Simpson v MGN Ltd and Another: QBD 27 Jan 2015

The court had struck out the defendant’s plea of justification. The parties now disputed the costs to be paid for that element of the action, the defendant arguing that the claimant had failed to comply with the requirements to comply with costs budgets.
Held: The court now gave its reasons for allowing the costs in part.
Warby J said: ‘i) A defendant does not have to prove the truth of every aspect of the words complained of. It is sufficient for the defence to prove the substantial truth of the defamatory sting of the words.
ii) The defence must however meet the whole defamatory sting. If the words contain a defamatory imputation of substance which is not covered by the plea of justification the defence cannot succeed.
iii) At the present stage, the question for the court is whether a trial judge could conclude that the pleaded case of justification, if established, proves the substantial truth of the words complained of.’


Warby J


[2015] EWHC 126 (QB), [2015] 1 Costs LR 139




England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedStocker v Stocker QBD 10-Jun-2015
The claimant alleged defamation by his former wife in a post on facebook. The posting and associatedeEmails were said falsely to have accused him of serious abuse, and that the accusations had undermined his relationship with his new partner.
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation, Costs

Updated: 24 October 2022; Ref: scu.541926