Fallon v MGN Ltd: QBD 10 Apr 2006

The claimant sought damages in defamation.
Held: Questions as to what inferences can be drawn from betting patterns when assessing a jockey’s motives are not within the expertise of a racing-riding expert witness.

Judges:

Eady J

Citations:

[2006] EWHC 783 (QB), [2006] EMLR 19

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

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 . .

Cited by:

CitedMcKeown v British Horseracing Authority QBD 12-Mar-2010
The jockey claimant challenged disciplinary proceedings brought against him by the defendant authority.
Held: The findings were upheld in part but remitted for consideration of giving the claimant opportunity to challenge certain evidence. . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation, Evidence

Updated: 21 May 2022; Ref: scu.240425

Hartt v Newspaper Publishing PLC: CA 26 Oct 1989

The possible variety of meanings of the words complained of in a defamation action is already factored into the single meaning rule. Neill LJ said: ‘The court should give to the material complained of the natural and ordinary meaning which it would have conveyed to the ordinary reasonable viewer watching the programme once in 1985 . . The hypothetical reasonable reader . . is not naive but he is not unduly suspicious. He can read between the lines. He can read an implication more readily than a lawyer, and may indulge in a certain amount of loose thinking. But he must be treated as being a man who is not avid for scandal and someone who does not, and should not, select one bad meaning where other non-defamatory meanings are available.’

Judges:

Neill LJ

Citations:

Transcript No. 1015, Unreported, 26 October 1989

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedSkuse v Granada Television CA 30-Mar-1993
The claimant complained that the defendant had said in a television programme that he had failed to act properly when presenting his expert forensic evidence in court in the trial of the Birmingham Six.
Held: The court should give to the . .
CitedArmstrong v Times Newspapers Ltd QBD 30-Jun-2006
The claimant, a professional cyclist, sought damages in defamation, saying that the defendant newspaper had implied that he had taken performance enhancing drugs. The case was to be heard by judge alone. The court considered how to deal with the . .
CitedSkuse v Granada Television CA 30-Mar-1993
The claimant complained that the defendant had said in a television programme that he had failed to act properly when presenting his expert forensic evidence in court in the trial of the Birmingham Six.
Held: The court should give to the . .
CitedAjinomoto Sweeteners Europe Sas v Asda Stores Ltd CA 2-Jun-2010
The claimant sold a sweetener ingredient. The defendant shop advertised its own health foods range with the label ‘no hidden nasties’ and in a situation which, the claimant said, suggested that its ingredient was a ‘nasty’, and it claimed under . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation

Updated: 20 May 2022; Ref: scu.244198

Lonhro Plc and Others v Fayed and Others (No 5): CA 6 Oct 1993

The plaintiff sought to amend a conspiracy claim, based on arrangements to publish defamatory statements, by adding a claim for damage to reputation and feelings.
Held: Such a claim could not be made in conspiracy. A Plaintiff’s motives in commencing proceedings, as to whether they constituted an abuse of process, are only assessable by the judge at trial, and not on an interlocutory application. The action was re-instated. ‘[N]o one has a right to a reputation which is unmerited. Accordingly one can only suffer an injury to reputation if what is said is false. In defamation the falsity of the libel or slander is presumed; but justification is a complete defence.’
Dillon LJ said: ‘In my judgment, if the plaintiffs want to claim damages for injury to reputation or injury to feelings, they must do so in an action for defamation, not in this very different form of action. Injury to reputation and to feelings is, with very limited exceptions, a field of its own and the established principles in that field are not to be side-stepped by alleging a different cause of action. Justification, truth, is an absolute defence to an action for defamation and it would, in my judgment, be lamentable if a plaintiff could recover damages against defendants who had combined to tell the truth about the plaintiff and so had destroyed his unwarranted reputation. But that would be the consequence if damages for injury to reputation and injury to feelings could be claimed in a ‘lawful means’ conspiracy action. To tell the truth would be wrongful. I see no difference in this regard between general reputation and commercial or business reputation.’

Judges:

Stuart-Smith, Dillon LJ

Citations:

Gazette 06-Oct-1993, Gazette 29-Sep-1993, [1993] 1 WLR 1489

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

CitedFoaminol Laboratories Ltd v British Artide Plastics Ltd 1941
There is no justification for artificially excising from the damages recoverable for breach of contract that part of the financial loss which might or might not be the subject of a successful claim in defamation. A claim for mere loss of reputation . .

Cited by:

CitedGreene v Associated Newspapers Ltd CA 5-Nov-2004
The claimant appealed against refusal of an order restraining publication by the respondent of an article about her. She said that it was based upon an email falsely attributed to her.
Held: ‘in an action for defamation a court will not impose . .
CitedAshley and Another v Sussex Police CA 27-Jul-2006
The deceased was shot by police officers raiding his flat in 1998. The claimants sought damages for his estate. They had succeeded in claiming damages for false imprisonment, but now appealed dismissal of their claim for damages for assault and . .
CitedHannon and Another v News Group Newspapers Ltd and Another ChD 16-May-2014
The claimants alleged infringement of their privacy, saying that the defendant newspaper had purchased private information from police officers emplyed by the second defendant, and published them. The defendants now applied for the claims to be . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Litigation Practice, Defamation, Torts – Other

Updated: 19 May 2022; Ref: scu.83189

Hamilton v Al-Fayed and Others (No 3): QBD 13 Jul 2001

Where a person funded another’s court action as an act of charity, it should be exceptional to order that third party to contribute to the costs of the successful opponent. Nevertheless there could be no absolute rule against such orders. There is a clear distinction between those who act in this way as pure funders, and those who funded litigation from some contractual obligation. Another relevant consideration was whether the funder had information to suggest that the claimant had a reasonable prospect of success, or whether he acted as some quixotic philanthropist.

Judges:

The Hon Mr Justice Morland

Citations:

Times 25-Jul-2001, [2001] EWHC QB 389

Links:

Bailii

Statutes:

Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 4(1)

Costs, Defamation, Litigation Practice

Updated: 19 May 2022; Ref: scu.81197

Fraser v Mirza: HL 29 Mar 1993

A complaint made against a police officer may be libellous if it was made with an improper motive: ‘The motive with which a person made a defamatory communication can only be ascertained from an examination of his state of mind at the time he made it, which, as Lord Diplock said, can only be inferred from what he did or said or knew . . In the circumstances I am of the opinion that the respondent’s intentions in respect of what he was trying to convey by the letter are properly to be taken into account for the purpose of ascertaining what was the dominant motive operating on his mind at the time he wrote it . . Absent of belief in the truth of a defamatory allegation actually conveyed is, as Lord Diplock said [in Horrocks v Lowe], usually conclusive evidence of improper motive amounting to express malice. There is no valid reason for not holding that the same inference is necessarily to be drawn where the maker of the communication is proved to have intended by it to convey a defamatory allegation in the truth of which he did not believe, but which on a proper construction of the communication it is found not to bear.’

Judges:

Lord Keith of Kinkel

Citations:

Ind Summary 29-Mar-1993, [1993] SC (HL) 27, [1993] UKHL 14, 1993 SLT 527

Links:

Bailii

Citing:

CitedHorrocks v Lowe HL 1974
The plaintiff complained of an alleged slander spoken at a meeting of the Town Council. The council meeting was an occasion attracting qualified privilege. The judge at trial found that the councillor honestly believed that what he had said in the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation, Police, Scotland

Updated: 19 May 2022; Ref: scu.80667

Case VII 5 Jac Cr 162, Dame Morison’s Case Slander, Report: 1220

That Arscott reported that he had the use of the plaintiff’s body; whereas Arscott never said so, nor ever had; by which words she lost her marriage with one A. then suitor to her, who desisted by reason of this slander. Judged actionabie, affirmed in error.

Citations:

[1220] EngR 572, (1220-1623) Jenk 316, (1220) 145 ER 230 (C)

Links:

Commonlii

Defamation

Updated: 18 May 2022; Ref: scu.461484

CASE LXXX Tr 28 El Mercer’s Case Slanders, Implication, Intendment: 1220

An action on the case was brought for scandalous words, and the word malitiose was wanting in the declaratiori : yet adjudged good and affirmed in error. For since they are scandalous they are eo ipso malicious.

Citations:

[1220] EngR 792, (1220-1623) Jenk 268, (1220) 145 ER 192 (C)

Links:

Commonlii

Defamation

Updated: 18 May 2022; Ref: scu.461704

Stopforth v Goyer: 1978

(High Court of Ontario) A claim was made for defamation in remarks made by the defendant about the plaintiff to media representative who were present in parliament, just after he left the Ottawa chamber at the conclusion of the question period. The plaintiff had been a senior member of a team having conduct of the delivery of weapons systems to the government. The defendant had been the relevant minister. It was accepted that the defendant was taken to assume that his acceptedly defamatory words would be repulished by the media. The defendant claimed qualified privilege.
Held: The defence was not made out. There was no duty falling on him at the time to utter the words he did, and nor was there a reciprocal duty in the press to receive the statement.

Judges:

Lief J

Citations:

(1978) 87 DLR (3d) 373, (1978) 4 CCLT 265

Cited by:

CitedChaytor and Others, Regina v SC 1-Dec-2010
The defendants faced trial on charges of false accounting in connection in different ways with their expenses claims whilst serving as members of the House of Commons. They appealed against rejection of their assertion that the court had no . .
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.

Commonwealth, Constitutional, Defamation, Media

Updated: 18 May 2022; Ref: scu.427747

Brittridge’s Case: 1602

Mr. B. is a perjured old knave, arid that is to be proved by a stake parting the land of H Martin and Mr Wright,’ held not actionable, for the subsequent words qualify the first words so as to make them not actionable.
Adjective words are actioaable, if they import an act done : secus, if they import an inclination only. So words spoken adjectively are actionabIe, if they slander one in his office or trade, andc. ; as to say of a Judge, he is corrupt ; – of a clergyman, he has made a seditious sermon ; or of a merchant, he is a bankrupt knave, andc
Words prima facie imputing a felony are not actionable, if explained by subsequent words,

Citations:

[1602] EngR 6, (1602) 4 Co Rep 18, (1602) 76 ER 905

Links:

Commonlii

defamation

Updated: 18 May 2022; Ref: scu.424424

Stuart v Bell: CA 1891

Lindley LJ suggested that a moral or social duty meant ‘a duty recognised by English people of ordinary intelligence and moral principle, but at the same time not a duty enforceable by legal proceedings, whether civil or criminal’.
The defendant’s belief that he had an interest or duty in making the statement or communicating the information is irrelevant to the question whether the occasion is privileged.

Judges:

Lindley LJ

Citations:

[1891] 2 QB 341, (1891) 7 TLR 502

Cited by:

CitedClift v Slough Borough Council and Another QBD 6-Jul-2009
The claimant sought damages for defamation. The council had decided that she had threatened a member of staff and notified various people, and entered her name on a violent persons register. She alleged malice, the council pleaded justification and . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation

Updated: 18 May 2022; Ref: scu.347446

Chalmers v Shackell And Others: 4 Jul 1834

In an action for libel, to support a plea of justification stating that the plaintiff had forged and uttered, knowing it to be forged, a certain bill of exchange, to justify a verdict for the defendant, the same evidence must be given as would be necessary to convict the plaintiff If he were on trial for those offences ; but if the evidence falls short of satisfying the jury that the strict legal offence was committed, they may take the facts proved into their consideration in estimating the damages. If the declaration in case for a libel state, inter alia, that at a certain place certain meetings for the promotion of seclition and blasphemy had been held, and that the deferidant published of and concerning the plaintiff, and of and concerning the other matters, and of and concerning the said meetings, a libel charging him among other things with having taken the chair at the said place, but not saying anything of the character of the meetirigs there, it will not be ground of nonsuit should the plaintiff at the trial fail to prove that the meetings were such as he described in his inducement.

Citations:

[1834] EngR 898, (1834) 6 Car and P 475, (1834) 172 ER 1326

Links:

Commonlii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedTurner v News Group Newspapers Ltd and Another CA 16-May-2006
Application to determine compensation for admitted defamation.
Keene LJ considered both Pamplin and Burstein as bases for reliance upon other ‘misconduct’ of a claimant to reduce damages: ‘it needs to be borne in mind that the principle of . .
CitedDhir v Saddler QBD 6-Dec-2017
Slander damages reduced for conduct
Claim in slander. The defendant was said, at a church meeting to have accused the client of threatening to slit her throat. The defendant argued that the audience of 80 was not large enough.
Held: ‘the authorities demonstrate that it is the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation

Updated: 18 May 2022; Ref: scu.317574

Marrinan v Vibert: CA 2 Jan 1963

A tortious conspiracy was alleged in the conduct of a civil action. The plaintiff appealed against rejection of his claim.
Held: The appeal failed as an attempt to circumvent the immunity of a wirness in defamation by framing a claim in conspiracy. Sellers LJ considered whether a complaint was privileged: ‘Whatever form of action is sought to be derived from what was said or done in the course of judicial proceedings must suffer the same fate of being barred by the rule which protects witnesses in their evidence given before the court and in the preparation of the evidence which is to be so given.’
Sellers LJ said: ‘It has been sought in this case to draw a difference between the action of libel and slander, the action of defamation, and that which is set up in this case, one of conspiracy. I can see no difference in the principles of the matter at all. Whatever form of action is sought to be derived from what was said or done in the course of judicial proceedings must suffer the same fate of being barred by the rule which protects witnesses in their evidence before the court and in the preparation of the evidence which is to be so given.’

Judges:

Sellers LJ

Citations:

[1963] 1 QB 528

Citing:

Appeal fromMarrinan v Vibert QBD 1963
The plaintiff brought an action claiming damages for conspiracy against two police officers alleging they had conspired together to make false statements defamatory of him as a barrister.
Held: The claim was struck out. Even a conspiracy to . .
ApprovedCabassi v Vila 12-Dec-1940
High Court of Australia – The claim sought to sidestep the rule giving immuity to witnesses before a court by alleging a conspiracy to give false evidence.
Held: Starke J said: ‘But it does not matter whether the action is framed as an action . .

Cited by:

CitedWestcott v Westcott CA 15-Jul-2008
The defendant was the claimant’s daughter in law. In the course of a bitter divorce she made allegations to the police which were investigated but did not lead to a prosecution. The claimant appealed dismissal of his claim for defamation on the . .
CitedSilcott v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis CA 24-May-1996
The claimant had been convicted of the murder of PC Blakelock. The only substantial evidence was in the form of the notes of interview he said were fabricated by senior officers. His eventual appeal on this basis was not resisted. He now appealed . .
CitedSingh v Moorlands Primary School and Another CA 25-Jul-2013
The claimant was a non-white head teacher, alleging that her school governors and local authority had undermined and had ‘deliberately endorsed a targeted campaign of discrimination, bullying, harassment and victimisation’ against her as an Asian . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Torts – Other, Defamation

Updated: 18 May 2022; Ref: scu.270827

D and L Caterers Ltd v D’Ajou: 1945

Damages in favour of a corporate body in defamation cases are limited to financial damage.

Citations:

[1945] KB 364

Cited by:

CitedAdelson and Another v Associated Newspapers Ltd QBD 19-Dec-2007
Applications were launched with in defamation proceedings to seek to recover damages for parties who had not previously been part of the proceedings.
Held: The amendments were refused. The new claimants were now out of time, and it was clear . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation, Damages

Updated: 17 May 2022; Ref: scu.263552

Joynt v Cycle Trade Publishing Co: 1904

Kennedy J: ‘To sum it up, no doubt very imperfectly, it represents to my mind this – that the comment must be such that a fair mind would use under the circumstances, and it must not misstate facts, because a comment cannot be fair which is built upon facts which are not truly stated, and further, it must not convey imputations of an evil sort, except so far as the facts truly stated warrant the imputation’.

Judges:

Kennedy J

Citations:

[1904] 2KB 292

Citing:

CitedCampbell v Spottiswoode 1863
The plaintiff, a dissenting Protestant minister, sought to advance Christianity in China by promoting a newspaper with letters emphasising its importance. The defendant attacked him in a rival newspaper, saying his motive was not to take the gospel . .

Cited by:

CitedLowe v Associated Newspapers Ltd QBD 28-Feb-2006
The defendant sought to defend the claim for defamation by claiming fair comment. The claimant said that the relevant facts were not known to the defendant at the time of the publication.
Held: To claim facts in aid of a defence of fair . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation

Updated: 17 May 2022; Ref: scu.240316

Herbage v Times Newspapers Ltd: CA 30 Apr 1981

The principles in American Cyanamid did not affect the rule in Bonnard v Perryman. Sir Denys Buckley saiod: ‘the question what meaning the words complained of bore was primarily one for the jury. Suppose the words bore the second meaning alleged and an injunction were granted restraining further publication, if application were made to commit the defendants for contempt of court for breach of that injunction, the judge hearing the application would have to form a view as to whether there had been a breach of the injunction and decide whether the words used implied that Mr Herbage had been made bankrupt and discharged without paying his debts in full. It could not be right in a defamation action to grant an action of that kind. There were special circumstances in defamation actions.’

Judges:

Lord Denning MR, Sir Denys Buckley

Citations:

Times 30-Apr-1981

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

CitedBonnard v Perryman CA 2-Jan-1891
Although the courts possessed a jurisdiction, ‘in all but exceptional cases’, they should not issue an interlocutory injunction to restrain the publication of a libel which the defence sought to justify except where it was clear that that defence . .
CitedAmerican Cyanamid Co v Ethicon Ltd HL 5-Feb-1975
Interim Injunctions in Patents Cases
The plaintiffs brought proceedings for infringement of their patent. The proceedings were defended. The plaintiffs obtained an interim injunction to prevent the defendants infringing their patent, but they now appealed its discharge by the Court of . .

Cited by:

CitedGreene v Associated Newspapers Ltd CA 5-Nov-2004
The claimant appealed against refusal of an order restraining publication by the respondent of an article about her. She said that it was based upon an email falsely attributed to her.
Held: ‘in an action for defamation a court will not impose . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation

Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.219255

Broadway Approvals Ltd v Odhams Press Ltd (No 2): CA 1965

A company’s mind is not to be assessed on the totality of knowledge of its employees. Malice was not to be established by forensic imagination however eloquently and subtly expressed.
Russell LJ said: ‘the law of libel seems to have characteristics of such complication and subtlety that I wonder whether a jury on retiring can readily distinguish their heads from their heels.’

Judges:

Sellers, Davies and Russell L.JJ

Citations:

[1965] 1 WLR 805

Citing:

AppliedRookes v Barnard (No 1) HL 21-Jan-1964
The court set down the conditions for the award of exemplary damages. There are two categories. The first is where there has been oppressive or arbitrary conduct by a defendant. Cases in the second category are those in which the defendant’s conduct . .

Cited by:

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 . .
CitedCassell and Co Ltd v Broome and Another HL 23-Feb-1972
Exemplary Damages Award in Defamation
The plaintiff had been awarded damages for defamation. The defendants pleaded justification. Before the trial the plaintiff gave notice that he wanted additional, exemplary, damages. The trial judge said that such a claim had to have been pleaded. . .
CitedTelnikoff v Matusevitch HL 14-Nov-1991
The court should decide on whether an article is ‘fact or comment’ purely by reference to the article itself, and not taking into account any of the earlier background coverage. It is the obligation of the relevant commentator to make clear that the . .
CitedBray v Deutsche Bank Ag QBD 12-Jun-2008
A former employee of the defendant bank sued in defamation after the bank published a press release about its results which he said was critical of him.
Held: Where there is a real issue as to whether the words are defamatory of the claimant, . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation, Damages, Company

Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.194318

X Ltd and Y Ltd v United Kingdom: ECHR 1982

The Commission considered the common law offence of blasphemous libel as an offence defined under common law rather than statute law.
Held: ‘The Commission considers that the same principles also apply to the interpretation and application of the common law. Whilst this branch of the law presents certain particularities for the very reason that it is by definition law developed by the courts, it is nevertheless subject to the rule that the law making function of the courts must remain within reasonable limits. In particular in the area of the criminal law it is excluded, by virtue of Article 7(1) of the Convention, that any acts not previously punishable should be held by the courts to entail criminal liability, or that existing offences should be extended to cover facts which previously clearly did not constitute a criminal offence. This implies that constituent elements of an offence such as e.g. the particular form of culpability required for its completion may not be essentially changed, at least not to the detriment of the accused, by the case law of the courts. On the other hand it is not objectionable that the existing elements of the offence are clarified and adapted to new circumstances which can reasonably be brought under the original concept of the offence.’

Citations:

(1982) 28 DR 77

Cited by:

CitedGoldstein, Rimmington v Regina CACD 28-Nov-2003
Two defendants appealed in respect of alleged offences under common law of causing a public nuisance. One had sent race hatred material, and the other bomb hoaxes, through the post. Both claimed that the offence was so ill defined as to be an . .
CitedRegina v Rimmington; Regina v Goldstein HL 21-Jul-2005
Common Law – Public Nuisance – Extent
The House considered the elements of the common law offence of public nuisance. One defendant faced accusations of having sent racially offensive materials to individuals. The second was accused of sending an envelope including salt to a friend as a . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Human Rights, Defamation

Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.188886

McCarey v Associated Newspapers Ltd (No 2): CA 1965

References to damages awards in personal injury actions were legitimate in directing a defamation jury on quantum.

Judges:

Pearson, Willmer and Diplock LJJ

Citations:

[1965] 2 QB 86

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

AppliedRookes v Barnard (No 1) HL 21-Jan-1964
The court set down the conditions for the award of exemplary damages. There are two categories. The first is where there has been oppressive or arbitrary conduct by a defendant. Cases in the second category are those in which the defendant’s conduct . .

Cited by:

DisapprovedRantzen v Mirror Group Newspapers (1986) Ltd and Others CA 1-Apr-1993
Four articles in the People all covered the same story about Esther Rantzen’s organisation, Childline, suggesting that the plaintiff had protected a teacher who had revealed to Childline abuses of children occurring at a school where he taught, by . .
DisapprovedJohn v MGN Ltd CA 12-Dec-1995
Defamation – Large Damages Awards
MGN appealed as to the level of damages awarded against it namely pounds 350,000 damages, comprising pounds 75,000 compensatory damages and pounds 275,000 exemplary damages. The newspaper contended that as a matter of principle there is no scope in . .
CitedGleaner Company Ltd and Another v Abrahams PC 14-Jul-2003
Punitive Defamation Damages Order Sustained
(Jamaica) The appellants challenged a substantial award of damages for defamation. They had wrongfully accused a government minister of corruption. There was evidence of substantial financial loss. ‘For nearly sixteen years the defendants, with all . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Damages, Defamation

Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.184739

Rothermere v Times Newspapers Ltd: CA 1973

The court considered whether to order a defamation trial to be heard by judge alone, rather than before a jury.
Held: The criterion that the trial requires a prolonged examination of documents is basic and must be strictly satisfied, and it is not enough merely to show that the trial will be long and complicated.
Lord Denning MR said: ‘Looking back on our history, I hold that, if a newspaper has criticised in its columns the great and the powerful on a matter of large public interest — and is then charged with libel — then its guilt or innocence should be tried with a jury, if the newspaper asks for it, even though it requires the prolonged examination of documents.’ and ‘the right given by our constitution to a Defendant who is charged with libel, either in criminal or civil proceedings. Every Defendant has a constitutional right to have his guilt or innocence determined by a jury. This right is of the highest importance, especially when the Defendant has ventured to criticise the government of the day, or those who hold authority or power in the state’.

Judges:

Lord Denning MR

Citations:

[1973] 1 WLR 448

Statutes:

Administration of Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1933

Cited by:

CitedRight Hon Aitken MP and Preston; Pallister and Guardian Newspapers Ltd CA 15-May-1997
The defendants appealed against an order that a defamation trial should proced before a judge alone.
Held: ‘Where the parties, or one of them, is a public figure, or there are matters of national interest in question, this would suggest the . .
CitedJoyce v Sengupta and Another CA 31-Jul-1992
The defendant published an article accusing the plaintiff of theft. Not having funds to launch a claim in libel, the plaintiff obtained legal aid to claim in malicious falsehood. She now appealed against a strike out of that claim.
Held: A . .
CitedCook v Telegraph Media Group Ltd QBD 29-Mar-2011
The claimant, an MP, complained in defamation of the defendant’s description of his rejected expenses claim regarding an assistant’s charitable donation. The paper pleaded a Reynolds defence. The claimant said that when published the defendant knew . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation, Litigation Practice, Constitutional

Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.184760

Houston v Smith: CA 16 Dec 1993

Doctors operated within the same building. The defendant falsely accused the plaintiff of harassing her and her staff, groping them and fondling them sexually. The allegation was made in the hearing of several of the plaintiff’s patients in the doctors’ joint waiting room. The defendant denied having suggested impropriety with her staff but sought to justify her allegation of personal harassment, alleging that the plaintiff had brushed up against her deliberately. The allegation of sexual harassment was plainly a matter of the utmost gravity for a general practitioner, there were aggravating features and there had been no apology. The publication, however, had been only to a very small number of people. The Court of Appeal reduced the jury’s award of andpound;150,000 to andpound;50,000. If a prompt apology had been published the appropriate award would have been a very small fraction that sum.

Judges:

Hirst LJ

Citations:

Unreported, 16 December 1993

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedKiam v MGN Ltd CA 28-Jan-2002
Where a court regards a jury award in a defamation case as excessive, a ‘proper’ award can be substituted for it is not whatever sum court thinks appropriate, wholly uninfluenced by jury’s view, but the highest award which a jury could reasonably . .
CitedNail and Another v News Group Newspapers Ltd and others CA 20-Dec-2004
The claimant appealed the award of damages in his claim for defamation. The defendants had variously issued apologies. The claimant had not complained initially as to one publication.
Held: In defamation proceedings the damage to feelings is . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation, Damages

Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.184742

Myroft v Sleight: 1921

The plaintiff, a trawler skipper sailing out of Grimsby, was a member of the Grimsby Fishermens’ Trades Union. A committee member was the defendant. The plaintiff was among those voting for a strike, and an unofficial strike was called. The defendant was said to have visited the owner’s offices asking for a ship to go to sea and to break the strike.
Held: The words were defamatory. McCardie J said: ‘It seems curious at first sight that the plaintiff should assert the words to be defamatory. He was a free citizen. He was entitled to earn his living and to pursue his calling as a skipper. All that the defendant had alleged was that the plaintiff had been to the docks (which were a perfectly lawful thing to do) and had asked for a ship . . Yet I conceive that an ordinary member of a trade union may claim that the duty of honesty and loyalty rests upon him . . I imagine that it would not be defamatory merely to say of an ordinary trade unionist that he had left his union or that he had openly acted against the wishes of his union. It should not be held defamatory to charge a man with independence of thought or courage of opinion or speech . . But a charge of trickery or of underhand disloyalty or of hypocrisy is a very different matter . . Hence I find that the words here spoken by the defendant were upon the circumstances of this case defamatory. They were spoken of a man who had voted for the strike and supported the strike . . The slander was regarded by all who heard it as an imputation on the plaintiff’s honour as a straightforward man’
and ‘A person is defamed . . when words have been spoken or written which injure or tend to injure that person’s reputation or to bring him into odium, ridicule, or contempt . . But . . in what minds is it that the reputation must have been diminished? To what persons is it that the plaintiff must have been brought into odium, ridicule or contempt?’
After citing Clay v Roberts and other cases, he continued: ‘These cases seem to show that the words complained of must be such as would injure the plaintiff’s reputation in the minds of ordinary, just and reasonable citizens’.

Judges:

McCardie J

Citations:

(1921) 90 LJKB 883

Cited by:

CitedThornton v Telegraph Media Group Ltd QBD 16-Jun-2010
The claimant said that a review of her book was defamatory and a malicious falsehood. The defendant now sought summary judgment or a ruling as to the meaning of the words complained of.
Held: The application for summary judgment succeeded. The . .
CitedModi and Another v Clarke CA 29-Jul-2011
The claimants, organisers of the Indian Premier cricket League, met with organisations in England seeking to establish a similar league in the Northern Hemisphere. A copy of a note came to the defendant, chairman of the England and Wales Cricket . .
CitedRufus v Elliott QBD 1-Nov-2013
The parties were former footballers involved in charitable works. The claimant said that an allegation by the defendant that he the claimant had released for publication a text message in which the the defendant was said to have used extremely . .
CitedElliott v Rufus CA 20-Feb-2015
The parties were former footballers and business partners they fell out and the defendant was said to have sent and extremely offensive text message. After a copy was published, the defendant published a press release which the claimant now said was . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation

Updated: 15 May 2022; Ref: scu.416809

Skrine and Co (a Firm) and others v Euromoney Publications plc and others: QBD 10 Nov 2000

The court was asked to strike out parts of a defemation pleading alleging that (i) the Malaysian Prime Minister had acted in a manner intended and/or calculated to interfere with the independent judiciary; (ii) Malaysian judges applied the law of defamation to penalise dissent and stifle freedom of expression; and (iii) the claimants’ insurers only paid the original plaintiffs ‘exorbitant sums by way of ostensible damages and costs because they apprehended that the claimants would not have received a fair trial at the hands of Malaysia’s internationally discredited legal system.’
Held: An English court should not be asked to judge the propriety of the actions of the judiciary of a friendly foreign state. This would put such friendly relations at risk and an English judge could have no way of making such a judgment. It was not a breach of an applicant’s civil rights to enforce a properly made contribution order made there against a citizen here, since under the Act only an award which was just and equitable in all the circumstances could be made. The defence of fair comment could still be tried fairly.

Judges:

Morland J

Citations:

Times 10-Nov-2000, Gazette 23-Nov-2000, [2001] EMLR 16

Statutes:

Civil Liability (Contributions) Act 1978

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

CitedButtes Oil and Gas Co v Hammer (No 3) HL 1982
The House considered a dispute between two Us oil companies about the right to exploit an oil field in the Gulf. Each claimed to have a concession granted by the ruler of a Gulf state. Each state claimed that the oil field was within its territorial . .

Cited by:

CitedAl-Koronky and Another v Time-Life Entertainment Group Ltd and Another CA 28-Jul-2006
The claimants sought damages after publication of articles alleging severe mistreatment of a servant. One defendant had settled and apologised, but the defendant publisher and author had persisted with the allegation. The claimants who lived in . .
CitedKorea National Insurance Company v Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty Ag ComC 18-Nov-2008
The claimant sought to enforce a judgment for payment of a sum under a policy of insurance. The defendant sought to refuse saying that the policy had been instigated by a fraud perpetrated by the state of North Korea, and or that the judicial system . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

International, Human Rights, Defamation

Updated: 15 May 2022; Ref: scu.89300

Day v Bream: 1837

A printed handbill, contained imputations on the plaintiff clearly libellous. The plaintiff lived at Marlborough; the defendant was the porter of the coach-office at that place, and it was his business to carry out and deliver the parcels that came by the different coaches to the office. For the plaintiff it was shewn that the defendant had delivered on the same day papers parcels, tied up, and containing a large quantity of the handbills in question, to two or three inhabitants of the place, to whom the parcels were directed. The court ‘in summing up, left it to the jury to say whether the defendant delivered the parcels in the course of his business without any knowledge of their contents; if so, find for him, observing, that prima facie he was answerable, inasmuch as he had in fact delivered and put into publication the libel complained of, and was therefore called upon to shew his ignorance of the contents.’

Judges:

Patteson J

Citations:

(1837) 2 Moody and Robinson 54

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

AppliedPullman v Hill and Co CA 1891
The plaintiff claimed publication of a defamation when the defendant was said to have dictated it to his typist.
Held: That was sufficient publication. The Court considered what would amount to publication in the law of defamation.
Lord . .
CitedGodfrey v Demon Internet Limited QBD 26-Mar-1999
An Internet Service Provider who was re-distributing Usenet postings it had received, to its users in general, remained a publisher at common law, even though he was not such within the definitions of the Act, and it was therefore liable in . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation

Updated: 13 May 2022; Ref: scu.194305

Colman v Godwin: 4 May 1782

Words imputing a crime are actionable, although they describe it in vulgar language, and not in technical terms.

Judges:

Bulller J

Citations:

[1782] EngR 56, (1782) 3 Doug 90, (1782) 99 ER 554 (A)

Links:

Commonlii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedDhir v Saddler QBD 6-Dec-2017
Slander damages reduced for conduct
Claim in slander. The defendant was said, at a church meeting to have accused the client of threatening to slit her throat. The defendant argued that the audience of 80 was not large enough.
Held: ‘the authorities demonstrate that it is the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation

Updated: 11 May 2022; Ref: scu.372404

McDonald’s Corporation v Steel and Another: CA 14 Apr 1994

Defence paragraphs alleging justification were to be struck out only in the clearest of cases. One should only plead justification if one has reasonable evidence to support the defence or reasonable grounds for supposing that sufficient evidence will be available at trial.

Citations:

Independent 22-Apr-1994, Times 14-Apr-1994, [1995] EMLR 527

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

See AlsoMcDonald’s Corporation and Another v Steel and Morris CA 17-Oct-1996
A trial judge’s decisions should not normally be set aside unless they constituted a denial of justice to one or other of the parties. . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation

Updated: 10 May 2022; Ref: scu.83527

Rex v Ensor: 1887

‘In the history of the Star Chamber it is said:- ‘In all ages libels have been most severely punished in this court, but most especially they began to be frequent about 42 and 43 Elizabeth, (1600, when Sir Edward Coke was her Attorney General).
‘In this passage therefore he was probably giving his impression of the Star Chamber practice, which no one would now regard as of any authority. There are, I think, many instances in which Lord Coke’s views of the criminal law are doubtful and go far beyond the authorities he refers to. In this passage he refers to none.’ The court then considered the ‘only real’ authority, R v Topham. and said; ‘The judgment seems to me to show that a mere vilifying of the deceased is not enough… There must be a vilifying of the dead with a view to injure his posterity. The dead have no rights and can suffer no wrongs. The living alone can be the subject of legal protection, and the law of libel is intended to protect them, not against every writing which gives them pain, but against writings holding them up individually to hatred, contempt or ridicule. This, no doubt, may be done in every variety of way. It is possible, under the mask of attacking a dead man, to attack a living one…..I wish to add that I regard the silence of the authorities and the general practice of the profession as a more weighty authority on this point than the isolated statements of Lord Coke and the few unsatisfactory cases referred to in R v Topham. I am reluctant in the highest degree to extend the criminal law. To speak broadly, to libel the dead is not an offence known to our law.’

Judges:

Stephen J

Citations:

(1887) 3 TLR 366

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Defamation, Crime

Updated: 09 May 2022; Ref: scu.221967

Rex v Rule: 1937

A constituent wrote to his MP asking for assistance to lodge a complaint to the appropriate MP concerning the conduct of a public official in that consituency.
Held: Qualified privilege was a defence to a criminal charge of defamatory libel.

Citations:

[1937] 2 KB 375

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Defamation, Crime

Updated: 09 May 2022; Ref: scu.221966

The Earl of Northampton’s Case: 1613

If A publishes that he heard B say that C was a traitor, he will not be liable if he proved he actually heard B say this. A would be liable only if he did not identify the original author.

Judges:

Coke

Citations:

(1613) 12 Co Rep 134

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Defamation

Updated: 06 May 2022; Ref: scu.221969

Komarek v Ramco Energy plc: QBD 2002

Citations:

[2002] EWHC 2501 (QB)

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedHowe and Co v Burden QBD 11-Feb-2004
Defence of consent – no strike out. The precise ambit of the defence of consent in a defamation case is best established at trial on the basis of the tribunal’s findings of fact. . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation

Updated: 06 May 2022; Ref: scu.193600

Grobbelaar v Sun Newspapers Ltd: CA 9 Jul 1999

With the new Civil Procedure Rules, it was no longer correct that a court could not exclude evidence which was relevant, on the grounds that its probative value was outweighed by its prejudicial effect. The court now has full power and discretion to make such orders. ‘The just resolution of this case depends on the jury keeping their focus on match-fixing and not being distracted by matters that are insufficiently probative, given their potential for prejudice.’

Judges:

Potter LJ

Citations:

Times 12-Aug-1999

Statutes:

Civil Procedure Rules 32

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

Appealed toGrobbelaar v News Group Newspapers and Another CA 18-Jan-2001
. .

Cited by:

Appeal fromGrobbelaar v News Group Newspapers and Another CA 18-Jan-2001
. .
CitedO’Brien v Chief Constable of the South Wales Police CA 23-Jul-2003
The claimant sought damages for malicious prosecution, and sought to adduce similar fact evidence. The defendant appealed an order admitting the evidence.
Held: Comparisons between admission of similar fact evidence in civil and criminal . .
See AlsoGrobbelaar v News Group Newspapers Ltd and Another CA 18-Jan-2001
The claimant had been awarded andpound;85,000 damages in defamation after the defendant had wrongly accused him of cheating at football. The newspaper sought to appeal saying that the verdict was perverse and the defence of qualified privilege . .
See AlsoGrobbelaar v News Group Newspapers Ltd and Another HL 24-Oct-2002
The claimant appealed against a decision of the Court of Appeal quashing the judgement in his favour for damages for defamation.
Held: The Court of Appeal was not able to quash a jury verdict as perverse, and the appeal succeeded. An appellate . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation, Evidence

Updated: 06 May 2022; Ref: scu.186052

Langlands v John Leng and Company Limited: HL 1916

Complaint was made as to observations made by an architect and said to be defamatory.
Held: These had referred to a criticism of the system under which the architect was employed and not to the architect individually.
Viscount Haldane said: ‘The question which we have to deal with we have to decide as Judges of law. It is whether it is possible, if the language used is read in its ordinary sense, to say that it is such as can reasonably and naturally support the innuendo . . The pursuer must . . when he puts forward his innuendo, put it forward either on the footing that the language taken by itself supports the innuendo, or that there is extrinsic evidence, extrinsic to the libel itself, which shows that that was the sense in which the words were intended to be construed.’

Judges:

Viscount Haldane

Citations:

1916 SC (HL) 102

Jurisdiction:

Scotland

Cited by:

CitedMccann v Scottish Media Newspapers Ltd SCS 18-Feb-1999
Three articles which appeared in one edition of a newspaper had to be read together and treated as ‘constituting a whole’ for the purposes of determining meaning, where the first ended with a cross-reference to the second, and the second ended with . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation

Updated: 30 April 2022; Ref: scu.236348

Botiuk v Toronto Free Press Publications Ltd: 21 Sep 1995

(Supreme Court of Canada) Defamation was alleged against lawyers writing on behalf of their clients.
Held: The defendant lawyers were ‘duty-bound’ to undertake a reasonable investigation into the correctness of the document they were signing and their failure to do so was reckless: ‘actions which might be characterized as careless behaviour in a lay person could well become reckless behaviour in a lawyer’.

Judges:

La Forest, L’Heureux-Dube, Gonthier, Cory, McLachlin, Iacobucci and Major JJ

Citations:

[1995] 3 SCR 3

Links:

Canlii

Jurisdiction:

Canada

Cited by:

CitedPanday v Gordon PC 5-Oct-2005
(Trinidad and Tobago) A senior politician had accused an opponent of pseudo-racism. The defendant asserted that he had a defence under the constitution, allowing freedom of political speech.
Held: The appeal failed. The statements were . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation

Updated: 30 April 2022; Ref: scu.230973

Gilpin v Fowler: 9 Feb 1854

The word `privilege’ means the existence of a set of circumstances in which the presumption of malice was negatived. `Instead of the expression `privileged communication’ it would be more correct to say that the communication was made on an occasion which rebutted the presumption of malice.’
The plaintiff was master of a ‘national school ‘ in the parish of C, of which the defendant wwa rector, and also one of the managers of the school The defendant requested the plaintiff to teach a Sunday school iri connexion with the national school, which he declined, on account of the increased Labour, and was in consequence dismissed The plaintiff being about to set up a school on his own account in the same parish, the defendant wrote, and distributed in that and the adjoining parish a pastoral letter, in which he denounced the plaintiff ‘s conduct as unchristian-like, and warned his parishioners against affording ariy countenance to the projected school, either by subscriptions or by sending their children to it. The Judge at the trial having ruled that this letter was a privileged communication, and that, there being no evidence of express malice, the defendanit was entitled to a verdict :- Held, in the Exchequer Chamber, on a bill of exceptions to the above ruling, that the communicatiori was not privileged, and that there was evidence for the jury of express malice ; also, that in determining the question of malice the jury might look at the libel itself.

Citations:

(1854) 9 Exch 615, [1854] EngR 231, (1854) 156 ER 263

Links:

Commonlii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedBlackshaw v Lord CA 1984
Claim to privilege must be precisely focused
The Daily Telegraph carried an article headed ‘Incompetence at ministry cost pounds 52 million’ recording that a number of senior civil servants had been reprimanded after investigation by the Public Accounts Committee. The plaintiff had been in . .
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 . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation

Updated: 30 April 2022; Ref: scu.198165

De L’Isle v Times Newspapers: CA 1988

A defendant who pleading justification may plead any reasonable meaning that a jury, properly directed, might find to be the real meaning.

Citations:

[1988] 1 WLR 49

Jurisdiction:

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 . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation

Updated: 29 April 2022; Ref: scu.185960

Lakah Group and Another v al-Jazeera Satellite Channel and Another: QBD 26 Mar 2003

The defendant sought an order that the defamation proceedings had been invalidly served.
Held: The Rule introduced an additional code and alternative method of service, but not a comprehensive code. Establishing a place of business under section 695 connoted a greater degree of permanence than was required under the rules. However the rules still required that the respondent had a ‘place of business’ and service at a place with which the company had no more than a transient connection was insufficient. The claimant had not established that service had been effective.

Judges:

Gray J

Citations:

Times 18-Apr-2003

Statutes:

Companies Act 1985 695, Civil Procedure Rules 6

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

Appeal fromLakah Group and Another v Al Jazeera Satellite Channel and Another CA 9-Dec-2003
. .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Jurisdiction, Defamation

Updated: 27 April 2022; Ref: scu.180855

Dakhyl v Labouchere: HL 18 Mar 1907

In actions for libel against newspapers where pleas of ‘justification’ and ‘fair comment’ are stated in defence, the latter plea does not arise if the former is made good, it being precisely where the criticism would otherwise be actionable as a libel that the defence of ‘fair comment’ comes in. Further, a personal attack may form part of a fair comment upon given facts truly stated if it be warranted by those facts, i.e., if it be a reasonable inference from those facts. Whether the personal attack in any given case can reasonably be inferred from the truly stated facts upon which it purports to be a comment is a matter of law for the determination of the judge before whom the case is tried, but if he should rule that this inference is capable of being reasonably drawn, it is for the jury to determine whether in that particular case it ought to be drawn. Meaning of ‘quack’ considered.

Judges:

Lord Chancellor (Loreburn), Lords Robertson and Atkinson

Citations:

[1907] UKHL 997, 44 SLR 997

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Defamation

Updated: 27 April 2022; Ref: scu.622280

M’Ewan v Watson: HL 28 Jul 1905

Reparation – Slander – Privilege – Privilege of Witness – Privilege in Precognition

Judges:

Lord Chancellor (Halsbury) and Lords James of Hereford and Robertson

Citations:

[1905] UKHL 837, 42 SLR 837

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

Scotland

Citing:

At SCSM’Ewan v Watson SCS 18-Nov-1904
. .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation

Updated: 26 April 2022; Ref: scu.621185

Maisel v Financial Times Ltd: HL 1 Feb 1915

The appellant complained of certain Words as bearing the innuendo that he was of dishonest character. The respondents referred to a series of acts by the appellant, which they alleged proved his dishonesty. The appellant claimed to have these allegations struck out of the pleadings as irrelevant.
Held that as the appellant maintained that the statements complained of meant that he was a dishonest person, the respondents were entitled to prove him to be so in justification of their statements.

Judges:

Earl Loreburn, Lords Atkinson, Parker, Sumner, and Parmoor

Citations:

[1915] UKHL 910, 52 SLR 910

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Defamation

Updated: 26 April 2022; Ref: scu.620674

Berezovsky v Forbes Inc and Michaels; Glouchkov v Same: HL 16 May 2000

Plaintiffs who lived in Russia sought damages for defamation against an American magazine with a small distribution in England. Both plaintiffs had real connections with and reputations in England. A judgment in Russia would do nothing to repair the reputations in England, and accordingly the proper place to sue was in England. Under English law the publication of a defamatory article carries with it a presumption that the person defamed by it has suffered damage, without the need to prove that anyone knowing that person has read the article.
Lord Steyn referred to the case law and said: ‘Counsel accepted that he could not object to a proposition that the place where in substance the tort arises is a weighty factor pointing to that jurisdiction being the appropriate one. This illustrates the weakness of the argument. The distinction between a prima facie position and treating the same factor as a weighty circumstance pointing in the same direction is a rather fine one. For my part the Albaforth line of authority is well established, tried and tested, and unobjectionable in principle. I would hold that Hirst LJ correctly relied on these decisions.’
Lord Hope said: ‘In a defamation case the judge is not required to disregard evidence that publication has taken place elsewhere as well as in England. On the contrary, this feature of the case, if present, will always be a relevant factor. The weight to be given to it will vary from case to case, having regard to the plaintiff’s connection with this country in which he wishes to raise his action. The rule which applies to these cases is that the plaintiff must limit his claim to the effects of the publication in England: Diamond v. Sutton (1866) L.R. 1 Ex. 130; Schapira v. Ahronson [1999] E.M.L.R. 735; see also Eyre v. Nationwide News Pty. Ltd. [1967] N.Z.L.R. 851. Common sense suggests that the more tenuous the connection with this country the harder it will be for the claim to survive the application of this rule’.

Judges:

Lord Steyn, Lord Nolan, Lord Hoffmann, Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Hobhouse of Wood-borough

Citations:

Times 16-May-2000, Gazette 31-May-2000, [2000] 1 WLR 1004, [2000] UKHL 25, [2000] 2 All ER 986

Links:

House of Lords, House of Lords, Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

Appeal fromBerezovsky and Another v Forbes Inc and Another CA 27-Nov-1998
Where a defamatory article was published in many jurisdictions, there is no rule preventing a plaintiff recovering in those jurisdictions where a remedy is given. Not confined by restriction to most appropriate jurisdiction. . .
See AlsoBerezovsky and Glouchkov v Forbes Inc and Michaels CA 31-Jul-2001
The claimant sought damages from the defendant for a magazine article claiming that he was involved in organised crime in Russia. The defendants appealed against the striking out of elements of the defence suggesting lesser meanings. Was meaning a . .
CitedSpiliada Maritime Corporation v Cansulex Ltd, The Spiliada HL 1986
Forum Non Conveniens Restated
The House reviewed the authorities on the principle of forum non conveniens and restated how to apply the principle where the defendant seeks a stay of proceedings on the ground that there is another more appropriate forum.
Held: ‘In the . .
CitedLadd v Marshall CA 29-Nov-1954
Conditions for new evidence on appeal
At the trial, the wife of the appellant’s opponent said she had forgotten certain events. After the trial she began divorce proceedings, and informed the appellant that she now remembered. He sought either to appeal admitting fresh evidence, or for . .
CitedDuke of Brunswick v Harmer QBD 2-Nov-1849
On 19 September 1830 an article was published in the Weekly Dispatch. The limitation period for libel was six years. The article defamed the Duke of Brunswick. Seventeen years after its publication an agent of the Duke purchased a back number . .
CitedDiamond v Sutton 1866
A plaintiff who seeks leave to serve out of the jurisdiction in respect of publication within the jurisdiction is guilty of an abuse if he seeks to include in the same action matters occurring elsewhere. . .
CitedRatcliffe v Evans CA 28-May-1892
The plaintiff was an engineer and boiler-maker. He alleged that a statement in the local newspaper that he had ceased business had caused him loss. The evidence that was given at trial consisted of general evidence of a downturn in trade; but the . .
CitedShevill and Others v Presse Alliance SA HL 26-Jul-1996
A libel case against a French paper was rightly brought in UK despite the small (250 copies nationally and 5 in the plaintiff’s local area (Yorkshire)) circulation here. The Brussels Convention allows a claim for defamation in UK though the main . .
CitedShevill, Ixora Trading Inc., Chequepoint SARL and Chequepoint International Ltd v Presse Alliance SA ECJ 7-Mar-1995
On a proper construction of the expression ‘place where the harmful event occurred’ in Article 5(3) of the Convention of 27 September 1968 on Jurisdiction and the Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters as amended by the Convention . .
CitedLee v Wilson and Mackinnon 19-Dec-1934
(High Court of Australia) More than one person can be identified in a defamatory piece.
In determining the meaning in fact conveyed by the publication, the intention of the publisher is irrelevant, and it does not matter not whether the . .
CitedKroch v Rossell CA 1937
The plaintiff brought libel proceedings against the publishers of French and Belgian newspapers. He obtained permission to serve each defendant out of the jurisdiction on the ground that a small number of copies of each newspaper had been published . .
CitedCordoba Shipping Co Ltd v National State Bank, Elizabeth, New Jersey (The Albaforth) CA 1984
A negligent misrepresentation was made in a telex sent from the United States but received and acted upon in England. The judge had set aside leave to serve the document out of the jurisdiction.
Held: The appeal succeeded. The transmission was . .

Cited by:

CitedLewis and others v King CA 19-Oct-2004
The claimant sought damages for defamation for an article published on the Internet. The claimant Don King sued in London even though he lived in the US as did the defendants.
Held: A publication via the internet occurred when the material was . .
CitedDow Jones and Co Inc v Jameel CA 3-Feb-2005
Presumption of Damage in Defamation is rebuttable
The defendant complained that the presumption in English law that the victim of a libel had suffered damage was incompatible with his right to a fair trial. They said the statements complained of were repetitions of statements made by US . .
See AlsoBerezovsky and Glouchkov v Forbes Inc and Michaels CA 31-Jul-2001
The claimant sought damages from the defendant for a magazine article claiming that he was involved in organised crime in Russia. The defendants appealed against the striking out of elements of the defence suggesting lesser meanings. Was meaning a . .
CitedMardas v New York Times Company and Another QBD 17-Dec-2008
The claimant sought damages in defamation. The US publisher defendants denied that there had been any sufficient publication in the UK and that the court did not have jurisdiction. The claimant appealed the strike out of the claims.
Held: The . .
CitedMetropolitan International Schools Ltd. (T/A Skillstrain And/Or Train2Game) v Designtechnica Corp (T/A Digital Trends) and Others QBD 16-Jul-2009
The claimant complained that the defendant had published on its internet forums comments by posters which were defamatory of it, and which were then made available by the second defendant search engine. The court was asked what responsibility a . .
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 . .
CitedVTB Capital Plc v Nutritek International Corp and Others SC 6-Feb-2013
The claimant bank said that it had been induced to create very substantial lending facilities by fraudulent misrepresentation by the defendants. They now appealed against findings that England was not clearly or distinctly the appropriate forum for . .
CitedAhuja v Politika Novine I Magazini Doo and Others QBD 23-Nov-2015
Action for misuse of private information and libel. Application to have set aside leave to serve out of the jurisdiction. The defendant published a newspaper in Serbian, in print in Serbia and online. Though in Serbian, the claimant said that online . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation, Jurisdiction

Updated: 24 April 2022; Ref: scu.78349

Hayward v Thompson: CA 1981

A later publication by the same defendant can be used to identify the plaintiff in an earlier publication. If the defendant did intend to refer to the plaintiff, it may be enough if the recipient understood it as referring to the plaintiff regardless of how unreasonable or extraordinary it may have been for the recipient to do so.
Lord Denning MR said: ‘whether one or more causes of action are to be included in one verdict or judgment will depend upon the exercise of the trial Judge’s judicial discretion.’ It is the practice of the English courts in defamation actions to favour a single award of damages, even where there is more than one cause of action.
The court should in interpreting a passage, look to the meaning which the ordinary and reasonable reader would give it on a first reading.
Lord Denning considered the use of evidence as to the meaning: ‘Many read the article. In England Sir Peter Scott did so. He said that the words ‘One is a wealthy benefactor of the Liberal party’ conveyed to him Mr. Jack Hayward. They did likewise to a Mrs. Cowper who gave evidence. In the Bahamas Mr. Hayward’s daughter and son-in-law read it and thought it referred to him. But the most telling evidence came from Mr. Hayward himself. He said that in the Bahamas, after the article, the telephone never stopped ringing, day or night, either at home or at the office. He set it out in a contemporary letter from the Bahamas: ‘The telephone has hardly stopped ringing since I returned and reporters from virtually every newspaper have been on the line.’ The most striking incident was that: . . ‘
Sir George Baker said: ‘There are few civil actions in which nothing new emerges in the course of the hearing.’
Sir Stanley Rees answered an argument that it was not open in law in any circumstances to rely upon a subsequent publication in order to provide evidence of a defamatory meaning or of identification in an earlier article. Counsel referred the court hearing that argument to a number of authorities, in which an original publication was of innocent material which only became defamatory upon the publication of subsequent material, submitting that the principle derived from the cited cases was that a writer of innocent matter could not, by reason of facts which came into existence subsequent to the original innocent publication, become liable in damages for libel because the subsequent material attributed a defamatory meaning to the innocent publication, saying: ‘The question we have to consider is whether that well-established principle applies to a case such as the instant one when (1) the original publication is defamatory; (2) when the second publication relied upon explicitly identifies the person defamed; and (3) it is published by the same party who published the original libel.’
The learned judge held that it was open to find that, as from the second publication, the plaintiff had been publicly named as the person referred to in the first article, which was defamatory.

Judges:

Sir George Baker, Lord Denning MR, Sir Stanley Rees

Citations:

[1982] 1 QB 47, [1981] 3 All ER 45

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedWright v Gregson and Others QBD 1-Jul-2010
The defendant denied that the words complained of were bore the defamatory meaning alleged, and asked the court to rule accordingly and to strike out he claim. He complained of comments about his intentions for the use of money raised for charitable . .
CitedWatkins v Woolas QBD 5-Nov-2010
The petitioner said that in the course of the election campaign, the respondent Labour candidate had used illegal practices in the form of deliberately misleading and racially inflammatory material.
Held: The claim succeeded, and the election . .
CitedLewis v Commissioner of Police of The Metropolis and Others (Rev 1) QBD 31-Mar-2011
The defendant sought a ruling on the meaning of the words but using section 69(4) of the 1981 Act. The claimant solicitor was acting in complaints as to the unlawful interception of celebrity voicemails by agents of the press. There had been debate . .
CitedEconomou v De Freitas QBD 27-Jul-2016
Failed action for defamation on rape allegations
The claimant had been accused by the defendant’s daughter of rape. He was never charged but sought to prosecute her alleging intent to pervert the course of justice. She later killed herself. The defendant sought to have the inquest extended to . .
CitedSimon and Others v Lyder and Another PC 29-Jul-2019
(Trinidad and Tobago) The Board was asked as to the well-known conundrum in the common law of defamation, namely the extent to which (if at all) two or more different statements made upon different occasions by the same defendant may be aggregated . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation, Litigation Practice

Updated: 24 April 2022; Ref: scu.420204

Andrew v Macara: SCS 23 Jan 1916

An action was brought to recover damages on the ground that the defender had publicly stated that the pursuer had made to him certain statements. The statements were of a character likely to prove very unpopular. Issues were allowed whether the defender’s statements ‘are false and were made with the design of exposing, and did expose, the pursuer to public hatred, ridicule, and contempt.’ The defender took a counter-issue whether the pursuer had made the statements attributed to him. At the trial the presiding judge ruled that if the jury thought the counter issue proved they must return a verdict for the defender. Pursuer’s counsel maintained that the counter-issue only partially countered the issues; that it did not meet the holding up to hatred; that so the pursuer might get a verdict even though the counter issue were proved.
Held, on a bill of exceptions, that the direction of the presiding judge was right.

Citations:

[1916] SLR 200

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

Scotland

Defamation

Updated: 23 April 2022; Ref: scu.618258

Henry v News Group Newspapers Ltd: QBD 18 Feb 2011

The defendant in this defamnation action sought disclosure from a third party, the claimant’s former employers. In a notorious child murder she said she had been blamed by the defendant for not seeking the child’s placement in care. She said that her requests for this had been turned down by the LA.

Judges:

Tugendhat J

Citations:

[2011] EWHC 296 (QB)

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Defamation, Litigation Practice

Updated: 22 April 2022; Ref: scu.429737

Wilts United Dairies Ltd v Thomas Robinson Sons and Co: QBD 1957

Stable J, noted that the case concerned a sweetened condensed milk very similar to the product that his Honour remembered consuming in large quantities at preparatory school, and said: ‘As I understand the law it is this, that if you publish a defamatory statement about a man’s goods which is injurious to him, honestly believing that it is true, your object being your own advantage and no detriment to him, you obviously are not liable. If you publish a statement that turns out to be false but which you honestly believe to be true, but you publish that statement not for the purpose of protecting your own interests and achieving some advantage to yourself but for the purpose of doing him harm, and it transpires, contrary to your belief, that the statement that you believed to be true has turned out to be false, notwithstanding the bona fides of your belief because the object that you had in mind was to injure him and not to advantage yourself, you would be liable for an injurious falsehood.’

Judges:

Stable J

Citations:

[1957] RPC 220

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

Appeal fromWilts United Dairies Ltd v Thomas Robinson and Co CA 1958
Malice may exist without an actual intention to injure. . .
CitedWright v Caan QBD 27-Jul-2011
The claimant sought damages in defamation and malicious falsehood and in respect of a conversation with a journalist and the defendant’s website. The defendant had made offers of support to her business venture in a television program. After she . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation

Updated: 12 April 2022; Ref: scu.442248

Pullman v Hill and Co: CA 1891

The plaintiff claimed publication of a defamation when the defendant was said to have dictated it to his typist.
Held: That was sufficient publication. The Court considered what would amount to publication in the law of defamation.
Lord Esher MR said: ‘The first question is, assuming the letter to contain defamatory matter, there has been a publication of it. What is the meaning of ‘publication’? The making known of the defamatory matter after it has been written to some person other than the person of whom it is written’
. . And: ‘If the writer of a letter shews it to his own clerk in order that the clerk may copy it for him, is that a publication of the letter? Certainly it is shewing it to a third person; the writer cannot say to the person to whom the letter is addressed, ‘I have shewn it to you and to no one else’. I cannot, therefore, feel any doubt that, if the writer of a letter shews it to any person other than the person to whom it is written, he publishes it. If he wishes not to publish it, he must, so far as he possibly can, keep it to himself, or he must send it himself straight to the person to whom it is written. There was therefore, in this case a publication to the type-writer.’
. . And: where ‘the writer of a letter locks it up in his own desk, and a thief comes and breaks open the desk and takes away the letter and makes it contents known . . ‘ no intentional publication by the author occurs.
As to qualified privilege, Lord Esher MR said: ‘An occasion is privileged when the person who makes the communication has a moral duty to make it to the person to whom he does make it, and the person who receives it has an interest in hearing it. Both these conditions must exist in order that the occasion may be privileged.’
As to whether a publication had been in the ordinary course of business’, Lord Esher MR said: ‘Here a communication was made by the defendant’s Managing Director to type writer. Moreover, the letter was directed to the plaintiff’s firm and opened by one of their clerks. The defendants placed the letter out of their control and took no means to prevent it being opened by the plaintiff’s clerks. In my opinion, therefore, there was a publication of the letter, not only to the typewriter but also to the clerks of the plaintiff’s firm.’

Judges:

Lord Esher MR, Lopez LJ

Citations:

[1891] 1 QB 524

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

AppliedDay v Bream 1837
A printed handbill, contained imputations on the plaintiff clearly libellous. The plaintiff lived at Marlborough; the defendant was the porter of the coach-office at that place, and it was his business to carry out and deliver the parcels that came . .

Cited by:

CitedGodfrey v Demon Internet Limited QBD 26-Mar-1999
An Internet Service Provider who was re-distributing Usenet postings it had received, to its users in general, remained a publisher at common law, even though he was not such within the definitions of the Act, and it was therefore liable in . .
CitedJameel v Wall Street Journal Europe Sprl HL 11-Oct-2006
The House was asked as to the capacity of a limited company to sue for damage to its reputation, where it had no trading activity within the jurisdiction, and as to the extent of the Reynolds defence. The defendants/appellants had published an . .
CitedReynolds TD v Times Newspapers Ltd; Ruddock and Witherow CA 8-Jul-1998
The claimant, the former Taoiseach of Ireland sought damages after the defendant newspaper published an article falsely accusing him of duplicity. The paper said that his position meant that they should have the defence of quaified privilege . .
CitedWeller and Others v Associated Newspapers Ltd CA 20-Nov-2015
The three children of a musician complained of the publication of photographs taken of them in a public place in California. . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation

Updated: 12 April 2022; Ref: scu.194306

Lukowlak v Unidad Editorial SA (No 1): QBD 23 Jul 2001

When a court considered a defamation contained in a multi-jurisdictional publication, and the question of whether there might be any duty to publish, it should recognise and respect the global nature of modern publications, with more widely acknowledged duties to report information, and a public having a more widely recognised right to receive the same information. The court should accordingly avoid entering into a debate using fine distinctions between the laws of the several jurisdictions in which the material had been published.
The reasonable reader is ‘now perceived by the courts, both domestic and international, as having stronger stomachs and more discriminating judgment than was traditionally recognised’.

Citations:

Times 23-Jul-2001, [2001] EMLR 46

Cited by:

CitedUppal v Endemol UK Ltd and Others QBD 9-Apr-2014
The claimant alleged defamation by other contestants at the time when she was participating in the defendants’ TV show, Big Brother. The defendants had broadcast the material. The defendant now sought a ruling that the words complained of were not . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation, International

Updated: 09 April 2022; Ref: scu.83241

Gleaves et Al v Insall; Gleaves v Insall: QBD 24 Mar 1999

A person wanting to issue criminal libel proceedings must disclose to a magistrates court the refusal of other justices to agree to issue the summons. A reporter is not himself responsible for publication, and leave is not required to issue against him.

Citations:

Times 24-Mar-1999

Statutes:

Law of Libel (Amendment) Act 1888 8

Defamation

Updated: 08 April 2022; Ref: scu.80864

Goldsmith and Another v Bhoyrul and Others: QBD 20 Jun 1997

A political party is not to have the power to sue in defamation proceedings. Such a power would operate against public policy in that it would restrict democratic debate.
Buckley J said that the principle that a local authority may not sue in defamation, established in Derbyshire v Times and Hector, must apply equally to a democratically electable political party.

Judges:

Buckley J

Citations:

Times 20-Jun-1997, Gazette 16-Jul-1997, [1998] QB 459

Citing:

CitedHector v Attorney General of Antigua PC 1990
Lord Bridge of Harwich said that: ‘In a free democratic society it is almost too obvious to need stating that those who hold office in government and who are responsible for public administration must always be open to criticism. Any attempt to . .
CitedDerbyshire County Council v Times Newspapers Ltd and Others HL 18-Feb-1993
Local Council may not Sue in Defamation
Local Authorities must be open to criticism as political and administrative bodies, and so cannot be allowed to sue in defamation. Such a right would operate as ‘a chill factor’ on free speech. Freedom of speech was the underlying value which . .

Cited by:

CitedTilbrook v Parr QBD 13-Jul-2012
The claimant, chair of a political party, the English Democrats, said that a blog written and published on the Internet by the defendant was defamatory and contained malicious falsehoods. The blog was said to associate the claimant’s party with . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation

Updated: 08 April 2022; Ref: scu.80899

Charlton v Emap Plc and Others: QBD 11 Jun 1993

A defendant offering an explanation as part of a defamation settlement must not detract from the Plaintiff’s vindication. The court rejected the submission of the defendant in a libel action that the claimant should be refused permission to read a Statement of Open Court in the form for which the claimant sought permission. The defendant did not oppose the claimant’s application for permission to make a statement at all. The ground of its opposition was that the claimant should have included in the statement and explanation of the defendant’s reasons for paying money into court. The defendant had explained that this was ‘entirely for commercial reasons and does not reflect our view of the strength of [the defendant]’s case on the merits.’ There was a plea of justification. The judge held that in the circumstances of that case the claimant was entitled to a statement which wholly vindicated and exonerated her.

Judges:

HHJ Previt

Citations:

Times 11-Jun-1993

Cited by:

CitedAdelson and Another v Associated Newspapers QBD 19-Feb-2008
Complaint was made that an article was defamatory of the owner of Manchester United. The defendant now argued that the game was not worth the candle. The costs vastly exceeded any possible recovery, and it had openly offered vindication, and that . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation

Updated: 08 April 2022; Ref: scu.78991

Lachaux v Independent Print Ltd (2): CA 12 Sep 2017

The court was asked whether the defendants and their solicitors may retain and make use of information contained in documents which are said by the claimant to be confidential and the subject of legal professional privilege

Judges:

Lord Justice Davis

Citations:

[2017] EWCA Civ 1327

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

See AlsoLachaux v Independent Print Ltd and Others QBD 29-Jun-2015
Orders allowing extension of time for service of the Particulars of Claim. . .
See AlsoLachaux v Independent Print Ltd QBD 30-Jul-2015
The claimant brought defamation claims as to articles making allegations said to imply that the claimant had mistreated his wife. The defendant contended that, while inferences might sometimes suffice, s.1 (1) nevertheless required a claimant to . .
See AlsoLachaux v Independent Print Ltd QBD 11-Mar-2015
Judgment as to meaning of certain of the phrases founding the defamation action.
Held: The articles were held to have meant (inter alia) that Mr Lachaux had been violent and abusive towards his wife during their marriage, had hidden Louis’ . .
See AlsoLachaux v Independent Print Ltd QBD 1-Apr-2015
The claimant alleged defamation by the three defendant news organisations. The defendants now sought trial of certain preliminary issues, and particularly whether the claimant had suffered any serious harm to his reputation.
Held: The court . .
See AlsoLachaux v Independent Print Ltd/ Evening Standard Ltd QBD 18-Dec-2015
In each of these libel actions the Claimant applied for an order for the delivery up of documents which he claimed were the subject of legal professional privilege but which have been obtained by the Defendants from his former wife, Ms Lachaux, in . .
See AlsoLachaux v Independent Print Ltd (1) CA 12-Sep-2017
Defamation – presumption of damage after 2013 Act
The claimant said that the defendant had published defamatory statements which were part of a campaign of defamation brought by his former wife. The court now considered the requirement for substantiality in the 2013 Act.
Held: The defendant’s . .

Cited by:

See AlsoLachaux v Independent Print Ltd (1) CA 12-Sep-2017
Defamation – presumption of damage after 2013 Act
The claimant said that the defendant had published defamatory statements which were part of a campaign of defamation brought by his former wife. The court now considered the requirement for substantiality in the 2013 Act.
Held: The defendant’s . .
CitedLachaux v Independent Print Ltd and Another SC 12-Jun-2019
Need to Show Damage Increased by 2013 Act
The claimant alleged defamation by three publishers. The articles were held to have defamatory meaning, but the papers argued that the defamations did not reach the threshold of seriousness in section 1(1) of the 2013 Act.
Held: Section 1 of . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation, Intellectual Property, Litigation Practice

Updated: 05 April 2022; Ref: scu.594989

Serafin v Malkiewicz and Others: QBD 24 Nov 2017

Claim for damages and injunctive relief in the torts of libel and misuse of private information in connection with an article published in October 2015 in the Second Defendant’s newspaper, Nowy Czas.
Held: The defence of justification having been established in large part, the claim failed.

Judges:

Jay J

Citations:

[2017] EWHC 2992 (QB)

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

Appeal fromSerafin v Malkiewicz and Others CA 17-May-2019
Appeal from rejection of claim in defamation . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation, Information

Updated: 02 April 2022; Ref: scu.601115

Alsaifi v Trinity Mirror Plc and Others: QBD 27 Jun 2017

Applications concerning (1) the meanings which the words complained of are capable of bearing and (2) the extent to which, if at all, the claims advanced by the claimant have any real prospect of success having regard to that issue, and the reporting privileges provided for in s 15 of and the Schedule to the Defamation Act 1996, paragraphs 9 and 11.

Judges:

Warby J

Citations:

[2017] EWHC 1444 (QB)

Links:

Bailii

Statutes:

Defamation Act 1996

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Defamation

Updated: 27 March 2022; Ref: scu.589906

Woodward v Grice: QBD 7 Jun 2017

King J awarded pounds 18,000 (pounds 8,000 of which were aggravated damages) for a website publication ‘read by at most 100s of people rather than 1000s’ making a false allegation against a solicitor that he had been struck off. There was no plea of truth (or any other defence) advanced and the Defendant had published an apology (albeit the Judge found rather late in the day).

Judges:

King J

Citations:

[2017] EWHC 1292 (QB)

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedDhir v Saddler QBD 6-Dec-2017
Slander damages reduced for conduct
Claim in slander. The defendant was said, at a church meeting to have accused the client of threatening to slit her throat. The defendant argued that the audience of 80 was not large enough.
Held: ‘the authorities demonstrate that it is the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation, Damages

Updated: 27 March 2022; Ref: scu.588191

Monroe v Hopkins: QBD 10 Mar 2017

The claimant, a transgender chef and food blogger claimed in defamation against the defendant journalist in respect of two tweets. The court now set out to decide the meanings, whether they were defamatory by nature, and whether the serious harm requirement had been met.
Held: ‘Ms Monroe complains of the natural and ordinary meaning. That is not the same as a literal meaning. The literal meaning, that Ms Monroe had herself scrawled on and vandalised a memorial, would be rejected by the reasonable reader, having regard to the context. The reader would see the tweet as having an element of metaphor. But it is, to my mind, an inescapable conclusion that the ordinary reasonable reader of the First Tweet would understand it to mean that Ms Monroe ‘condoned and approved of scrawling on war memorials, vandalising monuments commemorating those who fought for her freedom.’ That is a meaning that emerges clearly enough, making full allowance for everything that seems to me relevant by way of context: the characteristics of Ms Hopkins and Ms Monroe, the nature of Twitter, and the immediately surrounding contextual material on Twitter. ‘

Judges:

Warby J

Citations:

[2017] EWHC 433 (QB), [2017] WLR(D) 188

Links:

Bailii, WLRD

Statutes:

Defamation Act 2013 81

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

CitedFulham (orse Fullam) v Newcastle Chronicle and Journal Ltd and Another CA 1977
A local newspaper circulating in Teesside, where the claimant had been appointed deputy headmaster of a school, published an article in 1973 saying of the claimant that he was a former Roman Catholic priest who had left his parish in the Salford . .
CitedJeynes v News Magazines Ltd and Another CA 31-Jan-2008
Whether Statement defamatory at common law
The claimant appealed against a striking out of her claim for defamation on finding that the words did not have the defamatory meaning complained of, namely that she was transgendered or transsexual.
Held: The appeal failed.
Sir Anthony . .
CitedThornton v Telegraph Media Group Ltd QBD 26-Jul-2011
The claimant alleged defamation and malicious falsehood in an article published and written by the defendants. She complained that she was said to have fabricated an interview with the second defendant for her book. An interview of sorts had now . .
CitedModi and Another v Clarke CA 29-Jul-2011
The claimants, organisers of the Indian Premier cricket League, met with organisations in England seeking to establish a similar league in the Northern Hemisphere. A copy of a note came to the defendant, chairman of the England and Wales Cricket . .
CitedMcAlpine v Bercow QBD 24-May-2013
The claimant alleged defamation in a tweet by the defendant. The court now decided as a preliminary point, the meaning of the words: ‘Why is Lord McAlpine trending? *Innocent face*’. There had been other but widespread (mistaken) allegations against . .
CitedMcAlpine v Bercow QBD 2014
The claimant alleged defamation by the defendant in making a false allegation against him.
Held: The second Jeynes principle does not mean that the court must always choose the least defamatory meaning available. Where there are two possible . .
CitedWaterson v Lloyd and Another QBD 26-Jul-2013
When looking at a political speech, the court should be careful of over-elaborate analysis. . .
CitedSimpson v Mirror Group Newspapers Ltd CA 26-Jul-2016
When looking for a defamatory meaning, the court should adopt a neutral approach . .
CitedDee v Telegraph Media Group Ltd QBD 28-Apr-2010
The newspaper sought summary judgment in its defence of the defamation claim. The article labelled the claimant as the world’s worst professional tennis player. The paper said he had no prospect of succeeding once the second article in the same . .
CitedBarron MP and Another v Vines QBD 29-Apr-2015
The court considered the damages to be awarded afer a libellous television broadcast on Sky TV. The claimants were MPs for Rotherham. There had been a large scale abuse of children, and they had been accused of not responding properly to it by the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation

Updated: 24 March 2022; Ref: scu.581317

Otuo v Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Britain: CA 9 Mar 2017

Appeal against refusal to excuse claim in slander being out of time. The claim was in respect of the claimant being ‘disfellowed’ by the Society.
Held: The claim form was in fact issued one day within the period. Appeal allowed.

Judges:

Sir Geoffrey Charles Vos Ch, Gloster, Sharp LJJ

Citations:

[2017] EWCA Civ 136

Links:

Bailii

Statutes:

Limitation Act 1980 32A

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Defamation, Limitation

Updated: 09 February 2022; Ref: scu.579609

British Coal Corporation v National Union of Mineworkers and Another: QBD 28 Jun 1996

The plaintiffs, British Coal Corporation, claim damages for libel against the National Union of Mineworkers (Yorkshire area) and also against one of the union’s senior officials. The alleged libel was published in the ‘Yorkshire Miner’, a monthly magazine distributed by the NUM, and the issue in question was that for April, 1992. The defendants said that the action in defamation could not be brought by the plaintiff because of its public status.

Judges:

French J

Citations:

[1996] EWHC 380 (QB)

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Defamation

Updated: 31 January 2022; Ref: scu.575313

Stocker v Stocker: CA 12 Feb 2018

Defamation proceedings after divorce.
Sharp LJ said this about the use of dictionaries as a means of deciding the meaning to be given to a statement alleged to be defamatory: ‘The use of dictionaries does not form part of the process of determining the natural and ordinary meaning of words, because what matters is the impression conveyed by the words to the ordinary reader when they are read, and it is this that the judge must identify. As it happened however no harm was done in this case. The judge told counsel during the course of submissions that he had looked at the OED definitions and what they said, so the parties had the opportunity to address him about it; the judge, as he then said, merely used the dictionary definitions as a check, and no more; those definitions were in substance the rival ones contended for by the parties, and in the event, the judge’s ultimate reasoning, not dependent on dictionaries, was sound.’

Judges:

McFarlane,Sharp DBE, LJJ Sir John Laws

Citations:

[2018] EWCA Civ 170, [2018] 1 FCR 763, [2018] EMLR 15, [2019] 2 WLR 1033

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

See AlsoStocker v Stocker CA 24-Mar-2015
Application for leave to appeal . .
Appeal fromStocker 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.
See AlsoStocker v Stocker QBD 29-Jan-2016
Application on pre-trial review . .

Cited by:

Appeal fromStocker v Stocker SC 3-Apr-2019
The parties had been married and divorced. Mrs S told M S’s new partner on Facebook that he had tried to strangle her and made other allegations. Mrs S now appealed from a finding that she had defamed him. Lord Kerr restated the approach to meaning . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation

Updated: 29 January 2022; Ref: scu.605191

Bukovsky v Crown Prosecution Service: CA 13 Oct 2017

Appeal from strike out of defamation claim, based upon press release by the respondent in a charging announcement. The claim had been struck out on the basis that the words complained of did not have the defamatory meaning alleged.
Held: Dismissed Simon LJ said that the propositions which were made omitted ‘an important principle [namely] . . the context and circumstances of the publication . .’

Judges:

Gross, Simon, Peter Jackson LJJ

Citations:

[2017] EWCA 1529 Civ, [2018] 4 WLR 13, [2018] EMLR 5

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedStocker v Stocker SC 3-Apr-2019
The parties had been married and divorced. Mrs S told M S’s new partner on Facebook that he had tried to strangle her and made other allegations. Mrs S now appealed from a finding that she had defamed him. Lord Kerr restated the approach to meaning . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation

Updated: 29 January 2022; Ref: scu.596085

Monroe v Hopkins: QBD 28 Mar 2017

Ruling – Permission to Appeal – The defendant sought leave to appeal against the award of 24,000 pounds in damages for two teweets found to have been defamatory of the claimant.
Warby J said this about tweets posted on Twitter: ‘The most significant lessons to be drawn from the authorities as applied to a case of this kind seem to be the rather obvious ones, that this is a conversational medium; so it would be wrong to engage in elaborate analysis of a 140 character tweet; that an impressionistic approach is much more fitting and appropriate to the medium; but that this impressionistic approach must take account of the whole tweet and the context in which the ordinary reasonable reader would read that tweet. That context includes (a) matters of ordinary general knowledge; and (b) matters that were put before that reader via Twitter.’

Judges:

Warby J

Citations:

[2017] EWHC 645 (QB), [2017] WLR(D) 234, [2017] 1 WLR 3587

Links:

Bailii, WLRD, WLRD

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedStocker v Stocker SC 3-Apr-2019
The parties had been married and divorced. Mrs S told M S’s new partner on Facebook that he had tried to strangle her and made other allegations. Mrs S now appealed from a finding that she had defamed him. Lord Kerr restated the approach to meaning . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation, Damages

Updated: 29 January 2022; Ref: scu.581415

Barron and Others v Collins MEP: QBD 22 Dec 2016

The defendant MEP had had adjourned the claim against her for defamation, claiming that her actions has been as an MEP and therefore exempt from proceedings. The chair of the European Parliament Legal Affairs Committee had received and rejected her request for protection. She now said that she had not been properly advised when settling.
Held: After discussing each of them, the court jeld that: ‘the defendant falls a long way short of demonstrating that the public interest requires an investigation of the matters of defence that she has put forward.’ Her application was dismissed.

Warby J
[2016] EWHC 3350 (QB)
Bailii
Defamation Act 1996 2 3 4
England and Wales
Citing:
CitedDi Placito v Slater and others CA 19-Dec-2003
The parties had earlier compromised their dispute, with the claimant undertaking not to lodge any further claim unless he did so within a certain time. They now sought to commence action.
Held: When considering whether to discharge such an . .
CitedWarren v The Random House Group Ltd CA 16-Jul-2008
An offer of amends by the defendant had been accepted by the claimant. The defendant then sought to set aside the agreement and to resist the claim on its merits in reliance on a defence of justification. The parties disputed whether such an offer . .
See AlsoBarron MP and Another v Vines QBD 29-Apr-2015
The court considered the damages to be awarded afer a libellous television broadcast on Sky TV. The claimants were MPs for Rotherham. There had been a large scale abuse of children, and they had been accused of not responding properly to it by the . .
See AlsoBarron MP and Others v Collins MEP QBD 29-Apr-2015
Trial of preliminary issues in for defamation. The claimants, MPs for Rotherham areas, said that a speech by the defendant to the UKIP conference and repeated on TV contained assertions defamatory of them.
Held: The words complained of bore . .
CitedDecker v Hopcraft QBD 30-Apr-2015
The claimant, a litigant in person, was absent from the hearing of a defamation action arising from a dispute between the parties in their capacities as committee members of the Crawley Boxing Club.
Held: The court gave its reasons for . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation, Constitutional

Updated: 27 January 2022; Ref: scu.572647