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 »





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”.

Read the rest of this entry »








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