to strike out a claim in defamation. Acting on behalf of his client the solicitor defendant was said to have called a journalist and defamed the claimant. The words were denied.
Held: Assuming (which was denied) that the . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation

Updated: 12 January 2022; Ref: scu.442247

Rufus v Elliott: QBD 1 Nov 2013

The parties were former footballers involved in charitable works. The claimant said that an allegation by the defendant that he the claimant had released for publication a text message in which the the defendant was said to have used extremely offensive language was defamatory. Though denying that he had released it, the defendant now argued that the the wod he had used to Mr Rufus was so offensive that it could not be defamatory to have made it public, since right minded members of the public would only commend him for exposing the use of such language.
Held: The court was being asked about whether the words were capable of bearing a defamatory meaning. They did: ‘right-thinking members of society are well aware: (a) of the ordinary weaknesses and failings of mankind; (b) that in private communications between former friends, even the most well-intentioned and hard-working people (such as Mr Elliott), might say things which should never be said. In these circumstances right-thinking members of society could, in my judgment, take the view that sending a private communication to the public, with the inevitable consequence that the former friend would lose his office, was both disloyal and wrong.’

Dingemans J
[2013] EWHC 3355 (QB)
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedSim v Stretch HL 1936
Test For Defamatory Meaning
The plaintiff complained that the defendant had written in a telegram to accuse him of enticing away a servant. The House considered the process of deciding whether words were defamatory.
Held: The telegram was incapable of bearing a . .
CitedModi and Another v Clarke CA 29-Jul-2011
The claimants, organisers of the Indian Premier cricket League, met with organisations in England seeking to establish a similar league in the Northern Hemisphere. A copy of a note came to the defendant, chairman of the England and Wales Cricket . .
CitedThornton v Telegraph Media Group Ltd QBD 16-Jun-2010
The claimant said that a review of her book was defamatory and a malicious falsehood. The defendant now sought summary judgment or a ruling as to the meaning of the words complained of.
Held: The application for summary judgment succeeded. The . .
CitedJeynes v News Magazines Ltd and Another CA 31-Jan-2008
Whether Statement defamatory at common law
The claimant appealed against a striking out of her claim for defamation on finding that the words did not have the defamatory meaning complained of, namely that she was transgendered or transsexual.
Held: The appeal failed.
Sir Anthony . .
CitedSkuse v Granada Television CA 30-Mar-1993
The claimant complained that the defendant had said in a television programme that he had failed to act properly when presenting his expert forensic evidence in court in the trial of the Birmingham Six.
Held: The court should give to the . .
CitedMawe v Pigott 1869
A claim for libel was brought by an Irish priest, who was said to be an informer against disloyal and criminal classes.
Held: The action was dismissed. The argument on behalf of the priest was noted to be that amongst certain classes who were . .
CitedMyroft v Sleight 1921
The plaintiff, a trawler skipper sailing out of Grimsby, was a member of the Grimsby Fishermens’ Trades Union. A committee member was the defendant. The plaintiff was among those voting for a strike, and an unofficial strike was called. The . .
BindingByrne v Deane CA 1937
A notice had been displayed on a golf club notice board. The court considered whether this constituted publication for defamation purposes.
Held: Greene LJ said: ‘Now on the substantial question of publication, publication, of course, is a . .
CitedWilliams v MGN Ltd QBD 2-Dec-2009
The claimant, who had been convicted of murder, complained that an article defamed him by calling him a ‘grass’ or police informer. The defendant asked that the claimant’s defamation action be struck out as an abuse.
Held: While the suggestion . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation

Updated: 12 January 2022; Ref: scu.517354

Makudi v Baron Triesman of Tottenham In London Borough of Haringey: QBD 1 Feb 2013

The claimant, former chairman of the Thailand Football Association, claimed in defamation against the defendant who had been chairman of the English Football Association. The defendant asked the court to strike out the claim, saying that some of the claims were based on privileged evidence given to a parliamentary committee, and associated publications, and the remainder had so restricted a distribution as to make the action an abuse.
Held: The action should be struck out. The occasions of the four publications complained of were all plainly occasions of qualified privilege, and there was no case in malice that could be left to a jury. It was not possible to separate out the defendant’s state of mind when making the publications complained of and his evidence to Parliament.

Tugendhat J
[2013] EWHC 142 (QB)
Bailii
Bill of Rights 1689 9
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedGrainger v Hill CEC 1838
Misuse of Power for ulterior object
D1 and D2 lent C 80 pounds repayable in 1837, secured by a mortgage on C’s vessel. C was to be free to continue to use the vessel in the interim but the law forbade its use if he were to cease to hold its register. In 1836 the Ds became concerned . .
CitedByrne v Deane CA 1937
A notice had been displayed on a golf club notice board. The court considered whether this constituted publication for defamation purposes.
Held: Greene LJ said: ‘Now on the substantial question of publication, publication, of course, is a . .
CitedHorrocks v Lowe HL 1974
The plaintiff complained of an alleged slander spoken at a meeting of the Town Council. The council meeting was an occasion attracting qualified privilege. The judge at trial found that the councillor honestly believed that what he had said in the . .
CitedBroxton v McClelland and Another CA 27-Nov-1996
The judge may disclose to the jury the purpose of a non-party’s involvement as a backer of a party if it is relevant to the case.
Simon Brown LJ said as to an allegation that the claim was an abuse of process: ‘The cases appear to suggest two . .
CitedHamilton v Al Fayed HL 23-Mar-2000
The claimant MP sued the defendant in defamation after he had alleged that the MP had corruptly solicited and received payments and benefits in kind as a reward for parliamentary services rendered.
Held: Parliament has protected by privilege . .
CitedMcLean and Another v Buchanan, Procurator Fiscal and Another PC 24-May-2001
(Appeal from High Court of Justiciary (Scotland)) It was not an infringement of a defendant’s right to a fair trial where the costs of defending the case brought against him would be substantial, but where his solicitors would be paid only a small . .
CitedChase v Newsgroup Newspapers Ltd CA 3-Dec-2002
The defendant appealed against a striking out of part of its defence to the claim of defamation, pleading justification.
Held: The Human Rights Convention had not itself changed the conditions for a plea of justification based upon reasonable . .
CitedJennings v Buchanan PC 14-Jul-2004
(New Zealand) (Attorney General of New Zealand intervening) The defendant MP had made a statement in Parliament which attracted parliamentary privilege. In a subsequent newspaper interview, he said ‘he did not resile from his claim’. He defended the . .
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 . .
CitedChurch of Scientology of California v Johnson-Smith QBD 1971
The plaintiff church sued the defendant, a Member of Parliament, for remarks made by the defendant in a television programme. He pleaded fair comment and the plaintiff replied with a plea of malice, relying on statements made in Parliament. The . .
CitedJeynes v News Magazines Ltd and Another CA 31-Jan-2008
Whether Statement defamatory at common law
The claimant appealed against a striking out of her claim for defamation on finding that the words did not have the defamatory meaning complained of, namely that she was transgendered or transsexual.
Held: The appeal failed.
Sir Anthony . .
CitedFairclough Homes Ltd v Summers SC 27-Jun-2012
The respondent had made a personal injury claim, but had then been discovered to have wildly and dishonestly exaggerated the damages claim. The defendant argued that the court should hand down some condign form of punishment, and appealed against . .

Cited by:
Appeal fromMakudi v Baron Triesman of Tottenham CA 26-Feb-2014
Appeal against strike out of claims for defamation and malicious falsehood. The defendant had given evidence to the Culture Media and Sport Select Committee of the House of Commons with material highly critical of the claimant, a member of FIFA’s . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation, Constitutional

Updated: 12 January 2022; Ref: scu.470710

Bento 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 him. The defendant pleaded justification.
Held: The prosecution case rested in substantial part on now discredited evidence that the deceased was carrying a bag when last seen, which bag had later been found with the claimant, and ‘while it is possible that Mr Bento killed Kamila, the balance of probabilities is that he did not and that she committed suicide. The defence of justification therefore fails.’
As to qualified privilege, no case had been found where this had been sought for a statement by one public body as to the actions of anoher. The defence of qualified privilege failed.
Judgment was given for the claimant in the sum of andpound;125,000.

Bean J
[2012] EWHC 1525 (QB)
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
Not followedHalford v Brookes CA 1991
The plaintiff, the mother and administratrix of the estate of a 16 year old girl, alleged that her daughter had been murdered by one or both of the Defendants. The claim was for damages for battery. Rougier J at first instance had decided that: . .
CitedIn re H and R (Minors) (Child Sexual Abuse: Standard of Proof) HL 14-Dec-1995
Evidence allowed – Care Application after Abuse
Children had made allegations of serious sexual abuse against their step-father. He was acquitted at trial, but the local authority went ahead with care proceedings. The parents appealed against a finding that a likely risk to the children had still . .
CitedAN, Regina (on the Application of) v Mental Health Review Tribunal (Northern Region) and others CA 21-Dec-2005
The appellant was detained under section 37 of the 1983 Act as a mental patient with a restriction under section 41. He sought his release.
Held: The standard of proof in such applications remained the balance of probabilities, but that . .
CitedIn re D; Doherty, Re (Northern Ireland); Life Sentence Review Commissioners v D HL 11-Jun-2008
The Sentence Review Commissioners had decided not to order the release of the prisoner, who was serving a life sentence. He had been released on licence from a life sentence and then committed further serious sexual offences against under-age girls . .
ApprovedAlexander 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 . .
CitedReynolds v Times Newspapers Ltd and others HL 28-Oct-1999
Fair Coment on Political Activities
The defendant newspaper had published articles wrongly accusing the claimant, the former Prime Minister of Ireland of duplicity. The paper now appealed, saying that it should have had available to it a defence of qualified privilege because of the . .
DoubtedBhatt v Chelsea and Westminster NHS Trust QBD 16-Oct-1997
The defendant trust’s press officer had issued information to the press which was defamatory of the claimant in response to inquiries from the press indicating that articles based on the claimant’s criticisms of the trust were about to be published. . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation

Updated: 12 January 2022; Ref: scu.459899

Ibrahim v Swansea University: QBD 20 Feb 2012

The University defendant sought to strike out the claim in defamation against it. The claimant had applied for an extension of time to complete his doctorate, but the defendant by mistake supplied to the committee a critical report, but about a different student of the same name. The university argued that the report which described the student as suffering health problems could not be treated as defamatory.
Held: The claim was struck out. ‘The legitimate purpose which defamation proceedings are intended to serve is that of obtaining vindication or compensation for injury to reputation. There is no reason to suppose that any such objective could be achieved by the present proceedings. Accordingly, to adopt the language used by the Court of Appeal in Jameel, ‘the game is not worth the candle’.’

Eady J
[2012] EWHC 290 (QB)
Bailii
England and Wales

Defamation

Updated: 12 January 2022; Ref: scu.451439

Patel v Unite The Union: QBD 27 Jan 2012

The claimant, wanting to bring defamation proceedings in respect of postings on the defendant’s internet forum, sought orders for disclosure of the identities of the posters. The defendants said that the forum having been taken down, they were now unable to provide any further information.
Held: The defendant had made promises to preserve the data, and its replies were very unsatisfactory. An order would be made for joint inspections with arrangements to protect the rights of third parties.

Richard Parkes QC
[2012] EWHC 92 (QB)
Bailii
Protection from Harassment Act 1997
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedRugby Football Union v Viagogo Ltd CA 20-Dec-2011
The Union complained that the defendant operators of a web-site had permitted the sale of its tickets at far above their face value. The Court considerer whether it was proper to make a Norwich Pharmacal order which would entail the disclosure of . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation, Information, Litigation Practice

Updated: 12 January 2022; Ref: scu.450509

Rothschild v Associated Newspapers Ltd: QBD 10 Feb 2012

The claimant said that an article published by the defendant was defamatory. He said that the article implied that in his business associations he had put others at risk to their reputations.
Held: The action failed. The words were indeed defamatory, but the defence of justification succeeded. In part at least: ‘Mr Rothschild had not been entirely candid throughout the different stages of the case, or in evidence. That reflected his appreciation that it was foreseeable that this part of the visit, in particular, would expose Lord Mandelson to accusations of conflict of interest, and give rise to reasonable grounds for suspecting that Lord Mandelson had engaged in improper discussions with Mr Deripaska about aluminium. It was clear from his evidence that the visit to the smelter was one of the few things that can be done on a visit to that part of the world. He had done it a number of times before, he had expected to do it again at the time when he invited Lord Mandelson to join him on the trip, and the visit was itself highly memorable.
Further, I cannot accept that he can advance at the same time (as he seeks to do) both the case that the visit to the smelter was related to the joint venture, and the case that there was no discussion about the joint venture on the trip with Lord Mandelson.’ The claimant’s behaviour was inappropriate: ‘ that conduct foreseeably brought Lord Mandelson’s public office and personal integrity into disrepute and exposed him to accusations of conflict of interest, and it gave rise to the reasonable grounds to suspect that Lord Mandelson had engaged in improper discussions with Mr Deripaska about aluminium.’

Tugendhat J
[2012] EWHC 177 (QB)
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedMaisel v Financial Times Ltd (1) HL 1915
The plaintiff company director complained of defamation in the report of his arrest on a charge of fraud. In his Statement of Claim, the plaintiff relied upon an imputation that he was an unfit person to be the director of any company. The newspaper . .
CitedSlim v Daily Telegraph Ltd CA 1968
Courts to Settle upon a single meaning if disputed
The ‘single meaning’ rule adopted in the law of defamation is in one sense highly artificial, given the range of meanings the impugned words sometimes bear. The law of defamation ‘has passed beyond redemption by the courts’. Where in a libel action . .
CitedJeynes v News Magazines Ltd and Another CA 31-Jan-2008
Whether Statement defamatory at common law
The claimant appealed against a striking out of her claim for defamation on finding that the words did not have the defamatory meaning complained of, namely that she was transgendered or transsexual.
Held: The appeal failed.
Sir Anthony . .
CitedTurcu v News Group Newspaper Ltd CA 26-May-2006
The appellant had failed in his action for damages against the newspaper which had accused him of a plot to kidnap the wife of an England footballer. He now sought leave to appeal.
Held: Evidence unavailable at the trial now suggested that the . .
CitedBerezovsky and Glouchkov v Forbes Inc and Michaels CA 31-Jul-2001
The claimant sought damages from the defendant for a magazine article claiming that he was involved in organised crime in Russia. The defendants appealed against the striking out of elements of the defence suggesting lesser meanings. Was meaning a . .
CitedSutherland v Stopes HL 1925
Dr Marie Stopes failed in her attempt to reverse the verdict against her in libel proceedings she had brought in relation to a book which criticised what it called her ‘monstrous campaign of birth control’ and opined, looking back to the events of . .
CitedMaisel v Financial Times Ltd (1) HL 1915
The plaintiff company director complained of defamation in the report of his arrest on a charge of fraud. In his Statement of Claim, the plaintiff relied upon an imputation that he was an unfit person to be the director of any company. The newspaper . .
CitedRegina v M’Pherson 1857
The accused was charged with breaking and entering a dwelling house and stealing certain goods therein. At the time of the breaking and entering the goods were not in the house. He was acquitted of the felony but convicted of breaking and entering . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation

Updated: 12 January 2022; Ref: scu.451165

Robins v Kordowski and Another: QBD 22 Jul 2011

The claimant solicitor said he had been defamed on the first defendant’s website (‘Solicitors from Hell’) by the second defendant. The first defendant now applied to set aside judgment entered by default. The claimant additionally sought summary disposal under section 8 of the 1996 Act. The second defendant had settled admitting his claims were unjustified.
Held: The defendant’s proposed defence was hopeless, and judgment was confirmed with damages at andpound;10,000. In the absence of an undertaking not to repeat the allegation, an injunction was also given. The jurisdiction to grant summary disposal is available after the court has entered default judgment for damages to be assessed.
Discussing a statement of the lawyer of the opponent in the original proceedings in which the claimant had acted, Tugendhat J said: ‘Statements made by lawyers on behalf of their clients, are (or at least ought to be) based on the instructions that the lawyers receive from their clients, and are not made from the lawyers’ own knowledge. That is well understood by litigants. It follows that if such a statement turns out to be false, that raises no inference that the lawyer has lied . . If a client acts inconsistently, or the facts are ultimately proved to be different from the facts as stated by the lawyer, no inference adverse to the lawyer can be drawn unless there is evidence from the client or the papers that the lawyer did not act on instructions, or gave advice to the client to act in the inconsistent manner described. Without such evidence, any adverse inference would be equally applicable to the client as to the solicitor, and it would be impossible to conclude that it was more likely to be a lie or breach of duty by the solicitor rather than incorrect instructions, or a change in instructions, or some other conduct of the client.
Of course, lawyers are capable of lying. But an allegation of lying or any dishonesty is very serious, whether it is made against a lawyer or anyone else. Lawyers are entitled to no greater protection from the law for their reputations than anyone else. But they are entitled to no less protection than anyone else.
The court requires an allegation of dishonesty against anyone to be set out with particularity and proved by evidence.’

Tugendhat J
[2011] EWHC 1912 (QB)
Bailii
Defamation Act 1996 8 9 12
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedMerivale v Carson CA 1887
A published criticism of a play made reference to one of the characters being ‘a naughty wife’, though in fact there was no adulterous wife in the play.
Held: The defence of fair comment is open to a commentator however prejudiced he might be, . .
CitedGardiner v Fairfax 1942
Complaint was made that the plaintiff had been libelled in the defendant’s book review.
Held: A publication is defamatory in nature if it ‘is likely to cause ordinary decent folk in the community, taken in general, to think the less of [the . .
CitedTurner v Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Ltd (MGM) HL 1950
A letter was published which criticised a film critic’s review of the week’s films.
Held: A person (including a corporation) whose character or conduct has been attacked is entitled to answer the attack, and the answer will be protected by . .
CitedLondon Artists Ltd v Littler CA 10-Dec-1968
The defence of fair comment on matters of public interest is not to be defined too closely. Lord Denning MR said: ‘Whenever a matter is such as to affect people at large, so that they may be legitimately interested in, or concerned at, what is going . .
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 . .
CitedPamplin v Express Newspapers Ltd (2) CA 1988
In considering what evidence can be used in mitigation of damages in defamation, it is necessary to draw a distinction between evidence which is put forward to show that the plaintiff is a man of bad reputation and evidence which is already before . .
CitedSteel and Morris v United Kingdom ECHR 15-Feb-2005
The applicants had been sued in defamation by McDonalds. They had no resources, and English law precluded legal aid for such cases. The trial was the longest in English legal history. They complained that the non-availablility of legal aid infringed . .
CitedLoutchansky v The Times Newspapers Ltd and Others (Nos 2 to 5) CA 5-Dec-2001
Two actions for defamation were brought by the claimant against the defendant. The publication reported in detail allegations made against the claimant of criminal activities including money-laundering on a vast scale. They admitted the defamatory . .
CitedBurstein v Times Newspapers Ltd CA 20-Dec-2000
Where a defendant in a defamation action sought to reduce the damages payable by arguing that the claimant had a reduced or damaged reputation, he could include evidence about particular facts only where these were directly connected to the . .

Cited by:
See AlsoQRS v Beach and Another QBD 26-Sep-2014
The court gave its reasons for granting an interim injunction to prevent the defendants publshing materials on their web-sites which were said to harrass the claimants.
Held: Whilst it was important to protect the identity of the claimants, . .
CitedBrett Wilson Llp v Person(s) Unknown, Responsible for The Operation and Publication of The Website www.solicitorsfromhelluk.com 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 . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation, Damages

Updated: 12 January 2022; Ref: scu.442096

Lewis v Commissioner of Police of The Metropolis and Others (Rev 1): QBD 31 Mar 2011

The defendant sought a ruling on the meaning of the words but using section 69(4) of the 1981 Act. The claimant solicitor was acting in complaints as to the unlawful interception of celebrity voicemails by agents of the press. There had been debate as to how many phones had been hacked, and the findings by the police. The claimant had given evidence to a parliamentary committee and said that he had been told by an officer that 6,000 phones were involved. The defendant wrote to the PCC to say that the officer had been wrongly quoted. The claimant said that this meant that he had lied.
Held: As to mode of trial: ‘The effect of s.69(3) is that the discretion is now very rarely exercised in favour of ordering trial by jury’, and given the particlar circumstances of this case, that decision would be deferred.
As to the request for the court to decide the meaning under section 69, this was both novel and tempting, but ‘meaning is a central issue in most libel actions, and it is a central issue in this action (that is why so many case management benefits could accrue from an early decision). If the court were to decide, when the time for that decision arises, that in principle this is a case for trial with a jury, because the MPS is the defendant, then I think that the same reasoning would probably apply to the decision whether meaning should be tried with a jury. While in logic there is no inconsistency, in practice it would be difficult to reconcile the decision to try the issue of meaning with a judge alone, and other issues in this case with a jury. Moreover, a decision now to try the issue of meaning with a judge alone would itself materially influence any future decision as to whether other issues should be tried with a judge alone or with a jury.’ That decision should also be deferred.
The claimant also sought leave to bring evidence as to the meaning to be attributed. The addresee had said the email suggested that the parliementary committee had been misled by the claimant. That evidence would affect damages in due course if applicable, but should also be admitted as to the meaning.

Tugendhat J
[2011] EWHC 781 (QB)
Bailii
Senior Courts Act 1981 69(4)
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedPaul and others v Deputy Coroner of the Queen’s Household and Another Admn 2-Mar-2007
The applicants sought judicial review of preliminary directions given for the intended inquest on the deaths of Diana Princess of Wales and of Dodi Al Fayed. It was submitted that the jurisdiction had been wrongly transferred to the Queen’s Coroner . .
AppliedCook v Telegraph Media Group Ltd QBD 29-Mar-2011
The claimant, an MP, complained in defamation of the defendant’s description of his rejected expenses claim regarding an assistant’s charitable donation. The paper pleaded a Reynolds defence. The claimant said that when published the defendant knew . .
CitedGarbett v Hazel Watson and Viney CA 1943
The defendants had published in a magazine a picture of the plaintiff carrying on his business as an out door photographer, and talking to a lady. On the opposite page they published a picture of a naked woman. The caption running under both . .
CitedBaturina v Times Newspapers Ltd CA 23-Mar-2011
The claimant appealed against directions given in her defamation action against the defendant. It had been said that she owned a house, and the defendant said that this was not defamatory. The claimant said that as the wife of the Mayor of Moscow . .
CitedJeynes v News Magazines Ltd and Another CA 31-Jan-2008
Whether Statement defamatory at common law
The claimant appealed against a striking out of her claim for defamation on finding that the words did not have the defamatory meaning complained of, namely that she was transgendered or transsexual.
Held: The appeal failed.
Sir Anthony . .
CitedBerezovsky and Glouchkov v Forbes Inc and Michaels CA 31-Jul-2001
The claimant sought damages from the defendant for a magazine article claiming that he was involved in organised crime in Russia. The defendants appealed against the striking out of elements of the defence suggesting lesser meanings. Was meaning a . .
CitedCharleston and Another v News Group Newspapers Ltd and Another HL 31-Mar-1995
The plaintiffs were actors playing Harold and Madge Bishop in the Australian soap series ‘Neighbours’. They sued on a tabloid newspaper article which showed their faces superimposed on the near-naked bodies of models apparently engaged in sexual . .
CitedHayward v Thompson CA 1981
A later publication by the same defendant can be used to identify the plaintiff in an earlier publication. If the defendant did intend to refer to the plaintiff, it may be enough if the recipient understood it as referring to the plaintiff . .
CitedTelnikoff v Matusevitch CA 1991
The court considered the element of malice in a defamation defence: ‘If a piece of evidence is equally consistent with malice and the absence of malice, it cannot as a matter of law provide evidence on which the jury could find malice. The judge . .
CitedClift v Slough Borough Council CA 21-Dec-2010
The court was asked how, if at all, the Human Rights Act 1998 has affected a local authority’s defence of qualified privilege in defamation cases. The claimant had been placed on the Council’s Violent Persons Register after becoming very upset and . .
CitedMcManus and others v Beckham CA 4-Jul-2002
The claimant sought damages from the defendant who was a pop star, and had vociferously, publicly, and wrongly accused the claimant of selling pictures with fake autographs of her husband. The defendant obtained an order striking out the claim on . .
CitedHays Plc v Hartley QBD 17-May-2010
Mr Hartley operated a news agency, and provided to the publisher of the Sunday Mirror, MGN Ltd, allegations of racism that had been levelled at the claimant company by former employees. The allegations were reported in an article headed ”KKK . .
CitedKearns and Others v The General Council of the Bar CA 17-Mar-2003
The claimants had sought to recover from the General Council of the Bar damages for libel in a communication from the head of the Bar Council’s Professional Standards and Legal Services Department to all heads of chambers, their senior clerks and . .
CitedCollins Stewart Ltd and Another v The Financial Times Ltd QBD 25-Feb-2005
The court considered whether damages in a defamation action pursued in respect of one publication were to be increased by subsequent publications not themselves the subject of a claim. . .
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 . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation

Updated: 12 January 2022; Ref: scu.431655

Budu v The British Broadcasting Corporation: QBD 23 Mar 2010

The defendant sought to strike out the claimant’s action in defamation. It had reported that the police had withdrawn an employment offer to claimant after doubting his immigration status.
Held: The claims should be struck out. The articles were now available on the defendant’s website only by searching for it. A search would reveal three articles the second two of which would clarify and remove any defamatory meaning in the first. It would be wrong to ask the court to infer that there would be readers who would make the inference suggested by the claimant, or that they would read only the first article without reading the subsequent ones.
The claimant said that the defendant was responsible for a defamatory search result on Google, saying that since Google were not responsible, the defendant must be. However liability could not be imposed by default. The snippet must in any event carry over the defamatory meaning pleaded for the original. That did not apply here. The delay had also led to such a huge and disproportionate increase in costs far beyond any benefit to the claimant if he succeeded, that the action had become an abuse of process.

Sharp J
[2010] EWHC 616 (QB)
Bailii
Defamation Act 1996
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedLoutchansky v The Times Newspapers Ltd and Others (Nos 2 to 5) CA 5-Dec-2001
Two actions for defamation were brought by the claimant against the defendant. The publication reported in detail allegations made against the claimant of criminal activities including money-laundering on a vast scale. They admitted the defamatory . .
CitedMetropolitan International Schools Ltd. (T/A Skillstrain And/Or Train2Game) v Designtechnica Corp (T/A Digital Trends) and Others QBD 16-Jul-2009
The claimant complained that the defendant had published on its internet forums comments by posters which were defamatory of it, and which were then made available by the second defendant search engine. The court was asked what responsibility a . .
CitedAl Amoudi v Brisard and Another QBD 12-May-2006
In the context of allegations of Internet publication there is no presumption that the words published were actually read, and no presumption that a reader who has read one article on a blog will have read all the other articles. The burden is on . .
CitedChase v Newsgroup Newspapers Ltd CA 3-Dec-2002
The defendant appealed against a striking out of part of its defence to the claim of defamation, pleading justification.
Held: The Human Rights Convention had not itself changed the conditions for a plea of justification based upon reasonable . .
CitedBruce v Odhams Press Ltd CA 1936
The statement of claim must plead the necessary facts for the purpose of formulating a complete cause of action. The particulars of claim inform the opposing party of the case it has to meet so that it may prepare for trial and avoid the expense in . .
CitedFulham (orse Fullam) v Newcastle Chronicle and Journal Ltd and Another CA 1977
A local newspaper circulating in Teesside, where the claimant had been appointed deputy headmaster of a school, published an article in 1973 saying of the claimant that he was a former Roman Catholic priest who had left his parish in the Salford . .
CitedJeynes v News Magazines Ltd and Another CA 31-Jan-2008
Whether Statement defamatory at common law
The claimant appealed against a striking out of her claim for defamation on finding that the words did not have the defamatory meaning complained of, namely that she was transgendered or transsexual.
Held: The appeal failed.
Sir Anthony . .
CitedJameel, Abdul Latif Jameel Company Limited v The Wall Street Journal Europe Sprl (No 1) CA 26-Nov-2003
The court considered the levels of meaning in an article falsely connecting the claimant with terrorist activity: ‘Once it is recognised that the article may be asserting no more than that in one way or another the respondents may unwittingly have . .
CitedSkuse v Granada Television CA 30-Mar-1993
The claimant complained that the defendant had said in a television programme that he had failed to act properly when presenting his expert forensic evidence in court in the trial of the Birmingham Six.
Held: The court should give to the . .
CitedGillick v British Broadcasting Corporation and Another CA 19-Oct-1995
Words which were broadcast were capable of meaning that the Plaintiff’s behaviour had contributed to deaths. She was a campaigner against the giving of contraceptive advice to young girls.
Held: The statement was defamatory. The full test was: . .
CitedBerezovsky and Glouchkov v Forbes Inc and Michaels CA 31-Jul-2001
The claimant sought damages from the defendant for a magazine article claiming that he was involved in organised crime in Russia. The defendants appealed against the striking out of elements of the defence suggesting lesser meanings. Was meaning a . .
CitedMosley and Another v Focus Magazin Verlag Gmbh CA 29-Jun-2001
The claimant appealed against summary dismissal of his claim in defamation. . .
CitedTarpley, Clerk, v Blabey 13-Jan-1836
A libellous paper, in the handwriting of the Defendant, found in the house of the editor of a newspaper in which the libel complained of appeared, is admissible in evidence against the Defendant, notwithstanding several parts of it have been erased, . .
CitedSlipper v British Broadcasting Corporation CA 1990
The plaintiff, a retired policeman was featured in a film about the Great Train Robbery. He sought to say that paper reviews of the film, and trailers worked to spread the libel, and should count in the assessment of damages against the defendant, . .
CitedMcManus and others v Beckham CA 4-Jul-2002
The claimant sought damages from the defendant who was a pop star, and had vociferously, publicly, and wrongly accused the claimant of selling pictures with fake autographs of her husband. The defendant obtained an order striking out the claim on . .
CitedCharleston and Another v News Group Newspapers Ltd and Another HL 31-Mar-1995
The plaintiffs were actors playing Harold and Madge Bishop in the Australian soap series ‘Neighbours’. They sued on a tabloid newspaper article which showed their faces superimposed on the near-naked bodies of models apparently engaged in sexual . .
CitedFlood v Times Newspapers Ltd QBD 2-Oct-2009
The defendant had published a story in its newspaper. At that time it attracted Reynolds qualified privilege. After the circumstances changed, the paper offered an updating item. That offer was rejected as inadequate.
Held: The qualified . .
CitedTimes Newspapers Ltd (Nos. 1 And 2) v The United Kingdom ECHR 10-Mar-2009
The applicant alleged that the rule under United Kingdom law whereby each time material is downloaded from the Internet a new cause of action in libel proceedings accrued (‘the Internet publication rule’) constituted an unjustifiable and . .
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 . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation

Updated: 12 January 2022; Ref: scu.403483

Hays Plc v Hartley: QBD 17 May 2010

Mr Hartley operated a news agency, and provided to the publisher of the Sunday Mirror, MGN Ltd, allegations of racism that had been levelled at the claimant company by former employees. The allegations were reported in an article headed ”KKK chants’ and racist abuse claim at top firm But recruitment bosses fight 3 black workers’ tribunal case’. The claimant sued the defendant, but not MGN, and sought to strike out the defendant’s claims of qualified privilege and abuse of process. The employees substantially withdrew their allegations. Apologies had been forwarded and printed. The defendant now argued that the action was being pursued by the claimant only to avoid a costs order.
Held: The continued action was to be stayed as an abuse. The only human rights element at issue, given that the claimant was a company, was the defendant’s Article 10 right of freedom of speech. The company had discontinued its claim against the newspaper anticipatng a Reynold’s defence. The main action being settled, there was now no prospect of any continued claim recovering anything beyond nominal damages, and a judgment could not significantly add to the vindication already given in the public statement.
The Reynolds defence might be available to someone who contributed to the publication of a newspaper article: The Defendant’s practice, which he followed in this case, is to seek to filter out stories which are obviously false, and to forward them on to another journalist to be given further investigation. . . The Defendant does not assume all the tasks that would have to be performed before publication to the world at large could be held to be responsible journalism. For example, he does not check the story with the subject of the story whom might be defamed. He has established relationships with other journalists. He does not publish to the world at large, and his understanding with the journalists to whom he does publish stories is that they, or the organisations for which they work, will carry out the tasks necessary to be performed if publication to the world is to be counted as responsible journalism. He published the words complained of to the Journalist and through him to MGN on that understanding. They agreed that MGN would need to take legal advice. He was justified by events: MGN did publish to the world, and they did so in a form which met the requirement of responsible journalism.
it is not necessary for the Defendant to have acted as if he was the person who made the publication to the world at large. He acted responsibly in confining his publication to one publishee in the circumstances and on the understanding set out above. That is sufficient. The Strasbourg Court has recognised the need to give protection to sources in the different context of disclosure of sources. But the same principles require Reynolds privilege to be afforded to at least an intermediate source such as the Defendant. See Financial Times v UK Application no 821/03 [2009] ECHR 2065 59′ and ‘ it is necessary to consider what might have happened if the corporate defendant D1 had succeeded, on the basis that (acting through its representatives) it had satisfied the requirements of responsible journalism. Suppose the individual defendants worked on the story performing different roles, so that only one of the individual defendants D2 had taken steps to verify the information and sought comment from the subject of the story, while the other D3 had done neither of these things, but had confined himself to receiving information from the source or sources. The appeals of D1 and D2 would then have succeeded. Would the appeal of D3 failed? My provisional view is that that would be contrary to the principles that the House of Lords was formulating. I see no principle on the basis of which each defendant has individually to satisfy all the criteria for responsible journalism, regardless of whether he is one of a number of individuals contributing to the final publication in circumstances where the roles are shared out or the tasks distributed. If that provisional view is right, the next question arising is: would it make any difference if D3 was not employed by D1, but freelance, or if (like the Defendant) he was providing a service to the source?
That as it seems to me is the question that is raised in this case. This is a point which is an important one and may be fact sensitive.’

Tugendhat J
[2010] EWHC 1068 (QB)
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedCollins Stewart Ltd and Another v The Financial Times Ltd QBD 25-Feb-2005
The court considered whether damages in a defamation action pursued in respect of one publication were to be increased by subsequent publications not themselves the subject of a claim. . .
CitedGoldsmith v Sperrings Ltd CA 1977
Claims for Collateral Purpose treated as abuse
The plaintiff commenced proceedings for damages for libel and an injunction against the publishers, the editors and the main distributors of Private Eye. In addition, he issued writs against a large number of other wholesale and retail distributors . .
CitedJameel v Wall Street Journal Europe Sprl HL 11-Oct-2006
The House was asked as to the capacity of a limited company to sue for damage to its reputation, where it had no trading activity within the jurisdiction, and as to the extent of the Reynolds defence. The defendants/appellants had published an . .
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 . .
MentionedDuke of Brunswick v Harmer QBD 2-Nov-1849
On 19 September 1830 an article was published in the Weekly Dispatch. The limitation period for libel was six years. The article defamed the Duke of Brunswick. Seventeen years after its publication an agent of the Duke purchased a back number . .
CitedIn re Majory, a debtor CA 1955
The debtor challenged the bankruptcy petition and receiving order saying that the creditor had attempted in connection with the proceedings to extort andpound;8 15s from the debtor in excess of the sums lawfully due under a court judgment. He said . .
CitedShackleton v Swift CA 1913
The Act gave special protection to officers and others acting under its powers in cases where, although they might have misconstrued the Act, and although they might have done things which they had no jurisdiction to do, they had acted in good faith . .
CitedMcManus and others v Beckham CA 4-Jul-2002
The claimant sought damages from the defendant who was a pop star, and had vociferously, publicly, and wrongly accused the claimant of selling pictures with fake autographs of her husband. The defendant obtained an order striking out the claim on . .
CitedDee v Telegraph Media Group Ltd QBD 28-Apr-2010
The newspaper sought summary judgment in its defence of the defamation claim. The article labelled the claimant as the world’s worst professional tennis player. The paper said he had no prospect of succeeding once the second article in the same . .

Cited by:
CitedLewis v Commissioner of Police of The Metropolis and Others (Rev 1) QBD 31-Mar-2011
The defendant sought a ruling on the meaning of the words but using section 69(4) of the 1981 Act. The claimant solicitor was acting in complaints as to the unlawful interception of celebrity voicemails by agents of the press. There had been debate . .
CitedCitation Plc v Ellis Whittam Ltd CA 8-Mar-2013
The parties competed in providing employment law services. The claimant complained of slanderous comments said to have been made by the defendant in discussions with a firm of solicitors seeking to select a firm. The claimant now appealed against . .
CitedEconomou v De Freitas QBD 27-Jul-2016
Failed action for defamation on rape allegations
The claimant had been accused by the defendant’s daughter of rape. He was never charged but sought to prosecute her alleging intent to pervert the course of justice. She later killed herself. The defendant sought to have the inquest extended to . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation

Updated: 12 January 2022; Ref: scu.415097

Miller v Associated Newspapers Ltd: QBD 31 Mar 2010

The claimant sought damages in defamation, saying that the defendant newspaper (Daily Mail) had implied abuse of his friendship with a Police Commissioner to obtain contracts. The defendant denied any meaning defamatory of the claimant.
Held: Although it might not be actually defamatory, the court’s task at this preparatory stage was to establish possible meanings, and it was possible that the article alleged that he was a knowing beneficiary of cronyism. The case could not be struck out.

Eady J
[2010] EWHC 700 (QB)
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedEvans v John Fairfax Group Pty Ltd 12-Feb-1993
(Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory) It was not defamatory to say of a career civil servant that his career had been aided by patronage of senior politicians, since it did not impute any active or improper seeking of favours on the . .
CitedJameel, Abdul Latif Jameel Company Limited v The Wall Street Journal Europe Sprl (No 1) CA 26-Nov-2003
The court considered the levels of meaning in an article falsely connecting the claimant with terrorist activity: ‘Once it is recognised that the article may be asserting no more than that in one way or another the respondents may unwittingly have . .
CitedChase v Newsgroup Newspapers Ltd CA 3-Dec-2002
The defendant appealed against a striking out of part of its defence to the claim of defamation, pleading justification.
Held: The Human Rights Convention had not itself changed the conditions for a plea of justification based upon reasonable . .
CitedBerezovsky and Glouchkov v Forbes Inc and Michaels CA 31-Jul-2001
The claimant sought damages from the defendant for a magazine article claiming that he was involved in organised crime in Russia. The defendants appealed against the striking out of elements of the defence suggesting lesser meanings. Was meaning a . .
See AlsoMiller v Associated Newspapers Ltd QBD 11-Nov-2003
A policemen sued in defamation. The newspaper pleaded Reynolds qualified privilege.
Held: The plea was struck out. There has developed tendency of defendants to plead qualified privilege since the Reynolds decision in ‘rather waffly . .
See AlsoMiller v Associated Newspapers Ltd QBD 8-Apr-2005
. .

Cited by:
See AlsoMiller v Associated Newspapers Ltd QBD 11-Nov-2011
. .
See AlsoMiller v Associated Newspapers Ltd QBD 21-Dec-2012
Judgment after trial on defamation case
Mrs Justice Sharp considered the use of hearsay evidence admitted under section 4 of the 1995 Act: ‘As the authors of Phipson on Evidence, 17th edition, say at paragraph 29-15 ‘the [Civil Evidence] Act is . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation

Updated: 12 January 2022; Ref: scu.406649

Ajinomoto Sweeteners Europe Sas v Asda Stores Ltd: QBD 15 Jul 2009

The claimant said that the defendant’s characterisation of its own products as ‘Good for You’ by reference to a description saying that it did not include the claimant’s product as a component, was a malicious falsehood. The defendant sold other products which did include Aspartame. The court was asked to determine the meanings.
Held: The court interpreted its task in a malicious falsehood case, as opposed to a claim in defamation, not to be to decide on one meaning only.
Tugendhat J said: ‘the reason for the rule in defamation is to protect freedom of expression on the one hand, and the right to reputation on the other hand, striking a balance between the two. The rule is a control mechanism.’ The Claimant could have sued in defamation, but chose to sue in malicious falsehood. Where such a choice exists, it is in the interests of legal consistency, and of freedom of expression, that the same rule of interpretation should apply to both torts. Therefore the single meaning rule applies to the malicious falsehood alleged in the present case. The court accordingly settled on the meanings of the words complained of, rejecting the alleged implied meaning of ‘That aspartame is harmful or unhealthy.’

Tugendhat J
[2009] EWHC 1717 (QB), [2009] 3 WLR 1149, [2009] FSR 29, [2010] 1 QB 204
Bailii
European Convention on Human Rights 10
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedVodafone Group Plc v Orange Personal Communications Services Ltd ChD 1997
The court examined the development of the law in relation to comparative advertising. Jacob J said: ‘Prior to the coming into force of the Trade Marks Act 1994 comparative advertising using a registered trade mark of a competitor was, subject to . .
CitedBonnick v Morris, The Gleaner Company Ltd and Allen PC 17-Jun-2002
(Jamaica) The appellant sought damages from the respondent journalists in defamation. They had claimed qualified privilege. The words alleged to be defamatory were ambiguous.
Held: The publishers were protected by Reynolds privilege. The court . .
CitedGrubb v Bristol United Press Ltd CA 1963
Pearce LJ discussed the importance of the use of extrinsic facts in determining meaning in defamation cases, saying: ‘any innuendo (that is, any allegation that the words were used in a defamatory sense other than their ordinary meaning) cannot rely . .
CitedJones v Skelton PC 1963
(New South Wales) Lord Morris of Borth-y-Gest discussed how words subject to a claim in defamation should be read: ‘In deciding whether words are capable of conveying a defamatory meaning the court will reject those meanings which can only emerge as . .
CitedJeynes v News Magazines Ltd and Another CA 31-Jan-2008
Whether Statement defamatory at common law
The claimant appealed against a striking out of her claim for defamation on finding that the words did not have the defamatory meaning complained of, namely that she was transgendered or transsexual.
Held: The appeal failed.
Sir Anthony . .
CitedCharterhouse Clinical Research Unit Ltd v Richmond Pharmacology Ltd QBD 2003
Morland J said: ‘it is the duty of the courts to keep claims alleging trade libels within their proper bounds, particularly having regard to s.12(4) of the Human Rights Act 1998 and Article 10 of the Convention.’ . .
CitedCharleston and Another v News Group Newspapers Ltd and Another HL 31-Mar-1995
The plaintiffs were actors playing Harold and Madge Bishop in the Australian soap series ‘Neighbours’. They sued on a tabloid newspaper article which showed their faces superimposed on the near-naked bodies of models apparently engaged in sexual . .
CitedThe Capital and Counties Bank Limited v George Henty and Sons HL 1882
The defendant wrote to their customers saying ‘Henty and Sons hereby give notice that they will not receive in payment cheques drawn on any of the branches of the Capital and Counties Bank.’ The contents of the circular became known and there was a . .
CitedMacMillan Magazines Ltd v RCN Publishing 1998
Neuberger J approved the statement of Jacob J as to comparative marketing. . .
CitedSlim v Daily Telegraph Ltd CA 1968
Courts to Settle upon a single meaning if disputed
The ‘single meaning’ rule adopted in the law of defamation is in one sense highly artificial, given the range of meanings the impugned words sometimes bear. The law of defamation ‘has passed beyond redemption by the courts’. Where in a libel action . .
See AlsoAjinomoto Sweeteners Europe Sas v Asda Stores Ltd QBD 8-Apr-2009
The claimant alleged malicious falsehood against the defendant, which had advertised a campaign to remove ‘nasties’ from the food it sold, including a component, aspartame, supplied by the claimant. They pointed to its approval by many authorities, . .

Cited by:
Appeal FromAjinomoto Sweeteners Europe Sas v Asda Stores Ltd CA 2-Jun-2010
The claimant sold a sweetener ingredient. The defendant shop advertised its own health foods range with the label ‘no hidden nasties’ and in a situation which, the claimant said, suggested that its ingredient was a ‘nasty’, and it claimed under . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Torts – Other, Defamation, Human Rights

Updated: 12 January 2022; Ref: scu.347760

Hughes v Risbridger and Another: QBD 9 Dec 2009

The defendants, employees of British Airways, sought summary judgement against the claimant in his claim for defamation in several emails. They had discussed the detention of the claimant under suspicion of theft at the airport, and claimed qualified privilege. The defendants said that the claimant had not pleaded sufficient malice to displace that privilege.
Held: It would be wrong at this stage to shut the claimant out from asserting facts which might displace the defence. Summary judgement would only be proper where there was no possible basis for a conclusion that the claimant had been dishonest, and that a jury would be perverse to draw such an inference.

Eady J
[2009] EWHC 3244 (QB)
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedSomerville v Hawkins 1851
It is necessary for a claimant who wishes to prove malice in an alleged defamation to plead and prove facts which are more consistent with its presence than with its absence. Mawle J said: ‘it is certainly not necessary in order to enable a . .
CitedSeray-Wurie v The Charity Commission of England and Wales QBD 23-Apr-2008
The defendant sought an order to strike out the claimant’s allegations of defamation and other torts. The defendants claimed qualified privilege in that the statements complained of were contained in a report prepared by it in fulfilment of its . .
CitedTurner v Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Ltd (MGM) HL 1950
A letter was published which criticised a film critic’s review of the week’s films.
Held: A person (including a corporation) whose character or conduct has been attacked is entitled to answer the attack, and the answer will be protected by . .
CitedTelnikoff v Matusevitch CA 1991
The court considered the element of malice in a defamation defence: ‘If a piece of evidence is equally consistent with malice and the absence of malice, it cannot as a matter of law provide evidence on which the jury could find malice. The judge . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation

Updated: 12 January 2022; Ref: scu.383802

Kaschke v Gray and Another: QBD 29 Mar 2010

The defendant appealed against the refusal of the Master to strike out the claim in defamation in respect of a post by a third party on his unmoderated blog. The claimant said that the article accused her of an historic association with a terrorist group. As soon as the complaint was made known to him, the post was removed, and a right of reply was offered. The court considered the defence under regulation 19 of the Regulations, and in particuar what was meant by an ‘information society service’.
Held: It was arguable that the regulation 19 defence would fail and the claim should not be struck out. If the relevant information society service was the website as a whole or the homepage it would not fall within the definition of consisting only of the storage of information. Accordingly Regulation 19 immunity would not be available . . Similarly if the relevant information society service was the hosting of all blogs posted on web pages made available . . it again seems . . arguable that that also would not fall within the definition of consisting only of the storage of information. The fact that Mr Hilton on a few occasions removed blog posts on grounds of bad language, political provocation or offensiveness falling short of defamation . . makes it at least arguable that the service provided in respect of those individual blog posts and also in respect of the general service consisting of making available webpages on his website for such blogs to be posted consisted of more than mere storage.’

Stadlen J
[2010] EWHC 690 (QB), [2011] 1 WLR 452
Bailii
Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations 2002 (SI 2002 No 2013) 19, Defamation Act 1996 1, EC Directive 2000/31/EC
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedBunt v Tilley and others QBD 10-Mar-2006
The claimant sought damages in defamation in respect of statements made on internet bulletin boards. He pursued the operators of the bulletin boards, and the court now considered the liability of the Internet Service Providers whose systems had . .
CitedKarim v Newsquest Media Group Ltd QBD 27-Oct-2009
The defendant sought a strike out of the claim in defamation, saying that postings made on its web-sites were fair and accurate reports of court proceedings published contemporaneously. The claimant solicitor had been the subject of disciplinary . .
CitedThree Rivers District Council and Others v Governor and Company of The Bank of England (No 3) HL 22-Mar-2001
Misfeasance in Public Office – Recklessness
The bank sought to strike out the claim alleging misfeasance in public office in having failed to regulate the failed bank, BCCI.
Held: Misfeasance in public office might occur not only when a company officer acted to injure a party, but also . .
CitedSwain v Hillman CA 21-Oct-1999
Strike out – Realistic Not Fanciful Chance Needed
The proper test for whether an action should be struck out under the new Rules was whether it had a realistic as opposed to a fanciful prospect of success. There was no justification for further attempts to explain the meaning of what are clear . .

Cited by:
CitedTamiz v Google Inc Google UK Ltd QBD 2-Mar-2012
The claimant sought damages in defamation against the defendant company offering internet search facilities. The words complained of had been published in a blog, and in comments published on the blog.
Held: Jurisdiction should be declined. . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation, Human Rights

Updated: 12 January 2022; Ref: scu.406647

Clift v Slough Borough Council and Another: QBD 6 Jul 2009

The claimant sought damages for defamation. The council had decided that she had threatened a member of staff and notified various people, and entered her name on a violent persons register. She alleged malice, the council pleaded justification and qualified privilege. She also complained of the breach of her data protection rights. She had been angry with a council official and admitted that she might have been violent to her if they had met.
Held: Several of the publications did attract qualified privilege, since the staff might possibly come in contact with the claimant, but not many others. The council owed no duty of care to some recipients, and the publication was disproportionate. The claim therefore succeeded in part.
The placing of the claimant on the register did engage her Article 8 rights. The claimant accepted that there was a legitimate aim, but that the path chosen was disproportionate. There was no risk to people working in departments which the claimant had no reason to be in contact with. A publication could be excessive either when published to someone to whom no duty was owed, or where the necessary relationship between the parties is absent or secondly where the publication incorporates irrelevant information that is not necessary for the performance of the particular duty or the protection of the particular interest upon which the privilege is founded.

Tugendhat J
[2009] EWHC 1550 (QB)
Bailii
Data Protection Act 1998, European Convention on Human Rights, Human Rights Act 1998 6(1)
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedWood v West Midlands Police QBD 8-Dec-2003
The claimant’s busness partner had been investigated by the police. He claimed in defamation after a senior officer circulated business associates and others informing them of the prosecution and suggesting the partners’s guilt. He said he was . .
CitedWood v Chief Constable West Midlands Police CA 8-Dec-2004
The claimant was a director of a limited company. A Detective Chief Inspector with responsibility for crime prevention was investigating a series of car thefts and arrested the claimant’s business partner and, before the accused had even stood his . .
CitedW v Westminster City Council and Others QBD 9-Dec-2004
The claimant sought to bring an action for defamation based upon communications made in a child protection conference. The reference was in a Report for Conference to be held pursuant to the duties imposed on local authorities by the Children Act . .
CitedRegina v Chief Constable of North Wales Police and Others Ex Parte Thorpe and Another; Regina v Chief Constable for North Wales Police Area and others ex parte AB and CB CA 18-Mar-1998
Public Identification of Pedophiles by Police
AB and CB had been released from prison after serving sentences for sexual assaults on children. They were thought still to be dangerous. They moved about the country to escape identification, and came to be staying on a campsite. The police sought . .
CitedX and Y v The Netherlands ECHR 26-Mar-1985
A parent complained to the police about a sexual assault on his daughter a mentally defective girl of 16. The prosecutor’s office decided not to prosecute provided the accused did not repeat the offence. X appealed against the decision and requested . .
CitedRegina v Chief Constable of North Wales Police and Others Ex Parte Thorpe and Another; Regina v Chief Constable for North Wales Police Area and others ex parte AB and CB CA 18-Mar-1998
Public Identification of Pedophiles by Police
AB and CB had been released from prison after serving sentences for sexual assaults on children. They were thought still to be dangerous. They moved about the country to escape identification, and came to be staying on a campsite. The police sought . .
CitedKearns and Others v The General Council of the Bar CA 17-Mar-2003
The claimants had sought to recover from the General Council of the Bar damages for libel in a communication from the head of the Bar Council’s Professional Standards and Legal Services Department to all heads of chambers, their senior clerks and . .
CitedW v JH and Another QBD 5-Mar-2008
The claimant had been an employee of the defendant council. A complaint had been made about his conduct in 1993 and 1994. A disciplinary hearing had been held and the claimant was issued with a final warning to be placed on his file. The . .
CitedHuang v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 21-Mar-2007
Appellate Roles – Human Rights – Families Split
The House considered the decision making role of immigration appellate authorities when deciding appeals on Human Rights grounds, against refusal of leave to enter or remain, under section 65. In each case the asylum applicant had had his own . .
CitedDowntex v Flatley CA 2-Oct-2003
The claimants sought damages for defamation and breach of contract. The claimants had purchased a business from the defendant, which contract included a clause requiring the defendant to say nothing damaging about the business. The defendant . .
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 . .
CitedIn re S (a Child) (Identification: Restrictions on Publication) HL 28-Oct-2004
Inherent High Court power may restrain Publicity
The claimant child’s mother was to be tried for the murder of his brother by poisoning with salt. It was feared that the publicity which would normally attend a trial, would be damaging to S, and an application was made for reporting restrictions to . .
CitedToogood v Spyring 1834
Qualified Privilege of Bona Fide Words Under Duty
The defence of qualified privilege arises where the statement in question was bona fide and without malicious intent to injure: ‘In general, an action lies for the malicious publication of statements which are false in fact, and injurious to the . .
CitedCoxhead v Richards 31-Jan-1846
A complaint was made as to a warning of suspected misconduct of ship’s captain communicated to a shipowner. It did not involve a risk to the life of those on board, but the court considered what the position might have been if it had. Cresswell J . .
CitedBowen v Hall 1881
The law of libel does not provide for declarations of falsity: ‘It is better for the general good that individuals should occasionally suffer than that freedom of communication between persons in certain relations should be in any way impeded. But . . .
CitedStuart v Bell CA 1891
Lindley LJ suggested that a moral or social duty meant ‘a duty recognised by English people of ordinary intelligence and moral principle, but at the same time not a duty enforceable by legal proceedings, whether civil or criminal’.
The . .
CitedAdam v Ward HL 1917
The plaintiff, Major Adam MP, falsely attacked General Scobell in a speech in the House of Commons, thus bringing his charge into the national arena. The Army Council investigated the charge, rejected it and directed their secretary, Sir E Ward, the . .
CitedSpring v Guardian Assurance Plc and Others HL 7-Jul-1994
The plaintiff, who worked in financial services, complained of the terms of the reference given by his former employer. Having spoken of his behaviour towards members of the team, it went on: ‘his former superior has further stated he is a man of . .
DistinguishedHorrocks v Lowe HL 1974
The plaintiff complained of an alleged slander spoken at a meeting of the Town Council. The council meeting was an occasion attracting qualified privilege. The judge at trial found that the councillor honestly believed that what he had said in the . .
CitedLoutchansky v The Times Newspapers Ltd and Others (Nos 2 to 5) CA 5-Dec-2001
Two actions for defamation were brought by the claimant against the defendant. The publication reported in detail allegations made against the claimant of criminal activities including money-laundering on a vast scale. They admitted the defamatory . .

Cited by:
CitedFlood v Times Newspapers Ltd CA 13-Jul-2010
The claimant police officer complained of an article he said was defamatory in saying he was being investigated for allegations of accepting bribes. The article remained on the internet even after he was cleared. Each party appealed interim orders. . .
CitedClift v Slough Borough Council CA 21-Dec-2010
The court was asked how, if at all, the Human Rights Act 1998 has affected a local authority’s defence of qualified privilege in defamation cases. The claimant had been placed on the Council’s Violent Persons Register after becoming very upset and . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation, Information, Local Government, Human Rights

Updated: 12 January 2022; Ref: scu.347445

Kaschke v Osler: QBD 13 May 2010

The claimant sued in defamation as regards the defendant’s comments in his internet blog on her historical left wing political connections. She complained that they made a connection with terrorist activities. The defendant said that the article was based upon material from the claimant’s own web-site, which republished an old article from a German magazine which made a connection. The defendant also pleaded that the claim had been compromised by a reply from the claimant published on his site. The claimant had received compensation after her wrongful arrests at the time.
Held: This was one of the small number of cases where the action should be stopped as an abuse because any likely vindication would be at disproportionate cost.
Also the claimant had been aware for a few years of the articles without taking action. The article had since become findable only on specific articles of the archives, and had been ‘unpublished’ by the defendant. It was for the claimant to demonstrate some publication within the limitation period. She had not done so.

Eady J
[2010] EWHC 1075 (QB)
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedCharleston and Another v News Group Newspapers Ltd and Another HL 31-Mar-1995
The plaintiffs were actors playing Harold and Madge Bishop in the Australian soap series ‘Neighbours’. They sued on a tabloid newspaper article which showed their faces superimposed on the near-naked bodies of models apparently engaged in sexual . .
CitedLonzim Plc and Others v Sprague QBD 11-Nov-2009
The court asked whether any damages recovered by the claimant might be so small as to be totally disproportionate to the very high costs that any libel action involves.
Held: Tugendhat J said: ‘It is not enough for a claimant to say that a . .
CitedAl Amoudi v Brisard and Another QBD 12-May-2006
In the context of allegations of Internet publication there is no presumption that the words published were actually read, and no presumption that a reader who has read one article on a blog will have read all the other articles. The burden is on . .
AppliedDow 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 . .

Cited by:
See AlsoKaschke v Gray and Another QBD 23-Jul-2010
The claimant sought damages in defamation saying that the defendants had published a web page which falsely associated her with a terrorist gang in the 1970s. The defendants now sought a strike out of her claim as an abuse saying that a similar . .
CitedMcGrath and Another v Dawkins and Others CA 5-Feb-2013
The claimant appealed against a finding that the defendant Amazon was bound to succeed in its defence under the 2002 Regulations against the claim in defamation, and that the claim should be dismissed as an abuse of process under Jameel. He had . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation

Updated: 12 January 2022; Ref: scu.414970

Mosley v News Group Newspapers Ltd: QBD 24 Jul 2008

The defendant published a film showing the claimant involved in sex acts with prostitutes. It characterised them as ‘Nazi’ style. He was the son of a fascist leader, and a chairman of an international sporting body. He denied any nazi element, and claimed in breach of confidence.
Held: ‘The law [of confidence] now affords protection to information in respect of which there is a reasonable expectation of privacy, even in circumstances where there is no pre-existing relationship giving rise of itself to an enforceable duty of confidence. That is because the law is concerned to prevent the violation of a citizen’s autonomy, dignity and self-esteem. It is not simply a matter of ‘unaccountable’ judges running amok. Parliament enacted the 1998 statute which requires these values to be acknowledged and enforced by the courts.’ The clandestine recording of sexual activity on private property must be taken to engage Article 8. What requires closer examination is the extent to which such intrusive behaviour could be justified by reference to a countervailing public interest.
As to the application for exemplary damages, the extension of such awards to cases involving breach of confidence would no doubt have to be dealt with at the House of Lords. However, there was another factor which ‘probably’ had to be taken into account, namely vindication to mark the infringement of the right.
Eady J considered the criticism of CC v AB in its moral relativism. It was ‘largely because of a failure to appreciate the task which judges are now required to carry out in the context of the rights-based environment introduced by the Human Rights Act, hitherto largely unfamiliar in our common law tradition. In deciding whether a right has been infringed, and in assessing the relative worth of competing rights, it is not for judges to make individual moral judgments or to be swayed by personal distaste. It is not simply a matter of personal privacy versus the public interest. The modern perception is that there is a public interest in respecting personal privacy. It is thus a question of taking account of conflicting public interest considerations and evaluating them according to increasingly well recognised criteria. ‘

Eady J
[2008] EWHC 1777 (QB), [2008] EMLR 20
Bailii
European Convention on Human Rights 8 10
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedAttorney-General v Guardian Newspapers Ltd (No 2) (‘Spycatcher’) HL 13-Oct-1988
Loss of Confidentiality Protection – public domain
A retired secret service employee sought to publish his memoirs from Australia. The British government sought to restrain publication there, and the defendants sought to report those proceedings, which would involve publication of the allegations . .
CitedDouglas, Zeta Jones, Northern and Shell Plc v Hello! Limited (No 1) CA 21-Dec-2000
The first two claimants sold exclusive rights to photograph their wedding to the third claimant. A paparrazzi infiltrated the wedding and then sold his unauthorised photographs to the defendants, who now appealed injunctions restraining them from . .
CitedD v L CA 31-Jul-2003
L and D lived together. Fearing the breakdown of the relationship, L used a voice activated recorder to record their conversations. D sought an order to restrain their publication after elements appeared in national newspapers. The court also . .
CitedCampbell v Mirror Group Newspapers Ltd (MGN) (No 1) HL 6-May-2004
The claimant appealed against the denial of her claim that the defendant had infringed her right to respect for her private life. She was a model who had proclaimed publicly that she did not take drugs, but the defendant had published a story . .
CitedIn re S (a Child) (Identification: Restrictions on Publication) HL 28-Oct-2004
Inherent High Court power may restrain Publicity
The claimant child’s mother was to be tried for the murder of his brother by poisoning with salt. It was feared that the publicity which would normally attend a trial, would be damaging to S, and an application was made for reporting restrictions to . .
CitedAsh and Another v McKennitt and others CA 14-Dec-2006
The claimant was a celebrated Canadian folk musician. The defendant, a former friend, published a story of their close friendship. The claimant said the relationship had been private, and publication infringed her privacy rights, and she obtained an . .
CitedAubry v Editions Vice-Versa Inc 9-Apr-1998
(Supreme Court of Canada) Publication in a magazine of an unauthorised photograph of a 17 year old girl sitting on the steps of a public building had violated her right to respect for private life conferred under Article 5 of the ‘Quebec Charter’ of . .
CitedPeck v The United Kingdom ECHR 28-Jan-2003
peck_ukECHR2003
The claimant had been filmed by CCTV. He had, after attempting suicide, left home with a knife, been arrested by the police and disarmed, but then sent home without charge. The CCTV film was used on several occasions to advertise the effectiveness . .
CitedDudgeon v The United Kingdom ECHR 22-Oct-1981
ECHR (Plenary Court) Legislation in Northern Ireland that criminalised homosexual behaviour which was lawful in the rest of the UK.
Held: There was a violation of article 8, but it was not necessary to . .
CitedLaskey, Jaggard and Brown v The United Kingdom ECHR 19-Feb-1997
A prosecution for sado-masochist acts was a necessary invasion of privacy to protect health. The Court found no violation where applicants were imprisoned as a result of sado-masochistic activities captured on video tape when police obtained . .
CitedFressoz and Roire v France ECHR 21-Jan-1999
Le Canard Enchaine published the salary of M Calvet, the chairman of Peugeot, (which was publicly available information) and also, by way of confirmation, photographs of the relevant part of his tax assessment, which was confidential and could not . .
CitedTammer v Estonia ECHR 6-Feb-2001
Freedom of expression constitutes one of the essential foundations of a democratic society and one of the basic conditions for its progress and the self-fulfilment of each individual. Criminal penalties imposed in respect of the reporting of a . .
CitedPG and JH v The United Kingdom ECHR 25-Sep-2001
The use of covert listening devices within a police station was an infringement of the right to privacy, since there was no system of law regulating such practices. That need not affect the right to a fair trial. The prosecution had a duty to . .
CitedMurray v Big Pictures (UK) Ltd; Murray v Express Newspapers CA 7-May-2008
The claimant, a famous writer, complained on behalf of her infant son that he had been photographed in a public street with her, and that the photograph had later been published in a national newspaper. She appealed an order striking out her claim . .
CitedTheakston v MGN Ltd QBD 14-Feb-2002
The claimant, a celebrity sought to restrain publication by the defendant of information about his sex life, consisting of pictures of him in a brothel. The court considered the test for the grant of an injunction to restrain publication under the . .
CitedCraxi (No. 2) ECHR 17-Jul-2003
Hudoc Judgment (Merits and just satisfaction) Violation of Art. 8 with regard to release of transcripts into the public domain ; Violation of Art. 8 with regard to reading out of transcripts at trial ; Pecuniary . .
CitedADT v United Kingdom ECHR 4-Aug-2000
The UK law which had the effect of prohibiting non-violent homosexual acts by groups of males, was a violation of the right to respect for his private life. The law went beyond that which might properly be required in a democratic society for the . .
CitedSilver v United Kingdom ECHR 1980
(Commission) Complaint was made as to the censorship of prisoners’ correspondence. The censorship of prisoners’ correspondence was ancillary to prison rules restricting the contents of correspondence. The Commission, therefore, and the Court had to . .
CitedRegina v Brown (Anthony); Regina v Lucas; etc HL 11-Mar-1993
The appellants had been convicted of assault, after having engaged in consensual acts of sado-masochism in which they inflicted varying degreees of physical self harm. They had pleaded guilty after a ruling that the prosecution had not needed to . .
CitedReynolds v Times Newspapers Ltd and others HL 28-Oct-1999
Fair Coment on Political Activities
The defendant newspaper had published articles wrongly accusing the claimant, the former Prime Minister of Ireland of duplicity. The paper now appealed, saying that it should have had available to it a defence of qualified privilege because of the . .
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. . .
CitedPolanski v Conde Nast Publications Ltd HL 10-Feb-2005
The claimant wished to pursue his claim for defamation against the defendant, but was reluctant to return to the UK to give evidence, fearing arrest and extradition to the US. He appealed refusal of permission to be interviewed on video tape. Held . .
CitedRookes v Barnard (No 1) HL 21-Jan-1964
The court set down the conditions for the award of exemplary damages. There are two categories. The first is where there has been oppressive or arbitrary conduct by a defendant. Cases in the second category are those in which the defendant’s conduct . .
CitedCassell and Co Ltd v Broome and Another HL 23-Feb-1972
Exemplary Damages Award in Defamation
The plaintiff had been awarded damages for defamation. The defendants pleaded justification. Before the trial the plaintiff gave notice that he wanted additional, exemplary, damages. The trial judge said that such a claim had to have been pleaded. . .
CitedLeempoel and SA ED Cine Revue v Belgium ECHR 9-Nov-2006
‘In matters relating to striking a balance between protecting private life and the freedom of expression that the Court had had to rule upon, it has always emphasised . . the requirement that the publication of information, documents or photographs . .
CitedFrancome v Mirror Group Newspapers Ltd CA 1984
The defendant had acquired illegal tapes of telephone conversations which it said implicated the plaintiff. He sought to restrain publication of the material pending forthcoming discliplinary charges at the Jockey Club.
Held: The court had to . .
CitedKuddus v Chief Constable of Leicestershire Constabulary HL 7-Jun-2001
There is no rule of law preventing the award of exemplary damages against police officers. The fact that no case of misfeasance in public office had led to such awards before 1964, did not prevent such an award now. Although damages are generally . .
CitedKitetechnology v Unicor GmbH Plastmaschinen 1995
It would not be correct to describe a infringement of breach of privacy as a tort. . .
CitedZ Ltd v A-Z and AA-LL CA 1982
The plaintiffs, an overseas company with an office in London had been defrauded here. They sought and obtained Mareva injunctions against defendants and against six clearing banks. The banks sought clarification of their duties.
Held: The . .
CitedMaxwell v Pressdram Ltd CA 1987
The court was asked whether disclosure should be ordered in the context of the statutory privilege which was created by s.10 of the 1981 Act. The publisher defendant had deposed that it would justify the material. At trial, however, the defence of . .
CitedRowlands v Chief Constable of Merseyside Police CA 20-Dec-2006
The claimant succeeded in her claims for general damages against the respondent for personal injury, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution, but appealed refusal of the court to award aggravated damages against the chief constable.
Held: . .
CitedTolstoy Miloslavsky v United Kingdom ECHR 19-Jul-1995
The applicant had been required to pay andpound;124,900 as security for the respondent’s costs as a condition of his appeal against an award of damages in a defamation case.
Held: It followed from established case law that article 6(1) did not . .
CitedJohn v MGN Ltd CA 12-Dec-1995
Defamation – Large Damages Awards
MGN appealed as to the level of damages awarded against it namely pounds 350,000 damages, comprising pounds 75,000 compensatory damages and pounds 275,000 exemplary damages. The newspaper contended that as a matter of principle there is no scope in . .
CitedJones v Pollard, Mirror Group Newspapers Limited and Bailey CA 12-Dec-1996
Articles in consecutive issues of The Sunday Mirror accused the plaintiff of pimping for the KGB, organising sex with prostitutes for visiting British businessmen and then blackmailing them. The defendants pleaded justification. The plaintiff . .
CitedAshley and Another v Chief Constable of Sussex Police HL 23-Apr-2008
The claimants sought to bring an action for damages after a family member suspected of dealing drugs, was shot by the police. At the time he was naked. The police officer had been acquitted by a criminal court of murder. The chief constable now . .
CitedChester v Afshar HL 14-Oct-2004
The claimant suffered back pain for which she required neurosurgery. The operation was associated with a 1-2% risk of the cauda equina syndrome, of which she was not warned. She went ahead with the surgery, and suffered that complication. The . .
CitedArcher v Williams QBD 3-Jul-2003
The claimant brought an action for breach of confidence against a former employee. . .
CitedBonnick v Morris, The Gleaner Company Ltd and Allen PC 17-Jun-2002
(Jamaica) The appellant sought damages from the respondent journalists in defamation. They had claimed qualified privilege. The words alleged to be defamatory were ambiguous.
Held: The publishers were protected by Reynolds privilege. The court . .
See AlsoMosley v News Group Newspapers Ltd QBD 9-Apr-2008
The claimant sought to continue an interim injunction requiring the defendant not to publish a film on its website.
Held: A claimant’s Article 8 rights may be engaged even where the information in question has been previously publicised. . .

Cited by:
CitedCallaghan v Independent News and Media Ltd QBNI 7-Jan-2009
callaghan_inmQBNI2009
The claimant was convicted in 1987 of a callous sexual murder. He sought an order preventing the defendant newspaper publishing anything to allow his or his family’s identification and delay his release. The defendant acknowledged the need to avoid . .
CitedLumba (WL) v Secretary of State for The Home Department SC 23-Mar-2011
The claimants had been detained under the 1971 Act, after completing sentences of imprisonment pending their return to their home countries under deportations recommended by the judges at trial, or chosen by the respondent. They challenged as . .
See AlsoMosley v The United Kingdom ECHR 22-Oct-2009
. .
See AlsoMosley v The United Kingdom ECHR 10-May-2011
The claimant complained of the reporting of a sexual encounter which he said was private.
Held: The reporting of ‘tawdry allegations about an individual’s private life’ does not attract the robust protection under Article 10 afforded to more . .
CitedCTB v News Group Newspapers Ltd and Another (1) QBD 16-May-2011
A leading footballer had obtained an injunction restraining the defendants from publishing his identity and allegations of sexual misconduct. The claimant said that she had demanded money not to go public.
Held: It had not been suggested that . .
CitedGoodwin v NGN Ltd and VBN QBD 9-Jun-2011
The claimant had obtained an injunction preventing publication of his name and that of his coworker with whom he had had an affair. After widespread publication of his name elsewhere, the defendant had secured the discharge of the order as regards . .
CitedFerdinand v MGN Limited QBD 29-Sep-2011
The claimant, a famous footballer, complained that an article by the defendant relating an affair he had had, had infringed his right to privacy. The defendant relied on its right to freedom of expression. The claimant had at an earlier stage, and . .
CitedHannon and Another v News Group Newspapers Ltd and Another ChD 16-May-2014
The claimants alleged infringement of their privacy, saying that the defendant newspaper had purchased private information from police officers emplyed by the second defendant, and published them. The defendants now applied for the claims to be . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation, Media, Human Rights, Damages

Leading Case

Updated: 12 January 2022; Ref: scu.271044

Bunt v Tilley and others: QBD 10 Mar 2006

The claimant sought damages in defamation in respect of statements made on internet bulletin boards. He pursued the operators of the bulletin boards, and the court now considered the liability of the Internet Service Providers whose systems had inevitably carried the traffic from the bulletin boards to their own customers.
Held: The claims were struck out.
Eady J said: ‘I would not, in the absence of any binding authority, attribute liability at common law to a telephone company or other passive medium of communication, such as an ISP. It is not analogous to someone in the position of a distributor, who might at common law need to prove the absence of negligence . . There a defence is needed because the person is regarded as having ‘published’. By contrast, persons who truly fulfil no more than the role of a passive medium for communication cannot be characterised as publishers: thus they do not need a defence.’ and ‘If a person knowingly permits another to communicate information which is defamatory, when there would be an opportunity to prevent the publication, there would seem to be no reason in principle why liability should not accrue’.
There was no prospect of the claimant succeeding against these defendants because to do so would fly in the face of the policy of the 2002 Regulations.

Eady J
[2006] EWHC 407 (QB), [2007] 1 WLR 1243, [2006] EMLR 523, [2006] 3 All ER 336, [2006] EMLR 18
Bailii
Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations 2002, Defamation Act 1996
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedPLG Research Ltd and Another v Ardon International Ltd and Others ChD 25-Nov-1994
A patent infingement claim was met by the assertion that the material covered had been disclosed before the patent had been obtained. The court was asked as to the test of whether the information in a claim had been disclosed. Aldous J said: ‘Mr. . .
CitedAnderson v New York Telephone Co 1974
(New York) The court considered the role of a telephone company in a defamation action and said that ‘the telephone company’s role is merely passive.’ There was no liability for the phone company in having furnished a service to someone who used the . .
CitedCBS Songs Ltd v Amstrad Consumer Electronics Plc HL 12-May-1988
The plaintiffs as representatives sought to restrain Amstrad selling equipment with two cassette decks without taking precautions which would reasonably ensure that their copyrights would not be infringed by its users.
Held: Amstrad could only . .
CitedCubby Inc v CompuServe Inc 1991
(United States) Leisure DJ said: ‘CompuServe develops and provides computer-related products and services, including CompuServe Information Service (‘CIS’), an on-line general information service or ‘electronic library’ that subscribers may access . .
CitedGodfrey v Demon Internet Limited QBD 26-Mar-1999
An Internet Service Provider who was re-distributing Usenet postings it had received, to its users in general, remained a publisher at common law, even though he was not such within the definitions of the Act, and it was therefore liable in . .
CitedMCA Records Inc v Charly Records Ltd and others (No 5) CA 29-Nov-2001
Thre had been an action for copyright and trade mark infringement. The court considered the personal liability of directors of the company for the costs of the action. . .
CitedDouglas etc v Hello! Ltd etc ChD 11-Apr-2003
The claimants were to be married. They sold the rights to publish photographs of their wedding, but various of the defendants took and published unauthorised pictures.
Held: The claimants had gone to lengths to ensure the commercial value of . .
CitedDouglas etc v Hello! Ltd etc ChD 11-Apr-2003
The claimants were to be married. They sold the rights to publish photographs of their wedding, but various of the defendants took and published unauthorised pictures.
Held: The claimants had gone to lengths to ensure the commercial value of . .
CitedStratton Oakmont Inc v Prodigy Services Co 1995
(New York) The defendant computer network company held itself out as having editorial control over notes posted on its bulletin board, imposed content guidelines on its users by prescreening notes for offensive language, and permitted board leaders . .
CitedZeran v America Online 1997
(United States of America) Wilkinson CJ discussed the statutory protection given to Internet Service providers in the US: ‘Section 230 creates a federal immunity to any cause of action that would make service providers liable for information . .
CitedLunney v Prodigy Services Co 1998
(United States) Some ‘infantile practical joker’ sent an e-mail to a boy scout leader, which falsely gave the impression that it came from Alex G Lunney, ‘a prospective eagle scout’. He complained of that as well as two bulletin board messages . .
CitedByrne v Deane CA 1937
A notice had been displayed on a golf club notice board. The court considered whether this constituted publication for defamation purposes.
Held: Greene LJ said: ‘Now on the substantial question of publication, publication, of course, is a . .
CitedEmmens v Pottle CA 1885
A subordinate distributor, here a vendor of newspapers, can plead the common law defence to defamation, of innocent dissemination.
Held: The vendor was prima facie liable, and therefore had to demonstrate the defence to avoid liability. He . .
CitedMcLeod v St Aubyn PC 1899
St. Vincent: The defendant was accused of publishing a statement by handing over an unread copy of a newspaper for return the following day.
Held: There was no sufficient degree of awareness or intention to impose legal responsibility for that . .
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 . .
CitedMilne v Express Newspapers CA 28-May-2004
The claimant, having not accepted an offer to make amends, wanted to proceed to a jury trial. To be permitted to do so, he had to seek to establish that the defendants ‘knew or had reason to believe that the statement complained of . . was both . .
CitedByrne v Deane CA 1937
A notice had been displayed on a golf club notice board. The court considered whether this constituted publication for defamation purposes.
Held: Greene LJ said: ‘Now on the substantial question of publication, publication, of course, is a . .
CitedTotalise Plc v The Motley Fool Limited and Interative Investor Limited (2) CA 19-Dec-2001
The respondent operated a web site which contained a chat room. Defamatory remarks were made by a third party through the chat room, and the claimant sought details of the identity of the poster. The respondent refused to do so without a court . .

Cited by:
CitedMetropolitan International Schools Ltd. (T/A Skillstrain And/Or Train2Game) v Designtechnica Corp (T/A Digital Trends) and Others QBD 16-Jul-2009
The claimant complained that the defendant had published on its internet forums comments by posters which were defamatory of it, and which were then made available by the second defendant search engine. The court was asked what responsibility a . .
CitedKaschke v Gray and Another QBD 29-Mar-2010
The defendant appealed against the refusal of the Master to strike out the claim in defamation in respect of a post by a third party on his unmoderated blog. The claimant said that the article accused her of an historic association with a terrorist . .
CitedGentoo Group Ltd (Formerly Known As Sunderland Housing Company Ltd) and Another v Hanratty QBD 8-Oct-2008
. .
CitedMulvaney and Others v The Sporting Exchange Ltd trading as Betfair 18-Mar-2009
(High Court of Ireland) The defendant ran a betting website which included a forum. The claimant said that the forum had published postings defamatory of him. . .
CitedThornton v Telegraph Media Group Ltd QBD 26-Jul-2011
The claimant alleged defamation and malicious falsehood in an article published and written by the defendants. She complained that she was said to have fabricated an interview with the second defendant for her book. An interview of sorts had now . .
CitedTwentieth Century Fox Film Corp and Others v British Telecommunications Plc ChD 28-Jul-2011
The claimant rights holders sought an order to require the defendant broadband internet provider to deny access to its users to websites which were said to facilitate the distribution of infringing copies of their films. An earlier judgment had . .
CitedTamiz v Google Inc Google UK Ltd QBD 2-Mar-2012
The claimant sought damages in defamation against the defendant company offering internet search facilities. The words complained of had been published in a blog, and in comments published on the blog.
Held: Jurisdiction should be declined. . .
CitedTamiz v Google Inc CA 14-Feb-2013
The respondent hosted a blogs platform. One of its user’s blogs was said by the appellant to have been defamatory. On discovery the material had been removed quickly. The claimant now appealed against his claim being struck out. He argued as to: (1) . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation

Leading Case

Updated: 12 January 2022; Ref: scu.239195

Duke of Brunswick v Harmer: QBD 2 Nov 1849

On 19 September 1830 an article was published in the Weekly Dispatch. The limitation period for libel was six years. The article defamed the Duke of Brunswick. Seventeen years after its publication an agent of the Duke purchased a back number containing the article from the Weekly Dispatch’s office. Another copy was obtained from the British Museum. The Duke sued on those two publications. The defendant contended that the cause of action was time barred, relying on the original publication date.
Held: The delivery of a copy of the newspaper to the plaintiff’s agent constituted a separate publication in respect of which suit could be brought, and it was not necessary to tell the jury, in estimating the damages as to such matter, to take into consideration the fact that the only publication proved had been the sale to the agent: ‘The defendant, who, on the application of a stranger, delivers to him the writing which libels a third person, publishes the libellous matter to him, though he may have been sent for the purpose of procuring the work by that third person. So far as in him lies, he lowers the reputation of the principal in the mind of the agent, which, although that of an agent, is as capable of being affected by the assertions as if he were a stranger. The act is complete by the delivery: and its legal character is not altered, either by the plaintiff’s procurement or by the subsequent handing over of the writing to him.’

Coleridge J
(1849) 14 QB 185, [1849] EngR 915, (1849) 117 ER 75
Commonlii
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedLoutchansky v The Times Newspapers Ltd and Others (Nos 2 to 5) CA 5-Dec-2001
Two actions for defamation were brought by the claimant against the defendant. The publication reported in detail allegations made against the claimant of criminal activities including money-laundering on a vast scale. They admitted the defamatory . .
CitedGutnick v Dow Jones 10-Dec-2002
(High Court of Australia) The Court rejected a challenge, in the context of Internet libel, to the applicability of such established principles as that vouchsafed in Duke of Brunswick: ‘It was suggested that the World Wide Web was different from . .
No longer Good lawDow 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 . .
MentionedSteinberg v Pritchard Englefield (A Firm) and Another CA 3-Mar-2005
The defendant appealed dismissal of his defence to an action in defamation.
Held: The court proceeded in his absence, discerning two grounds of appeal from the papers. He had suggested that he awaited pro bono representation but was by . .
CitedBerezovsky v Forbes Inc and Michaels; Glouchkov v Same HL 16-May-2000
Plaintiffs who lived in Russia sought damages for defamation against an American magazine with a small distribution in England. Both plaintiffs had real connections with and reputations in England. A judgment in Russia would do nothing to repair the . .
See AlsoThe Duke Of Brunswick v Harmer 21-Jun-1850
If JH and MY be registered at the stamp office as ‘the sole proprietors’ of a newspaper, ‘that is to say, the said JH as legal owner as mortgagee, and MY as owner of the equity of redemption,’ this is sufficient to fix JH as a proprietor of the . .
CitedTimes Newspapers Ltd (Nos. 1 And 2) v The United Kingdom ECHR 10-Mar-2009
The applicant alleged that the rule under United Kingdom law whereby each time material is downloaded from the Internet a new cause of action in libel proceedings accrued (‘the Internet publication rule’) constituted an unjustifiable and . .
OutmodedGregoire v GP Putnam’s Sons 1948
(New York Court of Appeals) A book had been placed on sale in 1941, but was still being reprinted and sold in 1946.
Held: The rule in Duke of Brunswick v Harmer was formulated ‘in an era which long antedated the modern process of mass . .
CitedFlood v Times Newspapers Ltd QBD 2-Oct-2009
The defendant had published a story in its newspaper. At that time it attracted Reynolds qualified privilege. After the circumstances changed, the paper offered an updating item. That offer was rejected as inadequate.
Held: The qualified . .
MentionedHays Plc v Hartley QBD 17-May-2010
Mr Hartley operated a news agency, and provided to the publisher of the Sunday Mirror, MGN Ltd, allegations of racism that had been levelled at the claimant company by former employees. The allegations were reported in an article headed ”KKK . .
CitedReed Elsevier Uk Ltd (T/A Lexisnexis) and Another v Bewry CA 30-Oct-2014
Appeal from a decision granting the claimant’s application made pursuant to section 32A of the Limitation Act 1980 to disapply the limitation period in his proceedings for libel and dismissing the defendants’ application to strike out the claimant’s . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation, Limitation, Damages

Leading Case

Updated: 12 January 2022; Ref: scu.181216

Wasserman v Freilich: QBD 19 Feb 2016

Application by the Claimant in a libel action to strike out certain parts of the defence under CPR 3.4(2) on the basis that they do not disclose any reasonable grounds for defending the claim; or that they are an abuse of process or otherwise likely to obstruct the just disposal of the proceedings; and/or that there has been a failure to comply with rules of the court.

Sir David Eady
[2016] EWHC 312 (QB)
Bailii
England and Wales

Defamation

Updated: 10 January 2022; Ref: scu.560339

Anglia Research Services Ltd and Another v Finders Genealogists Ltd and Another: QBD 17 Feb 2016

The parties were competing companies. The claimant sought to usePre-action disclosure procedures after proceedings had already been issued.
Held: ‘the Claimants have made out a clear and strong case for the exercise of the Court’s discretion to order pre-action disclosure in their favour, and I so order.’

Moloney QC HHJ
[2016] EWHC 297 (QB)
Bailii
Civil Procedure Rules 31.16
England and Wales

Litigation Practice, Defamation

Updated: 10 January 2022; Ref: scu.560329

Russell v Stubbs Ltd: HL 3 Apr 1913

The defenders in an action of damages for slander were the proprietors and publishers of a weekly gazette, having a large trade circulation, which contained a column entitled ‘Extracts from the Court Books of Decrees in Absence in the Small Debt Courts. Note.-The following extracts from the Court books have been received since our last issue, .made up to the several dates given in the second column. It is probable that some of the decrees have been sisted, settled, or paid; and in no case does publication of the decree imply inability to pay on the part of anyone named, or anything more than the fact that the entry published appeared in the Court books. . . We are willing at all times to insert any authentic information or explanation relative to decrees, or to correct any inaccuracy of record or otherwise.’ There followed a list giving the courts, dates, names of pursuers and defenders, and the amounts of the decrees. In the issue of a particular date there appeared in this list an entry containing the name of the pursuer as a defender against whom decree had been given. No such decree had in fact been given.
The pursuer claimed damages upon the innuendo ‘that he was unable to pay his debts.’
Held that the statement would not bear the innuendo and issue disallowed.

Lord Chancellor (Haldane), Lord Kinnear, and Lord Shaw, Lord Atkinson being present at delivering judgment
[1913] UKHL 676, 50 SLR 676
Bailii
Scotland

Defamation

Updated: 10 January 2022; Ref: scu.632743

Caine v Advertiser and Times Ltd and Another: QBD 14 Jan 2019

Appeal against an order staying permanently the claim for libel, raising a point about the procedure by which a defendant should challenge a failure to serve proceedings in time.

Dingemans J
[2019] EWHC 39 (QB)
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedHoddinott and others v Persimmon Homes (Wessex) Ltd CA 21-Nov-2007
The claimant had issued proceedings and the defendant filed an acknowledgement, and then argued that the court had no jurisdiction. The claimant appealed against an order declining jurisdiction.
Held: Where a party filed an acknowledgement, . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation, Litigation Practice

Updated: 10 January 2022; Ref: scu.632717

Bewry v Reed Elseveir (UK) Ltd and Another: QBD 10 Oct 2013

The claimant had begin proceedings against the defendant legal publishers, saying that their summary of a cash had brought was defamatory. He now sought leave to extend the limitation period for his claim, and the defendants argued that, given the very limited publication, the case was not worth pursuing.
Held: There had been considerable delay, but this was largely explained by the material being available only to subscribers. The delay had not created any significant prejudice to the defendant. Similarly, the Jameel application failed.

Moloney QC HHJ
[2013] EWHC 3182 (QB)
Bailii
Limitation Act 1980 32A
Citing:
See AlsoBewry, Regina (on The Application of) v Norfolk County Council Admn 6-Oct-2010
The claimant had had foster care of two children. They were with temporary respite placements when the respondent decided to place in a different foster setting but without consulting the claimant or otherwise giving him notice.
Held: (ex . .
CitedSteedman, Clohosy, Smith, Kiernan, Newman, Creevy, Anderson v The British Broadcasting Corporation CA 23-Oct-2001
The claimants had issued defamation proceedings. The defendant said they were out of time, having begun the action more than one year after the alleged publication, but accepted that they had not been prejudiced in their defence. The court refused . .
CitedBuckley v Dalziel QBD 3-May-2007
There was a heated dispute between neighbours, culminating in some generous or perhaps over-generous pruning by the claimant of the defendant’s trees and shrubs on the boundaries. The defendants reported the matter to the police. Both Mr and Mrs . .
CitedAdelson 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 . .
CitedBrady v Norman QBD 26-May-2010
The claimant appealed against refusal of the Master to extend the 12 month limitation period in his proposed defamation claim. The allegations related to a dispute at an Aslef barbecue, and later of forgery. The claimant was a former General . .

Cited by:
Appeal fromReed Elsevier Uk Ltd (T/A Lexisnexis) and Another v Bewry CA 30-Oct-2014
Appeal from a decision granting the claimant’s application made pursuant to section 32A of the Limitation Act 1980 to disapply the limitation period in his proceedings for libel and dismissing the defendants’ application to strike out the claimant’s . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation, Limitation

Updated: 10 January 2022; Ref: scu.560108

Telnikoff v Matusevich: HL 14 Nov 1991

Lord Ackner said: ‘To say that ‘A is a disgrace to human nature’ is an allegation of fact, but if the words were ‘A murdered his father and is therefore a disgrace to human nature’, the latter words are plainly a comment on the former.’
Lord Keith said: ‘In my opinion the letter must be considered on its own. The readers of the letter must have included a substantial number of persons who had not read the article or who, if they had read it, did not have its terms fully in mind.’
‘the question whether words are facts or comment, is in the first instance for the judge: if he is satisfied that they must fall into one of the categories he should so rule. If a defamatory allegation is to be defended as fair comment it must be recognisable by the ordinary, reasonable reader as comment and the key to this is whether it is supported by facts, stated or indicated, upon which, as comment, it may be based.’

Lord Keith of Kinkel, Lord Brandon of Oakbrook, Lord Templeman, Lord Ackner, Lord Oliver of Aylmerton
[1991] UKHL 16, [1992] 2 AC 343, [1991] 4 All ER 817, [1991] 3 WLR 952
Bailii
England and Wales

Defamation

Updated: 10 January 2022; Ref: scu.559767

Smith v Unknown Defendant, Pseudonym ‘Likeicare’ and Others: QBD 15 Jul 2016

Green J
[2016] EWHC 1775 (QB)
Bailii
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedCameron v Liverpool Victoria Insurance Co Ltd SC 20-Feb-2019
The Court was asked in what circumstances is it permissible to sue an unnamed defendant? The respondent was injured when her car collided with another. The care was insured but by a driver giving a false name. The car owner refused to identify him. . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation

Updated: 10 January 2022; Ref: scu.567069

Brett Wilson Llp v Person(s) Unknown, Responsible for The Operation and Publication of The Website www.solicitorsfromhelluk.com: 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 the defendants. The pleaded allegations made out a case for the grant of injunctions against the defendants. The court assessed damages at andpound;10,000.

Warby J
[2015] EWHC 2628 (QB)
Bailii
Defamation Act 2013 10
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedBonnard 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.
CitedLaw Society and others v Kordowski QBD 7-Dec-2011
Claim for injunctions requiring the Defendant, the publisher of the ‘Solicitors from Hell’ website (‘the Website’), to cease publication of the Website in its entirety and to restrain him from publishing any similar website. . .
CitedBloomsbury Publishing Group Ltd and J K Rowling v News Group Newspapers Ltd and others ChD 23-May-2003
The publishers had gone to great lengths to keep advance copies of a forthcoming book in the Harry Potter series secret. They became aware that some had been stolen from the printers and sought injunctions against the defendants and another unnamed . .
CitedStone and Another v WXY (Person or Persons Unknown) QBD 12-Nov-2012
The claimants sought an injunction against persons unknown to restrain them from harassing them in the period up to and at their forthcoming wedding by the taking of photographs. . .
CitedKerner v WX and Another QBD 29-Jan-2015
Application for continuation of anti-harassment injunction against persons unknown. . .
CitedNovartis Pharmaceuticals UK Ltd and Others v Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty and Others QBD 27-Oct-2014
The claimant sought permanent worldwide injunctions against the defendants to restrain them from harrassing their staff. The companies were involved in medical research involving animal experiments.
Held: On the written evidence put before the . .
CitedSloutsker v Romanova QBD 5-Mar-2015
The claimant sued for libel in respect of the publication in this jurisdiction of allegations of fabricating evidence, conspiracy to murder, and the bribery and corruption of the prosecutor and judges in criminal proceedings. The defendant now . .
CitedQRS v Beach and Another QBD 22-May-2015
The court considered the appropriate procedure on an application for committal for contempt of court where the defendant had been served, but had taken no steps to respond or appear at court. . .
CitedLoutchansky v The Times Newspapers Ltd and Others (Nos 2 to 5) CA 5-Dec-2001
Two actions for defamation were brought by the claimant against the defendant. The publication reported in detail allegations made against the claimant of criminal activities including money-laundering on a vast scale. They admitted the defamatory . .
CitedThe Bussey Law Firm Pc and Another v Page QBD 6-Mar-2015
The claimant US law firm claimed in defamation after receiving an abusive review on an internet service maintained by Google. The defendant denied responsibility for the posting which had been made through his account, and said that had he been told . .
CitedHussein and Others v Hamilton Franks and Co Ltd and Another QBD 17-Jan-2013
The claimants sought damages in respect of comments made by the defendants on their website, alleging fraud. No defence or acknowledgement had been filed. The claimants sought summary judgment. A judgment by default was not available because they . .
CitedRobins v Kordowski and Another QBD 22-Jul-2011
robins_kordQBD11
The claimant solicitor said he had been defamed on the first defendant’s website (‘Solicitors from Hell’) by the second defendant. The first defendant now applied to set aside judgment entered by default. The claimant additionally sought summary . .
CitedFarrall v Kordowski QBD 2011
A posting on a website criticised the competence and integrity of a solicitor. The posting was thought to have been live for about a month. On an application under ss 8 and 9 of the 1996 Act in a claim which was undefended Lloyd-Jones J awarded . .

Cited by:
CitedCameron v Liverpool Victoria Insurance Co Ltd SC 20-Feb-2019
The Court was asked in what circumstances is it permissible to sue an unnamed defendant? The respondent was injured when her car collided with another. The care was insured but by a driver giving a false name. The car owner refused to identify him. . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Torts – Other, Defamation

Updated: 10 January 2022; Ref: scu.552378

Theedom v Nourish Training (T/A Recruitment Colin Sewell): QBD 11 Dec 2015

The Court heard preliminary issues both as to the defamatory meaning of the words used and as to whether publication of those words had caused or was likely to cause serious harm pursuant to s.1 (1) of the 2013 Act.
Held: Following Cooke and Lachaux: ‘Depending on the circumstances of the case, the claimant may be able to satisfy s.1 without calling any evidence, by relying on the inferences of serious harm to reputation properly to be drawn from the level of the defamatory meaning of the words and the nature and extent of their publication . . It is important to bear in mind that s.1 is essentially a threshold requirement, intended by Parliament to weed out those undeserving libel claims otherwise technically viable, but which do not involve actual serious harm to reputation or likely serious harm to reputation in the future. Once that threshold has been passed, no useful purpose is served at this early stage of the proceedings by going on to consider evidence which is really material only to the quantum of damage if liability is proved.’
He later observed that the body of evidence, which included oral evidence, adduced before him in terms of whether the case crossed the threshold of serious harm ‘neither adds nor subtracts very much from the inference one would normally draw from the fact of publication in a case of this kind.’ He pointed out that under s.1(1) pecuniary loss is not a requirement for an individual claimant. He was concerned that the present case demonstrated a ‘further escalation’ in the conduct of such hearings, at huge cost: ‘In the result, the hearing of evidence has added little or nothing to the conclusions that an experienced defamation judge would have drawn simply from reading the email and considering the agreed distribution list.
The reason for this is that s.1 sets a threshold test; and the threshold is simply that there shall have been serious harm to reputation. Once that level is passed, further evidence goes to quantum only. Throughout this trial, my sense has been that that distinction was in danger of becoming blurred or lost sight of.
Assuming this action now goes to a final trial, there is a likelihood that there will be a wasteful duplication of evidence and cross-examination already carried out before me and/or that the ultimate trial judge will be vexed with submissions about what has or has not been determined in the course of this phase of the trial.’

Judge Moloney QC (sitting as a Judge of the High Court)
[2015] EWHC 3769 (QB)
Bailii
Defamation Act 2013 1
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedLachaux v Independent Print Ltd QBD 30-Jul-2015
The claimant brought defamation claims as to articles making allegations said to imply that the claimant had mistreated his wife. The defendant contended that, while inferences might sometimes suffice, s.1 (1) nevertheless required a claimant to . .
CitedCooke and Another v MGN Ltd and Another QBD 13-Aug-2014
The claimants made a television programme about the lives of people on benefits. The defendant published an article critical of many, and included a statement ‘Three more homes in the road where residents claim they have been portrayed as scroungers . .

Cited by:
ApprovedLachaux v Independent Print Ltd (1) CA 12-Sep-2017
Defamation – presumption of damage after 2013 Act
The claimant said that the defendant had published defamatory statements which were part of a campaign of defamation brought by his former wife. The court now considered the requirement for substantiality in the 2013 Act.
Held: The defendant’s . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation

Updated: 09 January 2022; Ref: scu.558749

Horan v Express Newspapers: QBD 7 Dec 2015

Libel claim brought by a member of the boyband group One Direction, in respect of articles published in the Daily Star and on the Daily Star website and on what was described as the Daily Star YouTube channel. Mr Horan claims that the articles were defamatory of him because, either in their natural and ordinary meaning or by way of true innuendo, ‘the articles meant and were understood to mean that during an evening spent with Justin Bieber and Cody Simpson the Claimant had used hard drugs, namely crystal meth or crack’. The defendants denied that the words bore the meanings claimed. The court now heard an application as to whether the words are capable of bearing a defamatory meaning (not whether the meaning was so carried).
Held: ‘the statement is capable of having the meaning attributed to it in the Particulars of Claim, and that the statement is capable of being defamatory of the Claimant.’

Dingemans J
[2015] EWHC 3550 (QB)
Bailii
England and Wales

Defamation

Updated: 07 January 2022; Ref: scu.556488

Richardson v Facebook: QBD 2 Nov 2015

The claimant sought damages from the defendant alleging publication of a false profile, said to be defamatory, and as regards the second defendant (Google) a false blog post. She now appealed against summary dismissal of both claims.

Warby J
[2015] EWHC 3154 (QB)
Bailii
European Convention on Human Rights 8
England and Wales

Defamation, Human Rights

Updated: 05 January 2022; Ref: scu.554255

Mccann v Scottish Media Newspapers Ltd: SCS 18 Feb 1999

Three articles which appeared in one edition of a newspaper had to be read together and treated as ‘constituting a whole’ for the purposes of determining meaning, where the first ended with a cross-reference to the second, and the second ended with a cross-reference to the third.

Lord MacFadyen
[1999] ScotCS 52, 2000 SLT 256
Bailii
Scotland
Citing:
CitedThe Capital and Counties Bank Limited v George Henty and Sons HL 1882
The defendant wrote to their customers saying ‘Henty and Sons hereby give notice that they will not receive in payment cheques drawn on any of the branches of the Capital and Counties Bank.’ The contents of the circular became known and there was a . .
CitedWaddell v Roxburgh 1894
The court discussed the meaning of slander: ‘It may be that to confine the use of the word slander to cases where the language complained of is obviously and on the face of it defamatory and injurious would be convenient, but I should rather have . .
CitedSim v Stretch HL 1936
Test For Defamatory Meaning
The plaintiff complained that the defendant had written in a telegram to accuse him of enticing away a servant. The House considered the process of deciding whether words were defamatory.
Held: The telegram was incapable of bearing a . .
CitedRussell v Stubbs Limited HL 3-Apr-1913
The plaintiff said that the defendants, publishers of a trade magazine providing inter alia credit references, had slandered it. The defendants appealed against an order requiring it to provide details of others to whom the slander had been . .
CitedLanglands v John Leng and Company Limited HL 1916
Complaint was made as to observations made by an architect and said to be defamatory.
Held: These had referred to a criticism of the system under which the architect was employed and not to the architect individually.
Viscount Haldane . .
CitedGollan v Thompson Wyles Company 1930
Lord President Clyde discussed the order of consideration of the elements of defamation: ‘The question of the admissibility of an innuendo necessarily arises in Scotland at the relevancy stage. If – as here – the statement complained of is not . .
CitedLewis v Daily Telegraph Ltd HL 1964
Ascertaining Meaning of Words for Defamation
The Daily Telegraph had published an article headed ‘Inquiry on Firm by City Police’ and the Daily Mail had published an article headed ‘Fraud Squad Probe Firm’. The plaintiffs claimed that those articles carried the meaning that they were guilty of . .
CitedCharleston and Another v News Group Newspapers Ltd and Another HL 31-Mar-1995
The plaintiffs were actors playing Harold and Madge Bishop in the Australian soap series ‘Neighbours’. They sued on a tabloid newspaper article which showed their faces superimposed on the near-naked bodies of models apparently engaged in sexual . .
CitedMuirhead v George Outram and Company Limited 1983
. .

Cited by:
CitedDee v Telegraph Media Group Ltd QBD 28-Apr-2010
The newspaper sought summary judgment in its defence of the defamation claim. The article labelled the claimant as the world’s worst professional tennis player. The paper said he had no prospect of succeeding once the second article in the same . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation

Updated: 05 January 2022; Ref: scu.169670

More v Weaver: CA 11 Jul 1928

The appellant brought the latest of several actions, this time alleging defamation in letters from the respondent to her own solicitors making certain statements about the appellant. Those letters had become public in the course of the earlier proceedings. The court was now asked whether such correspondence was subject to absolute privilege.
Held: This is a case of absolute, not qualified, privilege, and there was no ground for leaving to the jury the question whether the statements complained of were relevant. Swift J. was right in the view he took, and the appeal must be dismissed.

Scrutton, Lawrence, Greer LJJ
[1928] EWCA Civ 1, [1928] 2 KB 520
Bailii
Citing:
CitedBarnardiston v Soame 1702
On the death of Sir Henry North, one of the knights for Suffolk ; a writ was issued forth for the election of a new member, and Sir Samuel Barnardiston and my Lord Huntingtowre were the two candidates ; but Sir Samuel carried it by 78 voices, and . .
CitedBottomley v Brougham 1908
The official receiver is acting in a judicial capacity in making his report and his further report and in conducting the examination under that further report. A judge is privileged from inquiry as to whether he is malicious. Channell J considered . .
DoubtedMorgan v Wallis 1917
(Year?) privilege as between solicitor and client is qualified only, and not absolute. . .
CitedBrowne v Dunn HL 1893
Where counsel has with regard to a witness, ‘an intention to impeach the credibility of the story he is telling’, he must give that witness notice of his intention by putting that to him during cross examination, unless such intention was entirely . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation, Legal Professions

Updated: 04 January 2022; Ref: scu.552687

Law Society and others v Kordowski: QBD 7 Dec 2011

Claim for injunctions requiring the Defendant, the publisher of the ‘Solicitors from Hell’ website (‘the Website’), to cease publication of the Website in its entirety and to restrain him from publishing any similar website.

Tugendhat J
[2011] EWHC 3185 (QB)
Bailii
Protection from Harassment Act 1997, Data Protection Act 1998
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedBrett Wilson Llp v Person(s) Unknown, Responsible for The Operation and Publication of The Website www.solicitorsfromhelluk.com 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 . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Legal Professions, Torts – Other, Defamation

Updated: 04 January 2022; Ref: scu.552388

Ewing v News International Ltd and Others: CA 14 Jul 2010

The claimant appealed against an order for costs made on rejection of his application, as a vexatious litigant, for leave to bring defamation proceedings.
Held: The appeal was allowed. A defendant was not a party to an application by a vexatious litigant for leave to bring proceedings.

[2010] EWCA Civ 942
Bailii
Senior Courts Act 1981 42(3)
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedJones v Vans Colina CA 15-Aug-1996
An ex parte order allowing an action by a vexatious litigant is not appealable by the prospective defendant to the action permitted. Such a defendant to proceedings by a vexatious litigant against whom a civil proceedings order had been made was . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation, Litigation Practice

Updated: 03 January 2022; Ref: scu.421551

Yeo v Times Newspapers Ltd: QBD 22 Jul 2015

Pre-trial review of libel action.

Warby J
[2015] EWHC 2132 (QB), [2015] 4 Costs LR 687
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
See AlsoYeo v Times Newspapers Ltd QBD 4-Feb-2015
The claimant MP sought damages alleging defamation by the defendant newspaper. The court heard a second case management conference as to amended particulars of claim. . .

Cited by:
See AlsoYeo v Times Newspapers Ltd QBD 25-Nov-2015
The claimant alleged defamation by the defendant as to his conduct as an MP. The defendant having pleaded justification, the court now tried the liability issue.
Held: The claim failed. The publication had the benefit of reynolds privilege.
Defamation

Updated: 02 January 2022; Ref: scu.550583

Sloutsker v Romanova: QBD 16 Jul 2015

Remedies after finding of defamation

Warby J
[2015] EWHC 2053 (QB)
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
See AlsoSloutsker v Romanova QBD 5-Mar-2015
The claimant sued for libel in respect of the publication in this jurisdiction of allegations of fabricating evidence, conspiracy to murder, and the bribery and corruption of the prosecutor and judges in criminal proceedings. The defendant now . .
See AlsoSloutsker v Romanova QBD 21-Jan-2015
The claimant complained that the defendant libelled him in four publications: a blog post written by her on the website of the Moscow-based radio station Echo Moscow. . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation

Updated: 02 January 2022; Ref: scu.550359

S v Suren and Another: QBD 10 Sep 2004

Tugendhat J
[2004] EWHC 1981 (QB)
Bailii
Defamation Act 1952, Civil Evidence Act 1968 5
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedMcManus and others v Beckham CA 4-Jul-2002
The claimant sought damages from the defendant who was a pop star, and had vociferously, publicly, and wrongly accused the claimant of selling pictures with fake autographs of her husband. The defendant obtained an order striking out the claim on . .
CitedVint v Hudspith 1885
In the Chancery division, and where judgment has been entered in default, the proper challenge is by request to the judge to set aside his judgment. Though an appeal to the Court of Appeal is possible, such appeals will be discouraged. . .
CitedGoode v Martin CA 13-Dec-2001
The claimant had sought to amend her claim for damages for personal injuries. The application had been rejected as introducing a claim not based on the same facts. She had suffered severe head injuries, and had no memory of the accident. She served . .
CitedWEA Records v Visions Channel 4 Ltd CA 1983
Sir John Donaldson MR explained that: ‘In terms of jurisdiction, there can be no doubt that this court can hear an appeal from an order made by the High Court upon an ex parte application. This jurisdiction is conferred by section 16 (1) of the . .
CitedRowan Companies Inc (a Body Corporate) and others v Lambert Eggink Offshore Transport Consultants of (a Body Corporate) and others CA 30-Jul-1998
The Plaintiffs had entered into a towage contract with Lambert Eggink Offshore Transport Consultants. Those Defendants are a body known as a VOF under Dutch Law, being a form of partnership under that law. It is a body that has no separate legal . .
CitedWelsh Development Agency v Redpath Dorman Long Ltd CA 4-Apr-1994
A new claim was not deemed to have been made until the pleading was actually amended for limitation purposes, and should not be allowed after the limitation period had expired. The date of the application for leave to amend was not at issue. The . .
CitedThompson v Brown Construction (Ebbw Vale) Ltd HL 1981
The plaintiff’s solicitors, out of negligence, failed to issue a writ until one month after the limitation period had expired. The application to extend the period was rejected at first instance since he had an unanswerable claim against his . .
CitedLeicester Market Ltd v Grundy 1990
An application was made under RSC Ord. 15, r. 6(2) . .
CitedSteedman, Clohosy, Smith, Kiernan, Newman, Creevy, Anderson v The British Broadcasting Corporation CA 23-Oct-2001
The claimants had issued defamation proceedings. The defendant said they were out of time, having begun the action more than one year after the alleged publication, but accepted that they had not been prejudiced in their defence. The court refused . .
CitedOlakunle O Olatawura v Alexander O Abiloye CA 17-Jul-2002
The claimant challenged an order requiring him to give security for costs before proceeding. The judge had felt he was unreasonable in the way he was pursuing his claim. He appealed saying the order was made outside the scope of Part 25.
Held: . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation

Updated: 02 January 2022; Ref: scu.211417

Amann v Damm: 22 May 1860

The defendant, bona fide believing that the plaintiff, who was a clerk to one M, a customer of the defendant’s. and who had been sent to the defendant’s shop bv M had while there stolen a box from an inner room, went to M., and, after telling him of his loss, intimated his suspicion of the plaintiff, saying, ‘There was no one else in the room, and he must have taken it.’ Held, that the communication was privileged by the occasion. Where slanderous words are uttered in a foreign language, the declaration should aver that the persons in whose presence they were spoken understood the language.

[1860] EngR 756, (1860) 8 CB NS 597, (1860) 144 ER 1300
Commonlii
England and Wales

Defamation

Updated: 02 January 2022; Ref: scu.285595

Hayden and Another v Charlton: CA 7 Jul 2011

Appeal from order striking out defamation claims for failure to comply with court orders.

Pill, Toulson, Sullivan LJJ
[2011] EWCA Civ 791
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
Appeal FromHayden and Another v Charlton QBD 1-Dec-2010
Action for defamation struck out after repeated failure by claimants to comply with court orders. . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation, Litigation Practice

Updated: 01 January 2022; Ref: scu.441535

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
Bailii
Defamation Act 1996 3
England and Wales
Citing:
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.

Defamation

Updated: 30 December 2021; Ref: scu.546825

Barron MP and Another v Vines: QBD 29 Apr 2015

The court considered the damages to be awarded afer a libellous television broadcast on Sky TV. The claimants were MPs for Rotherham. There had been a large scale abuse of children, and they had been accused of not responding properly to it by the defendant, a political opponent.
Held: The Court is able to give appropriate protection to political speech without distorting well-established principles about the meaning of words.

Warby J
[2015] EWHC 1161 (QB)
Bailii
Defamation Act 2013 4
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedEconomou v De Freitas QBD 27-Jul-2016
Failed action for defamation on rape allegations
The claimant had been accused by the defendant’s daughter of rape. He was never charged but sought to prosecute her alleging intent to pervert the course of justice. She later killed herself. The defendant sought to have the inquest extended to . .
See AlsoBarron MP and Others v Collins MEP QBD 29-Apr-2015
Trial of preliminary issues in for defamation. The claimants, MPs for Rotherham areas, said that a speech by the defendant to the UKIP conference and repeated on TV contained assertions defamatory of them.
Held: The words complained of bore . .
See AlsoBarron and Others v Collins MEP QBD 22-Dec-2016
The defendant MEP had had adjourned the claim against her for defamation, claiming that her actions has been as an MEP and therefore exempt from proceedings. The chair of the European Parliament Legal Affairs Committee had received and rejected her . .
See AlsoBarron and Another v Vines QBD 2-Jun-2016
The court assessed damages having found that the claimant Labour MPs had been defamed by the defendant UKIP local politician. The defamations related to the alleged failures to control substantial child sex abuse in Rotherham.
Held: The . .
CitedMonroe v Hopkins QBD 10-Mar-2017
The claimant, a transgender chef and food blogger claimed in defamation against the defendant journalist in respect of two tweets. The court now set out to decide the meanings, whether they were defamatory by nature, and whether the serious harm . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation, Damages

Updated: 30 December 2021; Ref: scu.546268

Decker v Hopcraft: QBD 30 Apr 2015

The claimant, a litigant in person, was absent from the hearing of a defamation action arising from a dispute between the parties in their capacities as committee members of the Crawley Boxing Club.
Held: The court gave its reasons for refusing to vacate the hearing.

Warby J
[2015] EWHC 1170 (QB)
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedLachaux v Independent Print Ltd QBD 1-Apr-2015
The claimant alleged defamation by the three defendant news organisations. The defendants now sought trial of certain preliminary issues, and particularly whether the claimant had suffered any serious harm to his reputation.
Held: The court . .

Cited by:
CitedBarron and Others v Collins MEP QBD 22-Dec-2016
The defendant MEP had had adjourned the claim against her for defamation, claiming that her actions has been as an MEP and therefore exempt from proceedings. The chair of the European Parliament Legal Affairs Committee had received and rejected her . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation

Updated: 30 December 2021; Ref: scu.546269

Gillick v Brook Advisory Centres: QBD 2002

The claimant asserted that the defendant had defamed her in a leaflet. The defendant asked the court to determine that the pamphlet did not carry a defamatory meaning.
Held: Eady J formulated the principles applicable when determining meaning: ‘The proper role for the judge when adjudicating a question of this kind is to evaluate the words complained of and to delimit the range of meanings of which the words are reasonably capable, exercising his or her own judgment in the light of the principles laid down in the authorities and without any of the former Order 18 Rule 19 overtones. If the judge decides that any pleaded meaning falls outside the permissible range, then it will be his duty to rule accordingly. In deciding whether words are capable of conveying a defamatory meaning, the court should reject those meanings which can only emerge as the produce of some strained or forced or utterly unreasonable interpretation. The purpose of the new rule is to enable the court to fix in advance the ground rules and permissible meanings, which are of cardinal importance in defamation actions, not only for the purpose of assessing the degree of injury to the claimant’s reputation but also for the purpose of evaluating any defences raised, in particular, justification and fair comment.
The court should give the article the natural and ordinary meaning which it would have conveyed to the ordinary reasonable reader reading the article once. Hypothetical reasonable readers should not be treated as either naive or unduly suspicious. They should be treated as being capable of reading between the lines and engaging in some loose thinking, but not as being avid for scandal. The court should avoid an over-elaborate analysis of the article, because an ordinary reader would not analyse the article as a lawyer or accountant would analyse documents or accounts. Judges should have regard to the impression the article has made upon them themselves in considering what impact it would have made on the hypothetical reasonable reader. The court should certainly not take a too literal approach to its task.’

Eady J
[2002] EWHC 829 (QB)
England and Wales
Citing:
See AlsoGillick v Brook Advisory Centres and Another CA 23-Jul-2001
The claimant appealed after closing her action for an alleged defamation by the respondents in a leaflet published by them. She challenged an interim decision by the judge as to the meaning of the words complained of.
Held: The leaflet made . .
See AlsoGillick v Brook Advisory Centres QBD 2002
The claimant asserted that the defendant had defamed her in a leaflet. The defendant asked the court to determine that the pamphlet did not carry a defamatory meaning.
Held: Eady J formulated the principles applicable when determining meaning: . .

Cited by:
CitedJameel and Another v Times Newspapers Limited CA 21-Jul-2004
The defendant had published a newspaper article linking the claimant to terrorist activity. The defendants argued that no full accusation was made, but only that the claimant was under investigation for such behaviour, and that the article had . .
Appeal fromGillick v Brook Advisory Centres and Another CA 23-Jul-2001
The claimant appealed after closing her action for an alleged defamation by the respondents in a leaflet published by them. She challenged an interim decision by the judge as to the meaning of the words complained of.
Held: The leaflet made . .
CitedQuinton v Peirce and Another QBD 30-Apr-2009
One election candidate said that another had defamed him in an election leaflet. Additional claims were made in injurious falsehood and under the Data Protection Act.
Held: The claim in defamation failed. There were no special privileges in . .
CitedWright v Caan QBD 27-Jul-2011
The claimant sought damages in defamation and malicious falsehood and in respect of a conversation with a journalist and the defendant’s website. The defendant had made offers of support to her business venture in a television program. After she . .
CitedModi and Another v Clarke CA 29-Jul-2011
The claimants, organisers of the Indian Premier cricket League, met with organisations in England seeking to establish a similar league in the Northern Hemisphere. A copy of a note came to the defendant, chairman of the England and Wales Cricket . .
See AlsoGillick v Brook Advisory Centres QBD 2002
The claimant asserted that the defendant had defamed her in a leaflet. The defendant asked the court to determine that the pamphlet did not carry a defamatory meaning.
Held: Eady J formulated the principles applicable when determining meaning: . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation

Updated: 30 December 2021; Ref: scu.199362

Barron MP and Others v Collins MEP: QBD 29 Apr 2015

Trial of preliminary issues in for defamation. The claimants, MPs for Rotherham areas, said that a speech by the defendant to the UKIP conference and repeated on TV contained assertions defamatory of them.
Held: The words complained of bore three defamatory meanings about each of the claimants: (1) That they knew many of the details of the scandalous child sexual exploitation that took place in Rotherham over a period of sixteen years, in the course of which an estimated 1,400 children were raped, beaten, plied with alcohol and drugs, and threatened with violence by men of Asian origin, yet deliberately chose not to intervene but to allow the abuse to continue. I held this to be an allegation of fact. (2) That they acted in this way for motives of political correctness, political cowardice, or political selfishness. I held this to be an expression of opinion. (3) That each was thereby guilty of misconduct so grave that it was or should be criminal, as it aided and abetted the perpetrators and made the Claimants just as culpable as the perpetrators. This too I held to be an expression of opinion.

Warby J
[2015] EWHC 1125 (QB)
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
See AlsoBarron MP and Another v Vines QBD 29-Apr-2015
The court considered the damages to be awarded afer a libellous television broadcast on Sky TV. The claimants were MPs for Rotherham. There had been a large scale abuse of children, and they had been accused of not responding properly to it by the . .

Cited by:
See AlsoBarron and Others v Collins QBD 16-May-2016
The defendant MEP sought an order staying the defamation action brought against her by four MPs from the Rotherham area. She said that as an MEP she had a procedural immunity. She had informed the European Commission that she sought the protection . .
See AlsoBarron and Others v Collins MEP QBD 22-Dec-2016
The defendant MEP had had adjourned the claim against her for defamation, claiming that her actions has been as an MEP and therefore exempt from proceedings. The chair of the European Parliament Legal Affairs Committee had received and rejected her . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation

Updated: 29 December 2021; Ref: scu.546186

Serafin v Malkiewicz and Others: SC 3 Jun 2020

‘What order should flow from a conclusion that a trial was unfair? In logic the order has to be for a complete retrial. As Denning LJ said in Jones -v- National Coal Board [1957] 2 QB 55 . . ‘No cause is lost until the judge has found it so; and he cannot find it without a fair trial, nor can we affirm it’. Lord Reed PSC observed during the hearing that a judgment which results from an unfair trial is written in water. An appellate court cannot seize even on parts of it and erect legal conclusions upon them.’

Lord Wilson, Lord Reed, Lord Briggs, Lady Arden and Lord Kitchin
[2020] UKSC 23, [2020] 4 All ER 711, [2020] 1 WLR 2455, [2020] EMLR 24
Bailii, Bailii Summary
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedKhan, Regina v CACD 21-Oct-2021
The applicant having been discharged of offences under the 1988 Act, the Court nevertheless imposed an order on him in his absence under the 1997 Act prohibiting him from contacting the complainant for a period of 10 years. He sought to appeal from . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation

Updated: 29 December 2021; Ref: scu.651116

Soriano v Forensic News Llc and Others: CA 21 Dec 2021

Appeal and a cross-appeal against a decision of Jay J by which he granted the claimant permission to serve five media defendants in their jurisdictions of domicile in the United States of America with proceedings for libel and limited claims for misuse of private information, but refused permission to serve a variety of other claims advanced by the claimant. The defendants’ appeal challenges the grant of permission to serve the libel claim. It raises issues about s 9 of the Defamation Act 2013, which contains a new test for jurisdiction over libel claims against those domiciled abroad. The claimant’s cross-appeal challenges the refusal to allow service of claims in data protection and malicious falsehood. It raises issues about the territorial scope of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and requires us to consider whether the Judge was right to find that the claimant’s malicious falsehood claims are untenable.

Dame Victoria Sharp, President of the Queen’S Bench Division,
Lady Justice Elisabeth Laing,
And,
Lord Justice Warby
[2021] EWCA Civ 1952
Bailii, Judiciary
England and Wales
Citing:
Appeal FromSoriano v Forensic News Llc and Others QBD 15-Jan-2021
Claimant’s contested application to serve-out. . .
See AlsoSoriano v Forensic News Llc and Others QBD 13-Apr-2021
Claim in defamation and misuse of private information. . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation, Jurisdiction, Information

Updated: 29 December 2021; Ref: scu.670640

Cruddas v Calvert and Others: CA 17 Mar 2015

Jackson, Ryder, Christopher Clarke LJJ
[2015] EWCA Civ 171
Bailii
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedDhir v Saddler QBD 6-Dec-2017
Slander damages reduced for conduct
Claim in slander. The defendant was said, at a church meeting to have accused the client of threatening to slit her throat. The defendant argued that the audience of 80 was not large enough.
Held: ‘the authorities demonstrate that it is the . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation, Damages

Updated: 28 December 2021; Ref: scu.544333

The Bussey Law Firm Pc and Another v Page: QBD 6 Mar 2015

The claimant US law firm claimed in defamation after receiving an abusive review on an internet service maintained by Google. The defendant denied responsibility for the posting which had been made through his account, and said that had he been told earlier, the posting would have been removed immediately, reducing any possible damage. No reliance was placed on publication in England and Wales.
Held: The overwhelming likelihood was that the defendant was the poster. Damages were awarded: ‘The publication was calculated to cause serious harm to the Claimants and, in particular, to Mr Bussey’s personal reputation and to his legal practice. It is likely to have been read by a significant number of searchers and, in particular, by potential clients checking them out.’ Sir David Eady assessed damages for the law firm ‘conservatively, at andpound;25,000’.

Sir David Eady
[2015] EWHC 563 (QB)
Bailii
Cited by:
CitedBrett Wilson Llp v Person(s) Unknown, Responsible for The Operation and Publication of The Website www.solicitorsfromhelluk.com 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 . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation, Damages

Updated: 28 December 2021; Ref: scu.543932