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2.07.18

Defamation/ Libel: Defamation claims up by 40% in 2017

Inforrm, the leading independent media law blog, reported last week that judicial statistics for 2017 show a 40% increase in the number of defamation claims issued. 156 defamation claims were issued in London in 2017, compared with 112 in 2016. These figures debunk the theory that has been, somewhat lazily, it might be said, regurgitated…

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23.04.18

Martin Lewis to sue Facebook

Martin Lewis, the consumer campaigner, has announced that he intends to issue defamation proceedings against Facebook in respect of misleading advertisements bearing his name that have been published on the social media platform. It is claimed that many of the adverts show Martin Lewis’ face next to endorsements that he has not made.  These include…

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26.03.18

Supreme Court to hear appeal on "serious harm" threshold in defamation cases

The Supreme Court has granted the unsuccessful defendants in Lachaux v Independent Print Ltd [2017] EWCA Civ 1327 permission to appeal against the Court of Appeal’s rulings regarding the application of section 1(1) of the Defamation Act 2013. Section 1(1) of the Defamation Act 2013 states that a statement is not defamatory unless it is publication…

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2.11.17

Butt v Secretary of State for the Home Department: Revisiting the honest opinion defence

The decision in Butt v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] EWHC 2619 (QB) clarifies the application of the statutory defence of honest opinion under section 3 of the Defamation Act 2013. In doing so the case also confirms the application of the defence to statements made by Government bodies and the interdependence of the defence upon…

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31.10.17

#MeToo, naming and shaming: a risky business?

“#MeToo”: Five letters that have been tweeted millions of times in the past month, and demonstrate the enormous power of social media and how it can bring about change for the good.  The feeling of solidarity is a cathartic experience for many who have been the victim of sexual abuse, harassment or other forms of…

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15.09.17

Business as usual?  The Court of Appeal considers the threshold for bringing a libel claim in Lachaux v Independent Print Ltd.

The long-awaited decision in Lachaux v Independent Print Ltd [2017] EWCA Civ 1334 has brought some badly-needed clarity and certainty to the law of libel, and it seems fair to say that reports of the death of the libel writ have been greatly exaggerated.  The decision interprets both the meaning of section 1(1) of the Defamation Act…

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11.06.17

Defamation cases: Number of defamation claims issued at a record low

The Ministry of Justice has published annual statistics which further suggest that London’s reputation as the ‘libel capital of the world’ might be undeserved.  The 2016 figures show that only 112 claims were issued in the Royal Courts of Justice (RCJ) in London (all defamation claims must be issued in the High Court; the vast…

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16.03.17

Court orders Katie Hopkins to pay £24,000 in damages in Twitter libel case

The food blogger, journalist and left-wing political activist Jack Monroe has been awarded £24,000 in damages by the High Court following two tweets sent by the MailOnline (and former Sun) columnist Katie Hopkins in May 2015. Factual background On 9 May 2015, two days after the General Election, the words “Fuck Tory Scum” were spray painted on…

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21.06.16

UKIP politician ordered to pay £40,000 damages to two Labour MPs in libel case

Two Labour MPs, Sir Kevin Barron and John Healey, have each been awarded £40,000 in damages as a result of libelous comments made about them during an interview by a political rival on national television. Liability had already been determined and there was subsequently a hearing to determine quantum. Background The claimants in this case…

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15.02.16

Defamation: case law update on the application of the 'serious harm' test

In Alvaro Sobrinho v Impressa Publishing SA [2016] EWHC 66 (QB) the High Court held that an article written in a Portuguese publication about allegedly illegal activity carried out by a banker did not satisfy the ‘serious harm’ test as set out in section 1(1) of the Defamation Act 2013. The Court also held that…

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