Saad Al-Fagih v HH Saudi Research and Marketing (UK) Ltd: QBD 28 Jul 2000

The court considered the factors which the court should take into account when carrying out the balancing process with regard to the defence of qualified privilege because of the public interest: ‘Some factors relate to the quality, status and importance of the material. Others relate to the conduct and decisions of the publisher or journalist concerned. The factors are to be considered objectively in the light of matters known to the publisher or journalist at the time. In so far as a journalist’s conduct and his decision to publish come under scrutiny, he or she should not be judged with the benefit of hindsight. The standards which will be expected of the journalist are no more than is required by responsible and ethical journalism. One of a journalist’s duties is to take reasonable care not to publish false information as the public interest is not served thereby. This may impose on the journalist a duty to verify information if such verification is feasible. In some cases, information may come to the journalist from a source which he reasonably considers to be of sufficient authority and reliability that he is entitled to rely upon its truth without verification. The weight to be accorded to each of the various factors will vary according to the circumstances of the case. If at the end of the balancing exercise, the court is in doubt, it will resolve the doubt in favour of publication.’


Smith J


Unreported, 28 July 2000

Cited by:

Appeal fromAl-Fagih v H H Saudi Research and Marketing (UK) Ltd CA 1-Nov-2001
The media’s right to freedom of expression, particularly in the field of political discussion ‘is of a higher order’ than ‘the right of an individual to his good reputation.’ The majority upheld an appeal against a trial judge’s ruling that the . .
CitedLoutchansky v Times Newspapers Limited (No 2) CA 12-Mar-2001
The defendants appealed against a refusal to allow them to amend their pleadings. They wished to include allegations as to matters which were unknown to the journalist at the time of publication.
Held: It is necessary for the defendants to . .
CitedPaddick v Associated Newspapers Ltd QBD 10-Dec-2003
The defendant sought disclosure of full statements used by the claimant . Extracts only had been supplied, and he said they contained private and confidential material.
Held: The application failed. The claimant had stated that the balance of . .
CitedRoberts and Another v Gable and others CA 12-Jul-2007
The claimants appealed a finding of qualified privilege in their claim of defamation by the defendant author and magazine which was said to have accused them of theft and threats of violence against other members of the BNP.
Held: The appeal . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 09 May 2022; Ref: scu.198167