Prager v Times Newspapers Ltd: CA 1988

The plaintiff claimed in libel, alleging certain meanings. The defendant sought to plead in justification to support certain defamatory meanings, but not those alleged.
Held: Where the words used were capable of being read by the judge to imply the meanings supported by the proposed defence, the defendant could advance that defence even though the plaintiff had not raised them. However, a defendant pleading such a justification must plead the exact meaning, and the facts which support it. The defence as filed was deficient, but could be corrected by appropriate amendment.
Furthermore, it is not open to a defendant to plead specific facts in partial justification of a libel with the sole purpose of mitigating damages.


Purchas LJ


[1988] 1 WLR 77, [1988] 1 All ER 300


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedBranson v Snowden; Branson v Gtech UK Corporation (a Body Corporate) and Rendine CA 3-Jul-1997
The respective parties had been preparing competing bids for the National Lottery. One (Branson) alleged that the other had offerered a bribe. The other responded that the allegation was a lie, and each sued the other for defamation.
Held: The . .
CitedMcDonalds Corp and Another v Steel and Another CA 25-Mar-1994
The plaintiff company had sued the defendants in defamation with regard to a leaflet publishd and distributed by them. The defendants argued justification. The defendants appealed against an order striking out parts of their defence, saying that the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 29 April 2022; Ref: scu.185961