Marrinan v Vibert: CA 2 Jan 1963

A tortious conspiracy was alleged in the conduct of a civil action. The plaintiff appealed against rejection of his claim.
Held: The appeal failed as an attempt to circumvent the immunity of a wirness in defamation by framing a claim in conspiracy. Sellers LJ considered whether a complaint was privileged: ‘Whatever form of action is sought to be derived from what was said or done in the course of judicial proceedings must suffer the same fate of being barred by the rule which protects witnesses in their evidence given before the court and in the preparation of the evidence which is to be so given.’
Sellers LJ said: ‘It has been sought in this case to draw a difference between the action of libel and slander, the action of defamation, and that which is set up in this case, one of conspiracy. I can see no difference in the principles of the matter at all. Whatever form of action is sought to be derived from what was said or done in the course of judicial proceedings must suffer the same fate of being barred by the rule which protects witnesses in their evidence before the court and in the preparation of the evidence which is to be so given.’

Judges:

Sellers LJ

Citations:

[1963] 1 QB 528

Citing:

Appeal fromMarrinan v Vibert QBD 1963
The plaintiff brought an action claiming damages for conspiracy against two police officers alleging they had conspired together to make false statements defamatory of him as a barrister.
Held: The claim was struck out. Even a conspiracy to . .
ApprovedCabassi v Vila 12-Dec-1940
High Court of Australia – The claim sought to sidestep the rule giving immuity to witnesses before a court by alleging a conspiracy to give false evidence.
Held: Starke J said: ‘But it does not matter whether the action is framed as an action . .

Cited by:

CitedWestcott v Westcott CA 15-Jul-2008
The defendant was the claimant’s daughter in law. In the course of a bitter divorce she made allegations to the police which were investigated but did not lead to a prosecution. The claimant appealed dismissal of his claim for defamation on the . .
CitedSilcott v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis CA 24-May-1996
The claimant had been convicted of the murder of PC Blakelock. The only substantial evidence was in the form of the notes of interview he said were fabricated by senior officers. His eventual appeal on this basis was not resisted. He now appealed . .
CitedSingh v Moorlands Primary School and Another CA 25-Jul-2013
The claimant was a non-white head teacher, alleging that her school governors and local authority had undermined and had ‘deliberately endorsed a targeted campaign of discrimination, bullying, harassment and victimisation’ against her as an Asian . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Torts – Other, Defamation

Updated: 18 May 2022; Ref: scu.270827