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 »

Was the High Court right to find that the DA’s SMS saying Zuma ‘stole’ was fair comment? – Dario Milo and Ben Winks

13 04 2014

ZumaOn Friday, 4 April 2014, in the case of African National Congress v Democratic Alliance ([2014] ZAGPJHC 58), the  the Johannesburg High Court that it was ‘fair comment’ for the Democratic Alliance (DA) to label President Zuma a thief in a bulk SMS sent to over 1.5 million recipients last month. The judgment raises important questions about the boundaries of free speech in a democratic society. Read the rest of this entry »

Case Law: Uppal v Endemol UK Ltd, Summary judgment for defendant on meaning – Alexia Bedat

11 04 2014

Deana UppalThe recent decision in the case of Uppal v Endemol UK Ltd & Ors [2014] EWHC 1063 (QB) is a useful reminder of the threshold of seriousness that must be met before words are found to be capable of bearing a defamatory meaning. Read the rest of this entry »

Case Law, Australia: Brendan Ritson v Gary Burns, A$7500 damages for “a single comment made to one person” – Yvonne Kux

3 04 2014

gazetteIn the case of Ritson v Burns ([2014] NSWSC 272), a former policeman who was called a criminal by gay rights activist was awarded damages of A$7500 for publication to one person.  In her judgment, NSW Supreme Court Justice Lucy McCallum made it clear that the action “warrants some explanation”.

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Case Law, Ireland: Jeffery v. The Minister for Justice and Equality, Court Proceedings and Immunity from Defamation – Yvonne Moynihan

30 03 2014

Department_of_Justice,_Equality_and_Law_ReformIn general, what is said in court proceedings is protected by absolute privilege.  In Ireland this is placed on a statutory footing by s. 17(2) of the Defamation Act 2009. Privilege is not only attached to oral testimony but also to affidavits and documents produced in the course of a hearing. Read the rest of this entry »

Case Law: McEvoy v. Michael, defamation, political speech, meaning and comment – Anthony Hudson

28 03 2014

Neil-McAvoy-6083209The recent decision in the case of McEvoy v Michael ([2014] EWHC 701 (QB)) provides a helpful practical example and reminder of the breadth and value of the defence of fair comment (now honest opinion pursuant to s.3 of the Defamation Act 2013) in protecting political speech.

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The Defamation Act 2013, the Art of Missing the Big Picture – Claire de Than

24 03 2014

Defamation Act 2013Since 2010 the media have escalated their campaign for major reform to the law of defamation, to remove the perceived ‘chilling effect’ on journalism of the threat of libel actions. Read the rest of this entry »

Case Law, Australia: Bob Ell v Katie Milne, Billionaire gets $15,000 damages over defamatory email – Yvonne Kux

22 03 2014

gazetteBillionaire property developer awarded damages of $15,000 for defamation by Greens councillor, neither of whom appeared at trial … Verdict based on documents and submissions. Read the rest of this entry »

Libel Reform and Scotland, the Silence of the Lords – Paul Tweed

21 03 2014

Paul TweedDuring the course of what has been an intense, and often vitriolic, debate in the House of Lords on the decision not to implement the Defamation Act 2013 in Northern Ireland, the failure to even mention the similar stance taken by Scotland is somewhat bewildering. Read the rest of this entry »

Northern Ireland: Defamation claims in 2013, numbers stabilise – Olivia O’Kane

21 03 2014

High-Court-BelfastCourt records show that the number of libel cases issued in Northern Ireland in 2013 remains at a similar level to 2011 and 2012.  The total of all claims, in the High Court and the County Court, was 32 in 2012 and 30 in 2013. Read the rest of this entry »


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