Flood v Times Newspapers Ltd and others: QBD 5 Mar 2009

The claimant police officer complained of an alleged defamation in an article published by the defendant. The defendant wished to obtain information from the IPCC to show that they were investigating the matter as a credible issue. The court considered applications relating to the disclosure of private materials given to the Independent Police Complaints Commission and the Metropolitan Police about a third party with reason to fear for his safety.
Held: The court identified issues which might define the need for disclosure to support a defence of justification, and heard representations on the documents sought. The defendant had not yet met the strict criteria requiring such disclosures in any of the categories sought. In relation to Part 31.17 applications, Eady J said: ‘In any event the court has a clear obligation to ensure, if necessary of its own motion, that this intrusive jurisdiction is not used inappropriately -even by consent. In exercising its responsibility the court may well be assisted by submissions made on behalf of any third party, the protection of whose interests require to be considered.’


Eady J


[2009] EMLR 18, [2009] EWHC 411 (QB)




Supreme Court Act 1981 34, Civil Procedure Rules 31.17


England and Wales


CitedLucas-Box v News Group Newspapers Ltd; Polly Peck (Holdings) Plc v Trelford, Viscount De L’Isle v Times Newspapers Ltd CA 1986
Justification To be Clearly Set Out
The former practice which dictated that a defendant who wished to rely on a different meaning in support of a plea of justification or fair comment, did not have to set out in his defence the meaning on which he based his plea, was ill-founded and . .
CitedFrankson and Others v Secretary of State for the Home Department; Johns v Same CA 8-May-2003
The claimants sought damages for injuries alleged to have been received at the hands of prison officers whilst in prison. They now sought disclosure by the police of statements made to the police during the course of their investigation.
Held: . .
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 . .
CitedThree Rivers District Council and Others, HM Treasury, v HM Treasury, The Governor and Company of the Bank of England (No 4) CA 7-Aug-2002
The claimants had suffered having lost deposits with the Bank of Credit and Commerce International. They claimed their losses from the respondents as regulators of the bank, for negligence and misfeasance in public office. The action was based upon . .
CitedWakefield v Outhwaite 1990
When seeking an order for a third party to disclose documents, the threshold condition cannot be circumvented by an order which puts upon the non-party the task of identifying those documents within a composite class which do, and those which do . .
CitedAmerican Home Products Corporation, Professor Roy Calne v Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Limited, Novartis Pharma AG CA 27-Jul-2000
The invention was a second medical use for a known drug rapamycin, which was found to have an immuno-suppressive effect. The court asked whether a claim to rapamycin should be construed to include derivatives.
Held: A person skilled in the art . .
CitedIn Re Howglen Ltd ChD 21-Apr-2000
Where a party applies for an order obliging a third party to discover all documents within a certain class of documents, the court must be satisfied that every document which might fall within the class also fell properly within the class of . .
CitedWoolgar v Chief Constable of Sussex Police and UKCC CA 26-May-1999
The issue was the potential disclosure by the police to the nurses’ regulatory body of confidential information concerning the plaintiff, the matron of a nursing home. There had been insufficient evidence to charge the plaintiff with a criminal . .
CitedTaylor and Others v Director of The Serious Fraud Office and Others HL 29-Oct-1998
The defendant had requested the Isle of Man authorities to investigate the part if any taken by the plaintiff in a major fraud. No charges were brought against the plaintiff, but the documents showing suspicion came to be disclosed in the later . .
CitedPanayiotou and Others v Sony Music Entertainment (UK) Ltd ChD 21-Jul-1993
The rules do not limit the inherent jurisdiction of the court to make requests to foreign courts to ensure the production of documents from abroad. There is no logical reason why the principles by reference to which the court determines whether, and . .
CitedMarcel v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis CA 1992
A writ of subpoena ad duces tecum had been issued requiring the production by the police for use in civil proceedings of documents seized during a criminal fraud investigation. The victim of the fraud needed them to pursue his own civil case.

Cited by:

See AlsoFlood 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 . .
See AlsoFlood 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. . .
CitedAndrew v News Group Newspapers Ltd and Commissioner of the Police for the Metropolis ChD 18-Mar-2011
The claimant sought unredacted disclosure of documents by the second defendant so that he could pursue an action against the first, who, he said, were thought to have intercepted his mobile phone messages, and where the second defendant had . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation, Litigation Practice

Updated: 23 July 2022; Ref: scu.320871