The claimant musician alleged defamation, saying that the defendant had accused him of being a right wing racist. The defendant now applied to strike out the claim as an abuse of process because of the claimant’s delay.
Held: The application to strike out the claim failed. The reasons for delay were credible. The allegation was serious and had been widely distributed.
 EWHC 2738 (QB)
European Convention on Human Rights 10
Cited – Grovit and others v Doctor and others HL 24-Apr-1997
The plaintiff began a defamation action against seven defendants. Each had admitted publication but pleaded justification. The claims against the fourth to seventh defendants were dismissed by consent, and the third had gone into liquidation. The . .
Cited – Grovit and Another v Doctor and Others CA 28-Oct-1993
A delay in the prosecution of a libel case can be interpreted as an abuse of process. A claimant must pursue his case with vigour, and the court should be ready to resist the use of actions to gag defendants. The court asked whether the appellant’s . .
Cited – Birkett v James HL 1977
Exercise of Power to Strike Out
The court has an inherent power to strike out an action for want of prosecution, and the House set down the conditions for its exercise. The power is discretionary and exercisable only where (a) there has been inordinate and inexcusable delay and . .
Cited – Lait v Evening Standard Ltd CA 28-Jul-2011
The claimant alleged defamation by the defendant in an article regarding her expenses claims as an MP. She appealed against summary judgment in favour of the defence in their pleaded defence of honest comment.
Held: Laws LJ said: ‘The . .
Cited – John v MGN Ltd CA 12-Dec-1995
MGN appealed as to the level of damages awarded against it namely pounds 350,000 damages, comprising pounds 75,000 compensatory damages and pounds 275,000 exemplary damages. The newspaper contended that as a matter of principle there is no scope in . .
Cited – Dow Jones and Co Inc v Jameel CA 3-Feb-2005
Presumption of Damage in Defamation is rebuttable
The defendant complained that the presumption in English law that the victim of a libel had suffered damage was incompatible with his right to a fair trial. They said the statements complained of were repetitions of statements made by US . .
These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 17 March 2021; Ref: scu.447534