The claimant, having not accepted an offer to make amends, wanted to proceed to a jury trial. To be permitted to do so, he had to seek to establish that the defendants ‘knew or had reason to believe that the statement complained of . . was both false and defamatory of [him]’
Held: The appeal failed. The court analysed the statutory provenance of the sections in the 1996 Act. The words imported a concept of recklessness. The words ‘reason to believe’ in section 4(3) did not ‘apply to anything short of recklessness’. The main parliamentary intention of the offer of amends procedure was promoting machinery to enable defamation proceedings to be compromised at an early stage without the expense of a jury trial. The procedure provided for appropriate vindication and compensation of a claimant, because if compensation was not agreed it was determined by the court on the same principles as defamation proceedings.
May, Tuckey, Laws LJJ
 EWCA Civ 664,  EMLR 2,  1 WLR 772
Defamation Act 1996 4(3)
England and Wales
Cited – Horrocks v Lowe HL 1974
The plaintiff complained of an alleged slander spoken at a meeting of the Town Council.
Held: An allegation of malice is a very serious allegation and is generally tantamount to dishonesty. The House considered the circumstances under which a . .
Cited – Nail and Another v News Group Newspapers Ltd and others CA 20-Dec-2004
The claimant appealed the award of damages in his claim for defamation. The defendants had variously issued apologies. The claimant had not complained initially as to one publication.
Held: In defamation proceedings the damage to feelings is . .
Cited – Bunt v Tilley and others QBD 10-Mar-2006
The claimant sought damages in defamation in respect of statements made on internet bulletin boards. He pursued the operators of the bulletin boards, and the court now considered the liability of the Internet Service Providers whose systems had . .
Cited – Thornton v Telegraph Media Group Ltd QBD 26-Jul-2011
The claimant alleged defamation and malicious falsehood in an article published and written by the defendants. She complained that she was said to have fabricated an interview with the second defendant for her book. An interview of sorts had now . .
These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 13 January 2021; Ref: scu.197937