Marrinan v Vibart: QBD 1963

The plaintiff sought to sue police officers who had prepared a report for the Director of Public Prosecutions and appeared as witnesses against him at his criminal trial.
Held: The claim failed. Salmon J considered the principle of the privilege given to those making witness statements to the police: ‘It has been well settled law for generations – certainly since Lord Mansfield’s time – that witnesses enjoy absolute immunity from actions brought against them in respect of any evidence they may give in a court of justice. This immunity exists for the benefit of the public, since the administration of justice would be greatly impeded if witnesses were to be in fear that any disgruntled or possibly impecunious persons against whom they gave evidence might subsequently involve them in costly litigation. ‘


Salmon J


[1963] 1 QB 234


England and Wales

Cited by:

Appeal fromMarrinan v Vibart CA 2-Jan-1963
Decision upheld (dicta approved) . .
CitedWestcott v Westcott QBD 30-Oct-2007
The claimant said that his daughter in law had defamed him. She answered that the publication was protected by absolute privilege. She had complained to the police that he had hit her and her infant son.
Held: ‘the process of taking a witness . .
CitedIqbal v Mansoor and Others QBD 26-Aug-2011
The claimant sought the disapplication of the limitation period in order to pursue the defendant solicitors, his former employers, in defamation. . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Torts – Other, Defamation

Updated: 01 July 2022; Ref: scu.267516