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Defamation/ Libel


SLAPPs: A real problem or a defendant’s wildcard?

Brett Wilson LLP partner Iain Wilson argues that problems regarding so-called SLAPPs are overstated and that further defamation reform is unnecessary   In our blog In defence of privacy and the judiciary we discussed how the press had misreported the decision in HRH the Duchess of Sussex v Associated Newspapers Ltd [2021] EWCA Civ 1810 and,…

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Blacklisted: Removing a marker from a fraud database

Fraud databases effectively act as blacklists for financial institutions.  An individual with a fraud marker against their name on a fraud database will normally only discover its existence after they have had to deal with the adverse effects that it can cause, such as being refused credit, or an abrupt (and often unexplained) closure of…

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Depp v Heard: the perils of life-streaming and trial by TikTok

Following on from recent blogs on derogations from the principles of open justice and closed materials, we look today at the other side of that coin: wide-open justice.  At the time of writing, the US defamation case of John C. Depp II v Amber Laura Heard (CL-2019-2911) is just past its half-way point in Fairfax,…

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Closed judgments and national security

In this blog we examine the decisions in The Queen on the application of Privacy International v Investigatory Powers Tribunal [2022] EWHC 770 QB and Her Majesty’s Attorney General for England and Wales v British Broadcasting Corporation [2022] EWHC 826 (QB), and the topic of closed judgments.  Neither judgment fully explains the reasoning behind their…

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Anonymisation in civil proceedings

There has long been a tension between the principles of open justice and the desire of parties litigating sensitive matters to keep their identity, parts of the litigation, or even the fact of the litigation itself, private. The default position for almost all civil litigation is that (i) parties are named in proceedings, (ii) non-parties…

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Defamed in the workplace: a guide to recent caselaw

Three cases heard in the past year in the High Court  – George v Cannell  [2021] EWHC 2988 (QB), Parris v Ajayi [2021] EWHC 285 (QB) and Kostakopolou v University of Warwick and others [2021] EWHC 3454 (QB) – have raised some of the difficulties confronting claimants who wish to bring a defamation claim in relation…

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In defence of privacy and the judiciary: the fall-out from HRH the Duchess of Sussex v Associated Newspapers Ltd

Brett Wilson LLP partner Iain Wilson tries to unpick some of the misreporting following the Court of Appeal’s decision in HRH the Duchess of Sussex v Associated Newspapers Ltd [2021] EWCA Civ 1810   Here we are again.  The press doesn’t like us having private lives and the government doesn’t like judges making decisions it disagrees…

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What is required for a harassment by publication claim to succeed?

In Sube & Anor v News Group Newspapers Ltd & Anor (Rev 1) [2020] EWHC 1125, Mr Justice Warby (as he then was) distilled several points that had arisen from the limited number of authorities that have addressed claims for harassment by publication to the world at large (hereinafter simply referred to as ‘harassment by…

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How to identify anonymous anti-vax trolls

In the social media age, anyone can quickly and unintentionally become the subject of online harassment, such as speculation, ridicule, and abuse.  A significant minority are willing to post, retweet or share content without care or critical thinking, spreading misinformation and hate.  A smaller, but still significant, minority actively target and abuse those who do…

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Fighting fire with fire: making counter-allegations in response to a libel

It is normally defamatory to allege that a party has committed a serious crime.  However many publishees will choose to publicly rebut an allegation, accuse the publisher of dishonesty and/or make counter-allegations, rather than sue for libel.  But does this itself not put the accused at risk of being sued for defamation themselves?  The answer…

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

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