Hamilton v Al Fayed: CA 26 Mar 1999

A member of Parliament was able to proceed with an action for defamation in respect of matters of which he had been criticised by the appropriate committee in Parliament. The trial would not impeach Parliament though retrying the issues. Lord Woolf MR said: ‘the vice to which Article 9 is directed (so far as the courts are concerned) is the inhibition of freedom of speech and debate in Parliament that might flow from any condemnation by the Queen’s Courts, being themselves an arm of government, of anything there said.’


Lord Woolf MR, Hirst, Laws LJJ


Times 30-Mar-1999, Gazette 12-May-1999, [1999] EWCA Civ 1111, [1999] 1 WLR 1569, [1999] EMLR 501




European Convention on Human Rights 8


England and Wales


See AlsoHamilton v Al Fayed CA 24-Nov-1998
The defendant had made allegations of misconduct against the plaintiff as to his actions as an MP. The plaintiff now sought by this action, in effect, to overturn the results of the resultant parliamentary inquiry. . .

Cited by:

CitedBradley and Others, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Admn 21-Feb-2007
The claimant had lost his company pension and complained that the respondent had refused to follow the recommendation of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration that compensation should be paid.
Held: The court should not rely on . .
Appeal fromHamilton 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 . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Constitutional, Defamation, Human Rights

Updated: 05 December 2022; Ref: scu.146026