Defamation Publication in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • John v MGN Ltd
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 12 Dic 1995

    In assessing the appropriate damages for injury to reputation the most important factor is the gravity of the libel; the more closely it touches the plaintiff's personal integrity, professional reputation, honour, courage, loyalty and the core attributes of his personality, the more serious it is likely to be. The extent of publication is also very relevant: a libel published to millions has a greater potential to cause damage than a libel published to a handful of people.

  • Broome v Cassell & Company Ltd
    • House of Lords
    • 23 Feb 1972

    Such actions involve a money award which may put the plaintiff in a purely financial sense in a much stronger position than he was before the wrong. Not merely can he recover the estimated sum of his past and future losses, but, in case the libel, driven underground, emerges from its lurking place at some future date, he must be able to point to a sum awarded by a jury sufficient to convince a bystander of the baselessness of the charge.

  • Lachaux v Independent Print Ltd
    • Supreme Court
    • 12 Jun 2019

    This is a proposition of fact which can be established only by reference to the impact which the statement is shown actually to have had. It depends on a combination of the inherent tendency of the words and their actual impact on those to whom they were communicated.

  • Reynolds v Times Newspapers Ltd
    • House of Lords
    • 28 Oct 1999

    7. Whether comment was sought from the plaintiff. He may have information others do not possess or have not disclosed. An approach to the plaintiff will not always be necessary.

  • Flood v Times Newspapers Ltd (No 2)
    • Supreme Court
    • 21 Mar 2012

    In deciding whether Reynolds privilege attaches (whether the Reynolds public interest defence lies) the judge, on true analysis, is deciding but a single question: could whoever published the defamation, given whatever they knew (and did not know) and whatever they had done (and had not done) to guard so far as possible against the publication of untrue defamatory material, properly have considered the publication in question to be in the public interest?

  • Loutchansky v Times Newspapers Ltd (No. 2)
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 05 Dic 2001

    He can have no duty to publish unless he is acting responsibly any more than the public has an interest in reading whatever may be published irresponsibly. That is why in this class of case the question whether the publisher has behaved responsibly is necessarily and intimately bound up with the question whether the defence of qualified privilege arises. Unless the publisher is acting responsibly privilege cannot arise.

  • Lachaux v Independent Print Ltd
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 12 Set 2017

    One example could, for instance, perhaps be where the defendant considers that he has irrefutable evidence that the number of publishees was very limited, that there has been no grapevine percolation and that there is firm evidence that no-one thought any the less of the claimant by reason of the publication.

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Legislation
  • Defamation and Malicious Publication (Scotland) Act 2021
    • Scotland
    • 1 de Enero de 0202
  • Defamation Act 2013
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 2013
    ...... S-1 . Serious harm 1 Serious harm . (1) A statement is not defamatory unless its publication has caused or is likely to cause serious harm to the reputation of the claimant. . (2) For the purposes of this section, harm to the reputation of ......
  • Defamation Act 1996
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 1996
    ......present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as. follows:— . Responsibility for publication . Responsibility for publication. . S-1 . Responsibility for publication. 1 Responsibility for publication. . (1) In defamation proceedings a ......
  • Defamation Act 1952
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 1952
    ....... 1. For the purposes of the law of libel and slander, the broadcasting of words by means of wireless telegraphy shall be treated as publication in permanent form. S-2 . Slander affecting official, professional or business reputation. 2 Slander affecting official, professional or business ......
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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 ...
    ...... It is also considered a single publication rule bolster the protection of such material and provide a more principled and pragmatic approach to the reality of multiple publication over the ......
  • The Cartoon Controversy: Offence, Identity, Oppression?
    • Núm. 55-3, Octubre 2007
    • Political Studies
    If the publication of twelve drawings of the Prophet Mohammad in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, which sparked the ‘cartoon controversy’, was wrong, why might this be the case? The article co...
    ...... Sune Lægaard . University of Copenhagen . If the publication...defamation......
  • Criminal Defamation in the Commonwealth - a Case for Abolition
    • Criminal Law Issues
    • Memoranda
    • Commonwealth Press Union (CPU)
    • 139-145
    Background. History. The role of the commonwealth press union. Brief overview of criminal defamation status in select commonwealth countries. Australia. Canada. Commonwealth Caribbean. Nigeria. Con...
    ...... an apparently loaded comment in the first paragraph which is not backed up until further down the article, might place the writer and the publication in jeopardy. . . 14. The criminalisation of a particular activity implies a clear State interest in controlling the activity and imparts a certain ......
  • Mapping Defamation Defences
    • Núm. 78-4, Julio 2015
    • The Modern Law Review
    The general neglect of tort defences is most significant in defamation actions. This paper attempts to reduce to a few guiding principles the numerous, and apparently unrelated, doctrines recognise...
    ...... of iniuria (ie insult, contempt), the English wrong is defined in an extremely broad and open-ended way, being concerned with the publication of any statement liable to cause ‘right-thinking members of society’ to think less well of the plaintiff. This is the first stage, the elements ......
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Law Firm Commentaries
  • Major Changes to Defamation Law in the UK to Take Effect 1 January 2014
    • JD Supra United Kingdom
    An announcement from the UK justice minister has confirmed that the new Defamation Act ("the Act") will take effect from 1 January 2014.1 The Act makes major changes to existing defamatio...
    ...... the introduction of a "serious harm" threshold for defamation complaints: the Act provides that "a statement is not defamatory unless its publication has caused or is likely to cause serious harm to the reputation of the claimant". As the explanatory notes to the Act state, the section of the Act ......
  • Scotland's first "virtual appeal" reaffirms the value of fair comment
    • JD Supra United Kingdom
    The law of defamation requires to strike the difficult balance between the right to freedom of expression and the need to adequately protect the reputations of individuals and organisations against...
    .... The law of defamation requires to strike the difficult balance between the right to freedom of ...Reform is on the horizon, with the Defamation and Malicious Publication (Scotland) Bill currently before the Scottish Parliament. In the meantime, ......
  • Have Companies Lost The Ability To Sue For Defamation?
    • Mondaq United Kingdom
    ...... For companies and other profit making entities, this means demonstrating actual or likely "serious financial loss" New single publication rule New defences, including specific defences for website operators and statements in scientific and academic journals Increased protection ......
  • Defamation And 'the Public Interest Defence': A Different Approach North And South Of The Border
    • Mondaq UK
    ......127, the House of Lords established a specific defence to a claim. for defamation brought in relation to publication of a statement on. a matter of public interest. Where the defamatory material. concerned such a matter, the defendant had to show that it had met. ......
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