Two serving prisoners have brought a libel action against the police for the contents of a press release which they allege have defamed them. In RH and AA* v The Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis  EWHC 848 (QB), the High Court was asked to consider the actual meaning of the words complained of in a press release entitled ˜Three Jailed for Murder of Marvin Henry and whether the proceedings were an abuse of process.
On 18 April 2013, the Civil Justice Council (CJC) Working Group published its report with recommendations on costs protection in defamation and privacy claims. The Government had delayed the implementation of reform in these types of cases after the publication of the Leveson Report. In other civil cases, reforms were brought into effect from 1 April 2013 which has changed the nature of Conditional Fee Agreements. Defamation and privacy claims are often brought on the basis of these agreements due to the high costs associated with these actions.
The High Court was asked to consider the meaning of CPR 40.7(1) in determining whether a reserved judgment in an application during defamation proceedings could be given after the death of the claimant.
save in libel/privacy, insolvency and mesothelioma cases, Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) success fees and After The Event (ATE) insurance premiums have ceased to be recoverable from the losing party in civil litigation. The change will not affect CFAs and ATE insurance policies enetered into prior to 1 April 2013.