Stern v Piper and Others: CA 21 May 1996

The defendant newspaper said that allegations had been made against the plaintiff that he was not paying his debts. In their defence they pleaded justification and the fact that he was being sued for debt.
Held: A defamation was not to be justified in respect of extracts from affirmations in pending lawsuits. The court applied the rule that a repetition of a libel is as bad as the original to the situation where the defendant contended that it had simply made a statement that an allegation had been made.
Hirst LJ said: ‘I think it is significant that privilege only protects reports of proceedings taking place in open court, and that its foundation is that those proceedings took place in public, so that the public in general should have access to fair and accurate reports thereof: Webb v Times Publishing Co. Ltd. ‘
Simon Brown LJ said: ‘One can quite well understand, however, why the law of qualified privilege does not extend to the pre-trial reporting of allegations contained in court documents: it is one thing to report proceedings contemporaneously or even retrospectively – then both sides’ stories are being, or will have been, told in open court; quite another to be privileged to do so when perhaps (as here) only one side’s allegations are being related and at a time likely to be months or even years before the full picture will emerge in open court.’
Hirst LJ, Simon Brown LJ, Sir Ralph Gibson
Gazette 12-Jun-1996, Times 30-May-1996, [1997] QB 123, [1996] EWCA Civ 1291, [1996] 3 WLR 715, [1996] EMLR 413, [1996] 3 All ER 385
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedLewis v Daily Telegraph Ltd HL 1964
Ascertaining Meaning of Words for Defamation
The Daily Telegraph had published an article headed ‘Inquiry on Firm by City Police’ and the Daily Mail had published an article headed ‘Fraud Squad Probe Firm’. The plaintiffs claimed that those articles carried the meaning that they were guilty of . .
CitedDe Crespigny v Wellesley 9-Feb-1829
In an action for a libel, it is no plea, that the defendant had the libellous statement from another, and upon publication disclosed the author’s name. . .
CitedDe Crespigny v Wellesley 9-Feb-1829
In an action for a libel, it is no plea, that the defendant had the libellous statement from another, and upon publication disclosed the author’s name. . .
CitedMcPherson v Daniels 1829
Bayley J said: Upon the great point, viz. whether it is a good defence to an action for slander for a defendant to show he heard it from another, and at that time named the author, I am of the opinion that it is not’ and ‘the law will not permit a . .
CitedCadam v Beaverbrook Newspapers Ltd CA 1959
The defendants had published an article stating simply and solely that a writ had been issued against the four plaintiffs claiming damages for alleged conspiracy to defraud. They pleaded justification, based on the issue of the writ itself. The . .
CitedTruth (NZ) Ltd v Holloway PC 1960
The publication complained of related to the plaintiff Cabinet Minister (referred to in the article as Phil), in which it was stated that a man had seen one Judd, to whom an import licence had been issued, with the object of getting information from . .
CitedWaters v Sunday Pictorial Newspapers Ltd CA 1961
The defendants published an article describing the plaintiff estate agent as ‘a notorious dodgy operator of London slum properties’. The article quoted statements by Lord Goddard CJ 8 years before describing the plaintiff’s estate agency as ‘a . .
CitedChalmers v Payne 1835
Bane and Antidote Doctrine – Take them as One
The court considered the bane and antidote doctrine in defamation. B Alderson said: ‘But the question here is, whether the matter be slanderous or not, which is a question of the Jury; who are to take the whole together and say whether the result of . .
CitedWebb v Times Publishing Co Ltd 1960
The Times newspaper published a report of the criminal trial in Switzerland of a British subject. When sued in defamation they sought to rely upon the defence of fair reporting of judicial proceedings.
Held: A blanket protection for reporting . .
CitedUren v John Fairfax and Sons Pty Ltd 2-Jun-1966
(High Court of Australia) ‘It seems to us that, in a case where there is no qualified privilege to report or repeat the defamatory statements of others, the whole cohesion of the law of defamation would be destroyed, if it were permissible merely to . .
CitedLewis v Daily Telegraph Ltd HL 1964
Ascertaining Meaning of Words for Defamation
The Daily Telegraph had published an article headed ‘Inquiry on Firm by City Police’ and the Daily Mail had published an article headed ‘Fraud Squad Probe Firm’. The plaintiffs claimed that those articles carried the meaning that they were guilty of . .

Cited by:
CitedKing v Telegraph Group Ltd CA 18-May-2004
The defendant appealed against interim costs orders made in the claim against it for defamation.
Held: The general power of cost capping measures available to courts were available also in defamation proceedings. The claimant was being . .
CitedJameel and Another v Times Newspapers Limited CA 21-Jul-2004
The defendant had published a newspaper article linking the claimant to terrorist activity. The defendants argued that no full accusation was made, but only that the claimant was under investigation for such behaviour, and that the article had . .
CitedCuristan v Times Newspapers Ltd CA 30-Apr-2008
curistan_timesCA2008
The court considered the availability of qualified privilege for reporting of statements made in parliament and the actionable meaning of the article, which comprised in part those statements and in part other factual material representing the . .
CitedFlood v Times Newspapers Ltd QBD 2-Oct-2009
The defendant had published a story in its newspaper. At that time it attracted Reynolds qualified privilege. After the circumstances changed, the paper offered an updating item. That offer was rejected as inadequate.
Held: The qualified . .
CitedSuresh Bhagwani Raja Shah and Navin Bhagwanji Shah v Standard Chartered Bank CA 2-Apr-1998
The plaintiffs appealed against refusal of orders striking out the defences of justification to their libel action.
Held: The words complained of bore an accusation of money laundering. A plea of justification based upon a reasonable belief in . .
CitedChase v Newsgroup Newspapers Ltd CA 3-Dec-2002
The defendant appealed against a striking out of part of its defence to the claim of defamation, pleading justification.
Held: The Human Rights Convention had not itself changed the conditions for a plea of justification based upon reasonable . .
CitedFlood v Times Newspapers Ltd SC 21-Mar-2012
The defendant had published an article which was defamatory of the claimant police officer, saying that he was under investigation for alleged corruption. The inquiry later cleared him. The court was now asked whether the paper had Reynolds type . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 17 March 2021; Ref: scu.89544