McDonald Corporation v Steel: CA 1995

A defendant may not put on the record a plea of justification unless he believes it to be true: ‘It is true that a pleader must not put a plea of justification (or indeed a plea of fraud) on the record lightly or without careful consideration of the evidence available or likely to become available. But, as counsel for the plaintiffs recognised in the course of the argument, there will be cases where, provided a plea of justification is properly particularised, a defendant will be entitled to seek support for his case from documents revealed in the course of discovery or from answers to interrogatories.’ and ‘It will be seen from the wording of r 19(2) that, by necessary implication, evidence is admissible on an application to strike out a pleading on the ground that it is an abuse of the process of the court. Evidence is likewise admissible on an application under the court’s inherent jurisdiction. It follows therefore that there can be no objection in principle to an application being made to the court on the basis that a statement of claim or a defence should be struck out as an abuse of process because, as disclosed in the affidavits filed in support of the application, the claim or defence is incapable of proof.’
Neill LJ
[1995] EMLR 527, [1995] 3 All ER 615
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedAdelson and Another v Associated Newspapers QBD 19-Feb-2008
Complaint was made that an article was defamatory of the owner of Manchester United. The defendant now argued that the game was not worth the candle. The costs vastly exceeded any possible recovery, and it had openly offered vindication, and that . .

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Updated: 02 June 2021; Ref: scu.278224