Moore v News of the World: CA 1972

An article was published which the plaintiff said left readers with the false apprehension that she had written it. She claimed under the statutory tort of false attribution.
Held: The judge was correct to direct the jury to make up their minds what the impression was to the reader. Confirming that a judge need not deal in detail with facts which were admitted by both parties when directing the jury in a defamation trial, ‘There were left out of the summing up, as out of every summing up which deserves the name, some of the things which one party, and probably both parties, would have liked put in; but there was no omission which could have led to a misunderstanding or injustice.’
Lord Denning MR set out section 5 of the 1952 Act and said: ‘That is a very complicated section, but it means that a Defendant is not to fail simply because he cannot prove every single thing in the libel to be true. If he proves the greater part of it to be true, theneven though there is a smaller part not proved, nevertheless the Defendant will win as long as the part not proved does not do the Plaintiff much more harm.’


Stephenson LJ, Lord Denning MR


[1972] 1 QB 441


Copyright Act 1956 843, Defamation Act 1952 5


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedBasham v Gregory and Little Brown and Co CA 2-Jul-1998
The defendant sought a retrial of his action for defamation.
Held: The judge’s directions on meaning as to the respective contentions was correct, and also the allocation of the burden of proof. Whilst the court had reservations about the . .
CitedAlan Kenneth McKenzie Clark v Associated Newspapers Ltd PatC 21-Jan-1998
The claimant was a member of Parliament and an author. The defendant published a column which was said to give the impression that the claimant had written it. It was a parody. The claim was in passing off.
Held: The first issue was whether a . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Litigation Practice, Torts – Other

Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.185253