Watson v Daily Record Ltd: CA 1907

The court considered what was necessary to justify the court taking jursdiction against a non-resident defendant in a defamation action.
Cozens-Hardy LJ said: ‘Now it seems plain that the Court has a discretion, and that a plaintiff cannot acquire a right to serve a defendant out of the jurisdiction by the mere fact that his writ claims an injunction. The Court must at least be satisfied that the claim for an injunction is made in good faith. This was decided by the Divisional Court in De Bernales v. New York Herald, where Lopes LJ. said: ‘I do not believe the claim for an injunction is made bona fide, but merely to bring the case within Order XI. There is no evidence of any apprehended repetition of the libel, and indeed, having regard to the circumstances, it is most improbable that it will be repeated . . The giving leave to serve notice of writs out of the jurisdiction is a matter of judicial discretion.’ It must not be inferred from the language used by Lopes LJ in that case that want of good faith is a complete or exhaustive statement of the grounds for refusing to order service out of the jurisdiction. If the Court is satisfied that, even assuming the plaintiff to have a good cause of action, there is no reasonable probability that he will obtain an injunction, the Court ought not to consider the insertion of a claim for an injunction as sufficient to justify service on a person resident out of the jurisdiction. The Court is bound to consider all the circumstances disclosed by the affidavits, and to take care that a Scotchman, or it may be a foreigner, is not improperly made amenable to the orders of an English tribunal.’


Cozens-Hardy LJ


[1907] 1 KB 853

Cited by:

CitedAshton Investments Ltd. and Another v OJSC Russian Aluminium (Rusal) and others ComC 18-Oct-2006
The claimants sought damages for breach of confidence saying that the defendants had hacked into their computer systems via the internet to seek privileged information in the course of litigation. The defendants denied this and said the courts had . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Defamation, Jurisdiction

Updated: 14 May 2022; Ref: scu.245759