Defamation Act 2013, A Critical Evaluation, Part 3, “Truth” and “Honest Comment” – Dan Tench

28 07 2014

Defamation ActIn earlier posts I have dealt with general concerns about the Defamation Act 2013 and concerns about section 1, “Serious harm”. In this post, I will look at at the new statutory defences of “truth” and “honest comment” which are set out section 2 and section 3. Read the rest of this entry »





Defamation Act 2013, A Critical Evaluation, Part 2: “Serious Harm” – Dan Tench

27 07 2014

Defamation ActIn this post, I continue setting out concerns with the Defamation Act 2013 by looking at the test for serious harm in section 1 of the Defamation Act 2013.  There is no sensible objection to a seriousness threshold for a defamation claim.  As the explanatory notes of the Act make clear, this is the current law.  Read the rest of this entry »





Defamation Act 2013, A Critical Evaluation: Part 1, General Concerns – Dan Tench

26 07 2014

Defamation ActThe Defamation Act 2013 has now been in force for just over six months.  That means that practitioners have now had the opportunity to become more familiar with its terms and effect and applying it in practice.  There have been few cases arising so far relating to its wording.  However, my own view is that the closer one looks at the legislation, the more unwelcome it becomes. Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law: Wissa v Associated Newspapers, Remember to plead the words complained of! – Valerie Paisner

15 07 2014

Daily MailThe recent case of Wissa v Associated Newspapers Limited ([2014] EWHC 1518 (QB)) is an important reminder that, when pleading a defamation claim, it is necessary to set out the precise text of the words complained of and that it is not sufficient to simply state where they can be found e.g. on a particular URL. Read the rest of this entry »





The “Recovering Drug Addict,” the Blog and Defamation – Susan Brenner

10 06 2014

T Boone Pickens JrAs Daily Mail explained at the time, a year (or so) ago, Texas oil billionaire T. Boone Pickens, Jr. and three of his children — Elizabeth Cordia, Pamela Pickens, and Thomas B. Pickens III – sued his son Michael O. Pickens.  Pickens v. Cordia, 2014 WL 2134540 (Texas Court of Appeals 2014). Read the rest of this entry »





News: Daily Mail Apologises in Court for libelling Counsellor – Michelle Gribbon and Brian Cathcart

22 05 2014

Baylissa-Frederick1A professional counsellor yesterday won an apology from the Daily Mail, which admitted in court that it had harmed and distressed her by publishing defamatory allegations about her medical history. Baylissa Frederick, author and founder of the charity Recovery Road, which helped people suffering from addiction to tranquillisers, sleeping pills and anti-depressants, also received undisclosed damages. Read the rest of this entry »





Pope Francis and the sin of defamation: Amber Melville-Brown

4 05 2014

Pope FrancisWhen the Pope speaks, millions of people listen. Over the centuries this has not necessarily meant good news. The words of religious leaders have led to Holy wars and significant loss of life. Read the rest of this entry »





Reporting Libel: “Plebgate”, the demand for £200,000 that never was

27 04 2014

The Mail on Sunday today has a MoS Front Pagefront page story with the headline “Plebgate PC: I want £200k for MP’s ‘lies‘”. This is described by the BBC as “the latest twist in this extraordinary saga“.  It is nothing of the sort.  The figure of £200,000 is not the sum being “demanded” by the claimant. Read the rest of this entry »





Reflections on the Defamation Act 2013, one year after Royal Assent – Matthew Collins

25 04 2014

CollinsIt is one year today since the Defamation Act 2013 received the Royal Assent. Dr Matt Collins QC reflects on the English law of defamation and the significance of last year’s reforms.

No-one, starting from scratch, would devise defamation laws of the kind with which England and Wales, and the rest of the common law world, have been saddled. If they could be represented pictorially, they might resemble Frankenstein’s monster: countless complications and piecemeal reforms riveted to the rusting hulk of a centuries’ old cause of action. Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law, Scotland: Kinley v Devine, Ex-MP’s former office manager wins libel damages against him

15 04 2014

Jim DevineIn the case of Kinley v Devine ([2014] CSOH 67) disgraced former MP Jim Devine was ordered to pay his one-time officer manager £18,000 in libel damages including interest over a series of statements in which he accused her of dishonesty and theft and claimed she was a gambling addict. Read the rest of this entry »








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