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Defamation/ Libel


18.06.19

Defamation claims up by 70% in 2018

Inforrm, the leading independent media law blog, reported last week that judicial statistics for 2018 show a 70% increase in the number of defamation claims issued. 265 defamation claims were issued in London in 2018, compared with 156 in 2017.  This is the second year in a row which has seen a dramatic increase, and the figures…

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24.05.19

MailOnline pays libel damages to barrister for false death threat allegations

The MailOnline has agreed to pay libel damages and legal costs to barrister Barbara Hewson after repeating allegations made in The Times that she was responsible for making death threats to a law student. An apology published in the MailOnline stated “An article published from 12 April 2017 reported allegations made in The Times that…

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Iain Wilson writes in the Daily Mail about the abuse of parliamentary privilege

The Daily Mail has published an article by Brett Wilson LLP partner Iain Wilson about the growing trend of parliamentary privilege being used to circumvent court orders and make statements that would otherwise be considered defamatory.  The article can be found here.

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16.05.19

Meeting the serious harm threshold in defamation claims: Claimants gets second bite of the cherry

In the case of Tinkler v Ferguson & Ors [2019] EWCA Civ 819, the Court of Appeal provided some much-needed clarification on whether a claimant is able to demonstrate by evidence at trial that a defamatory statement has caused or is likely to cause serious harm to his/her reputation after the Court has declined to…

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Tommy Robinson sued for libel by 16 year old refugee

The far-right activist Tommy Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, is being sued for libel by Jamal Hijazi, a 16 year old Syrian refugee. A video of Hijazi, a schoolboy, being attacked and having water poured on his face caused public outcry last year and condemnation from the prime minister. The libel claim alleges…

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9.04.19

Supreme Court considers social media defamation: context is everything

Some practitioners were surprised that Stocker v Stocker [2019] UKSC 17 reached the country’s highest court.  The appeal concerned the meaning (or imputation) of words in a libel action.  At first blush this apparently factual dispute might not have seemed to be a matter of any particular public importance, taking into account the Supreme Court’s busy workload and…

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6.03.19

Brexiteer ordered to pay philosopher £20,000 in libel damages for paedophile tweet

Peter North, former UKIP parliamentary candidate and founder of the Brexit-supporting Leave Alliance, has been ordered to pay philosopher and academic AC Grayling £20,000 in libel damages after tweeting an allegation that Professor Grayling was in possession of child pornography. Facts Professor Grayling is an outspoken critic of Brexit.  Mr North is an outspoken Brexiteer.  On 10…

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1.03.19

An allegation of dishonesty – A statement of fact or the expression of opinion?

In a number of recent libel cases, the court has encouraged parties to apply prior to the service of a defence for a preliminary issue trial where the meaning of the words complained of is in dispute.  Often, as part of such a hearing, parties will also seek the determination of other issues, such as…

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19.02.19

Life 2009 Ltd -v- Lambeth London Borough Council: Statement in Open Court

A Statement in Open Court read before Mr Justice Warby in the High Court on 19 February 2019 following the settlement of Life 2009 Ltd’s libel/Human Rights Act claim against Lambeth London Borough Council can be found here. A press statement issued by Life is available on its website here.

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22.01.19

Facebook ‘Keyboard warrior’ ordered to pay £55,000 in libel and harassment damages after false accusations of animal cruelty and orchestration of online hate campaign

  In Suttle v Walker [2019] EWHC 396 QB Mr Justice Nicklin ordered Samantha Walker to pay care home manager Kim Suttle £55,685.06 in libel and harassment damages after instigating a hate campaign against her based on false allegations that she had abused her dog. Facts The Claimant Ms Suttle was walking one of her dogs…

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Articles are intended as an introduction to the topic and do not constitute legal advice.

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