Lyle-Samuel v Oldhams Ltd: 1919

The rule that in defamation proceedings, a newspaper defendant should not be obliged in interrogatories to disclose the name of an informant is so well established as to be beyond argument. ‘All I say is that this is an action of libel against the publishers of a newspaper, that it is well established that in the case of newspapers there is an exception to the rule requiring a defendant to disclose the source of his information where he pleads either privilege or fair comment.’


Bankes LJ, Scrutton LJ


[1920] 1 KB 135, [1918-19] All ER Rep 779


CitedAdam v Fisher 1914
There were two possible reasons why a newspaper might be treated differently from another organisation in defamation proceedings, in that discovery of the source of information will not be ordered. First, it might be expected that it was the purpose . .
CitedPlymouth Mutual Co-operative Soceiety and Industrial Society Ltd v Traders’ Publishing Organisation 1908
Interrogatories in defamation proceedings will not be allowed to request from a newspaper the source of the journalist’s information where there may be considerable public interest. . .

Cited by:

CitedBritish Steel Corporation v Granada Television Ltd HL 7-May-1980
The defendant had broadcast a TV programme using material confidential to the plaintiff, who now sought disclosure of the identity of the presumed thief.
Held: (Lord Salmon dissenting) The courts have never recognised a public interest right . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 13 May 2022; Ref: scu.193370