Absolute Privilege in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Lincoln v Daniels
    • Court of Appeal
    • 17 Jul 1961

    It is based on the authority of Watson v. McEwan (1905) A.C. 480, in which the House of Lords held that the privilege attaching to evidence which a witness gave coramJudice extended to the precondition or proof of that evidence taken by a solicitor, It is immaterial whether the proof is or is not taken in the course of proceedings.

    I have come to the conclusion that the priviloge that covers proceedings in a court of justice ought not to be extended to matters outside those proceedings excopt where it is strictly necessary to do so in order to protect those who are to participate in the proceedings from a flank attack.

  • Westcott v Westcott
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 15 Jul 2008

    In my judgment the answer is to be found in Taylor. Because society expects that criminal activity will be reported and when reported investigated and, when appropriate, prosecuted, all those who participate in a criminal investigation are entitled to the benefit of absolute privilege in respect of the statements which they make. That applies whether they are informants, investigators, or prosecutors.

  • Buchanan v Jennings
    • Privy Council
    • 14 Jul 2004

    In such a case there will inevitably be an inquiry at the trial into the honesty of what the defendant had said, and if the defendant's extra-parliamentary statement is found to have been untrue or dishonest the same conclusion would ordinarily, although not always, apply to the parliamentary statement also.

  • R v Derby Magistrates' Court, ex parte B
    • House of Lords
    • 22 Jun 1995

    It is a fundamental condition on which the administration of justice as a whole rests. It is a fundamental condition on which the administration of justice as a whole rests. Legal professional privilege is thus much more than an ordinary rule of evidence, limited in its application to the facts of a particular case. Legal professional privilege is thus much more than an ordinary rule of evidence, limited in its application to the facts of a particular case.

  • Three Rivers District Council and Others v Governor and Company of the Bank of England (No 9)
    • House of Lords
    • 11 Nov 2004

    But the dicta to which I have referred all have in common the idea that it is necessary in our society, a society in which the restraining and controlling framework is built upon a belief in the rule of law, that communications between clients and lawyers, whereby the clients are hoping for the assistance of the lawyers' legal skills in the management of their (the clients') affairs, should be secure against the possibility of any scrutiny from others, whether the police, the executive, business competitors, inquisitive busy-bodies or anyone else (see also paras. 15.8 to 15.10 of Adrian Zuckerman's Civil Procedure where the author refers to the rationale underlying legal advice privilege as "the rule of law rationale").

  • Waple v Surrey County Council
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 17 Dic 1997

    If Parliament had wished to extend absolute privilege to communications by council officers acting in Children Act matters it would have been able to do so during the passage of that Bill. It appears to me that the balancing of the need to protect people's reputations from being harmed by malicious communications and the need to protect council officers from the worry of any form of litigation is very much a matter for Parliament and not for the courts.

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Legislation
  • Defamation Act 2013
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 2013
    ...... . . (b) anything asserted to be a fact in a privileged statement published before the statement complained of. . (5) The ... Defamation Act 1996 (reports of court proceedings protected by absolute privilege);. . . (d) a defence under section 15 of that Act (other ......
  • Competition Act 1980
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 1980
    ...... . (2) For the purposes of the law relating to defamation, absolute. privilege shall attach to any report of the Commission or of. the ......
  • Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 1974
    ......on probation or discharging him absolutely or conditionally. shall be treated as a conviction for the purposes of. ... . . to determine any question affecting the rights, privileges, obligations. or liabilities of any person, or to receive evidence ......
  • Law of Property Act 1922
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 1922
    ......   . ( a . ) An estate in fee simple absolute in possession:. .   . ( b . ) A term of years absolute:. .   . ( c . ) An easement, right, or privilege in or over land. for an interest equivalent to a like estate or. term:. ......
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Books & Journal Articles
  • Protecting the reputation of defamation law: How defamation law can remain justified in an age of globalized communications, science, human rights and democratic values
    • Núm. 2-2, Julio 2012
    • Southampton Student Law Review
    • Charlotte Leigha Cruise
    • 77-98
    The 59,511 signature strong petition for libel reform clearly demonstrates the impetus for reform of Anglo-Welsh defamation law. This dissertation identifies the increased importance of freedom of ...
    ...... and is honestly believed to be true should replace the Reynolds privilege. It is also considered a single publication rule bolster the protection ... argued that it is justifiable on utilitarian grounds to provide absolute privilege to scientific expression. . To reflect the recognition of free ......
  • More Sounds of Silence: Cobra Golf Ltd v Rata
    • Núm. 5-2, Abril 1997
    • Journal of Financial Crime
    • 161-164
    If the exception proves the existence of the rule, then by parity of reasoning Cobra Golf Ltd v Rata affirms the continued application of the common law privilege against self‐incrimination. For th...
    ...... Ltd v Rata1 affirms the continued application of the common law privilege against self-incrimination. For the case stands out against the background ... to rule that the privilege against self-incrimination was an absolute right. In Cobra Golf Rimer J affirmed the rule that a court should not ......
  • Defamation appeal: Court of Appeal rules that qualified privilege applies in respect of letter to regulator Mahon and Another v Rahn and Others
    • Núm. 9-1, Enero 2001
    • Journal of Financial Regulation and Compliance
    • 91-95
    The factual background to this appeal was given in Vol.8, No.1 Journal of Financial Regulation and Compliance when the judgment at first instance, from which this appeal by the Defendants was broug...
    ...... and malicious prosecu-tion proceedings brought by the respon-dents against the Appellants Eady J dismissed the Appellants' argument that absolute privilege attached to the letter to TSA and so their argument that the defa-mation claim against them should be struck out failed. The Appellants ......
  • Mahon and another v Rahn and others. High Court, Queen's Bench Division: Eady J
    • Núm. 8-1, Enero 2000
    • Journal of Financial Regulation and Compliance
    • 78-81
    The claimants in these proceedings were a Mr Patrick Mahon and Mr Andrew Kent. The Defendants were partners in the Swiss Bank of Rahn & Bodmer. At the time in which the events giving rise to th...
    ...... argued: i) that it should be dismissed since the defence of absolute privilege is, in the light of the House of Lords decision in Taylor, so ......
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Law Firm Commentaries
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