(Trinidad and Tobago) A senior politician had accused an opponent of pseudo-racism. The defendant asserted that he had a defence under the constitution, allowing freedom of political speech.
Held: The appeal failed. The statements were defamatory statements of fact. Justification was not pleaded and a defence of privilege was not pursued. The damages were substantial but awarded by a court which knew the significance of the words, and the local context.
Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead, Lord Hoffmann, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe, Baroness Hale of Richmond
 UKPC 36
Cited – Tse Wai Chun Paul v Albert Cheng 13-Nov-2000
(Court of Final Appeal of Hong Kong) For the purposes of the defence to defamation of fair comment: ‘The comment must explicitly or implicitly indicate, at least in general terms, what are the facts on which the comment is being made. The reader or . .
Cited – Branson v Bower (No 1) CA 24-May-2001
The test of whether comment was fair comment is simply that of whether the opinion was honestly expressed, and on the basis of facts accurately stated. There is no special rule for imputations of corruption or dishonest motives. Nor is there any . .
Cited – Matthew vThe State PC 7-Jul-2004
(Trinidad and Tobago) The court questioned the constitutionality of the mandatory death penalty in Trinidad.
Held: The constitution of Trinidad, when implemented, forbade cruel and unusual punishment, but also preserved existing penalties. The . .
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 – Lange v Atkinson 21-Jun-2000
(Court of Appeal of New Zealand) The court rejected a test of reasonableness before accepting a defence to defamation associated with the political nature of the speech. . .
Cited – Reynolds v Times Newspapers Ltd and others HL 28-Oct-1999
Fair Coment on Political Activities
The defendant newspaper had published articles wrongly accusing the claimant, the former Prime Minister of Ireland of duplicity. The paper now appealed, saying that it should have had available to it a defence of qualified privilege because of the . .
Cited – Lange v Australian Broadcasting Corporation 8-Jul-1997
(High Court of Australia) The court propounded a test of reasonableness of conduct in respect of the publication of political information. Generally publication will not be reasonable unless the maker of the statement had reasonable grounds for . .
Cited – Morris Manning and the Church of Scientology of Toronto v S Casey Hill and The Attorney General for Ontario and others 20-Jul-1995
(Supreme Court of Canada) The publication of defamatory statements ‘constitutes an invasion of the individual’s personal privacy and is an affront to that person’s dignity’. . .
Cited – Botiuk v Toronto Free Press Publications Ltd 21-Sep-1995
(Supreme Court of Canada) Defamation was alleged against lawyers writing on behalf of their clients.
Held: The defendant lawyers were ‘duty-bound’ to undertake a reasonable investigation into the correctness of the document they were signing . .
These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 25 January 2021; Ref: scu.230968