Seray-Wurie v The Charity Commission of England and Wales: QBD 23 Apr 2008

The defendant sought an order to strike out the claimant’s allegations of defamation and other torts. The defendants claimed qualified privilege in that the statements complained of were contained in a report prepared by it in fulfilment of its statutory duties.
Held: The action was struck out. It was clear that the publication was protected by qualified privilege at common law. Though, if the Reynolds criteria are satisfied in any particular case, there is no room left for considering whether the relevant defendant was malicious, at the same time an application for summary relief was less appropriate in a Reynolds type case. Had the claimant shown an arguable case for malice? ‘In order to survive, allegations of malice must go beyond that which is equivocal or merely neutral. There must be something from which a jury, ultimately, could rationally infer malice; in the sense that the relevant person was either dishonest in making the defamatory communication or had a dominant motive to injure the claimant. ‘ No such sufficient evidence had been produced.
‘It is accepted that the court should be wary of taking away an issue such as malice without its coming before a jury for deliberation. This step should only be taken where the court is satisfied that such a finding would be, in the light of the pleaded case and the evidence available, perverse.’
Eady J
[2008] EWHC 870 (QB)
Charities Act 1993
England and Wales
CitedReynolds 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 . .
CitedSeaga v Harper PC 30-Jan-2008
Public meeting gave no qualified privilege
(Jamaica) The appellant politician pleaded that his words about a senior policemen when spoken at a public meeting were protected from an action in slander by qualified privilege.
Held: The appeal failed. . .
CitedLillie and Reed v Newcastle City Council, Barker, Jones, Saradjian, Wardell QBD 30-Jul-2002
The applicants sought judicial review of a report prepared for the respondent. They had been accused of child abuse whilst working as nursery assistants.
Held: The report was fundamentally flawed, and almost deliberately designed to . .
CitedAlexander v Arts Council of Wales CA 9-Apr-2001
In a defamation action, where the judge considered that, taken at their highest, the allegations made by the claimant would be insufficient to establish the claim, he could grant summary judgment for the defence. If the judge considered that a . .
CitedKearns and Others v The General Council of the Bar CA 17-Mar-2003
The claimants had sought to recover from the General Council of the Bar damages for libel in a communication from the head of the Bar Council’s Professional Standards and Legal Services Department to all heads of chambers, their senior clerks and . .
CitedS v Newham London Borough Council CA 24-Feb-1998
A Local Authority which was relaying the facts underlying a list of people it felt were unsuitable to work with children to the minister has no immunity from a defamation action. . .
CitedSomerville v Hawkins 1851
It is necessary for a claimant who wishes to prove malice in an alleged defamation to plead and prove facts which are more consistent with its presence than with its absence. Mawle J said: ‘it is certainly not necessary in order to enable a . .
CitedTelnikoff v Matusevitch CA 1991
The court considered the element of malice in a defamation defence: ‘If a piece of evidence is equally consistent with malice and the absence of malice, it cannot as a matter of law provide evidence on which the jury could find malice. The judge . .
CitedTurner v Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Ltd (MGM) HL 1950
A letter was published which criticised a film critic’s review of the week’s films.
Held: A person (including a corporation) whose character or conduct has been attacked is entitled to answer the attack, and the answer will be protected by . .
CitedWenlock v Moloney CA 1965
The plaintiff alleged a conspiracy to deprive him of his shares and interest in a company. Each side filed affidavit evidence raising issues of fact. With no oral evidence or cross examination on the affidavits, the Master, after a four day hearing, . .
CitedThree Rivers District Council and Others v Governor and Company of The Bank of England HL 18-May-2000
The applicants alleged misfeasance against the Bank of England in respect of the regulation of a bank.
Held: The Bank could not be sued in negligence, but the tort of misfeasance required clear evidence of misdeeds. The action was now properly . .

Cited by:
Appeal fromSeray-Wurie v The Charity Commission of England and Wales CA 3-Feb-2009
The claimant appealed against the striking out of his claim for defamation in a reort prepared by the defendants criticising his actions as chairman of a CAB. The action had been struck out on the basis of qualified privilege, and the claimant’s . .
CitedHughes v Risbridger and Another QBD 9-Dec-2009
The defendants, employees of British Airways, sought summary judgement against the claimant in his claim for defamation in several emails. They had discussed the detention of the claimant under suspicion of theft at the airport, and claimed . .
CitedMakudi v Baron Triesman of Tottenham CA 26-Feb-2014
Appeal against strike out of claims for defamation and malicious falsehood. The defendant had given evidence to the Culture Media and Sport Select Committee of the House of Commons with material highly critical of the claimant, a member of FIFA’s . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 10 August 2021; Ref: scu.267065