O’Dwyer v ITV Plc: QBD 30 Nov 2012

The defendant sought to have struck out the claim for defamation based on the defendant’s ‘Homes from Hell’ TV programme.
Held: The pleaded meanings failed, and an application to amend the particulars was refused. The action was struck out.
In the course of the case, the claimant a litigant in person had suggested a duty on the to provide assistance. Tugendhat J said: ‘It is not uncommon for self represented litigants to invite the court to act as a source of guidance. The court is under an obligation to do justice, and so, where a litigant is without representation, the court will be bound to look for points in the litigant’s favour which the court would not have to look for if the litigant was represented. But the English legal system is adversarial. The court employs no legally qualified staff to assist the judge. Not only is the court without any means to provide such assistance, the court is also obliged to be impartial. A litigant who explicitly seeks the guidance of the court in the way that Mr O’Dwyer does is seeking what he may suppose to be free legal advice. But he is seeking it from a source which is unable to provide it, and it is certainly not free.’ He went on to point out the very considerable counterbalancing risks to defendants in such cases of being unable to recover their substantial costs.
Tugendhat J
[2012] EWHC 3321 (QB)
CitedJameel, Abdul Latif Jameel Company Limited v The Wall Street Journal Europe Sprl (No 1) CA 26-Nov-2003
The court considered the levels of meaning in an article falsely connecting the claimant with terrorist activity: ‘Once it is recognised that the article may be asserting no more than that in one way or another the respondents may unwittingly have . .
CitedTurcu v News Group Newspapers Ltd QBD 4-May-2005
Chilling effect of defamation costs structures
Eady J said: ‘The claimant in these proceedings is seeking damages against News Group Newspapers Ltd, as publishers of The News of the World, in respect of articles appearing in the editions of that newspaper dated 3 November 2002 . . He issued his . .
CitedCampbell v MGN Ltd (No 2) HL 20-Oct-2005
The appellant sought to challenge the level of costs sought by the claimant after she had succeeded in her appeal to the House. Though a relatively small sum had been awarded, the costs and success fee were very substantial. The newspaper claimed . .
CitedAl Amoudi v Brisard and Another QBD 12-May-2006
In the context of allegations of Internet publication there is no presumption that the words published were actually read, and no presumption that a reader who has read one article on a blog will have read all the other articles. The burden is on . .
CitedAsh and Another v McKennitt and others CA 14-Dec-2006
The claimant was a celebrated Canadian folk musician. The defendant, a former friend, published a story of their close friendship. The claimant said the relationship had been private, and publication infringed her privacy rights, and she obtained an . .
CitedJeynes v News Magazines Ltd and Another CA 31-Jan-2008
Whether Statement defamatory at common law
The claimant appealed against a striking out of her claim for defamation on finding that the words did not have the defamatory meaning complained of, namely that she was transgendered or transsexual.
Held: The appeal failed.
Sir Anthony . .

Cited by:
CitedCaborn-Waterfield v Gold and Others QBD 11-Mar-2013
The defendants requested a preliminary ruling that the words complained of in the claimant’s action were not capable of bearing a defamatory meaning.
Held: Some of the pleaded meanings were not supported, but others were clearly defamatory, . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 23 April 2021; Ref: scu.466439