Recently we reported that the Supreme Court had granted The Independent permission to appeal the decision in the Lachaux v Independent Print Ltd  EWCA Civ 1334. The case concerns the “serious harm” threshold for bringing a defamation claim and is unarguably the most important defamation decision since the inception of the Defamation Act 2013. Much has been said about the law, but behind every landmark case is at least one aggrieved party. Today the second defendant The Huffington Post’s publishers Oath (UK) Ltd joined with the Claimant in making a statement in open court accepting that the defamatory allegations it had published were untrue.
The Right to be Forgotten has been in the news again recently following the decision in NT1 & NT2 v Google LLC  EWHC 799 (QB) (read our blog on that decision here), but Google will often voluntarily remove content from its search engine results on a variety of other grounds, including that the content is defamatory.
Selvaratnam Suresh, an honorary chairman, trustee and co-founder of the Oriental Fine Arts Academy of London (‘OFAAL’) has succeeded in his libel claim against Abdul Samad, Amirthalingam Nagarajah and Kajananan Sathananthan, after the defendants agreed to retract their allegations, apologise and pay compensation and costs. The first two defendants are parents of pupils at the West London Tamil School. The third defendant is a former pupil and the president of the school’s alumni association.
The long-awaited decision in Lachaux v Independent Print Ltd  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 2013 – “the serious harm” test – and determines the point at which a claim for libel crystallises.
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.
In TRK & BVP v ICM  EWHC 2810 Mr Justice Warby granted an interim without notice injunction preventing a spurned lover from disclosing private information obtained from the alleged hacking of his former lover’s computer system.
The claimant in the case of Economou v De Freitas ( EWHC 1853 (QB)) has lost his libel action against the father of a woman who accused him of rape. The claimant, Alexander Economou, brought the action over statements published in the media between November and December 2014 which he claimed amounted to a “public rubbishing” by the defendant. Mr Justice Warby dismissed the claim at the High Court on 26 July 2016 on the grounds that the statements were made in the public interest.
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.