Qualified Privilege in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Loutchansky v Times Newspapers Ltd (No. 2)
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 05 Dec 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.

  • Bonnick v Morris
    • Privy Council
    • 17 Jun 2002

    Responsible journalism is the point at which a fair balance is held between freedom of expression on matters of public concern and the reputations of individuals. Maintenance of this standard is in the public interest and in the interests of those whose reputations are involved. It can be regarded as the price journalists pay in return for the privilege.

  • 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.

  • Seaga v Harper
    • Privy Council
    • 30 Jan 2008

    Their Lordships consider that this was a misconceived argument. They are satisfied that the publication was not covered by traditional qualified privilege, for the element of reciprocity of duty and interest was lacking when the appellant knowingly made it to the public at large via the attendant media. If privilege was to be successfully claimed, it could only be under the Reynolds principles and, as they have said, those principles applied to the case.

  • Jameel and Others v Wall Street Journal Europe Sprl
    • House of Lords
    • 11 Oct 2006

    But this does not mean that the editorial decisions and judgments made at the time, without the knowledge of falsity which is a benefit of hindsight, are irrelevant. Weight should ordinarily be given to the professional judgment of an editor or journalist in the absence of some indication that it was made in a casual, cavalier, slipshod or careless manner.

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

    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.

  • Wood v Chief Constable of West Midlands Police
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 08 Dec 2004

    As Lord Bingham CJ said in Thorpe in the passage at page 409–410 which I have quoted, the police, as a public body, ought not generally to disclose information which comes into their possession relating to a member of the public, being information not generally available and potentially damaging to that member of the public, except for the purpose of and to the extent necessary for the performance of their public duty.

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Legislation
  • Defamation Act 2013
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 2013
    ...... . . (b) anything asserted to be a fact in a privileged statement published before the statement complained of. . (5) The ... defence under section 15 of that Act (other reports protected by qualified privilege). . (8) The common law defence of fair comment is abolished ......
  • Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 1974
    ...... . . to determine any question affecting the rights, privileges, obligations. or liabilities of any person, or to receive evidence ...or fair comment or of absolute or qualified privilege which is. available to him, or restrict the matters he may ......
  • Freedom of Information Act 2000
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 2000
    ...... S-34 . Parliamentary privilege. 34 Parliamentary privilege. . (1) Information is exempt information if ...information if, in the reasonable opinion of a qualified person,. disclosure of the information under this Act— . . (a) would, ......
  • Defamation Act 1952
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 1952
    ......S-7 . Qualified privilege of newspapers. 7 Qualified privilege of newspapers. . (1) ......
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Books & Journal Articles
  • Defamation appeal: Court of Appeal rules that qualified privilege applies in respect of letter to regulator Mahon and Another v Rahn and Others
    • Nbr. 9-1, January 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...
  • THE PRIVILEGE AGAINST SELF‐INCRIMINATION
    • Nbr. 1-1, January 1992
    • Journal of Financial Regulation and Compliance
    • 116-119
    This briefing reviews the historical and recent development of the privilege against self‐incrimination and its partiadar relevance in the field of financial regulation. The author discusses the id...
    ...... powers available to compel evidence, should witnesses have to be encouraged to come for-ward, and the privilege, whether in an absolute or 'qualified' form, retained? Is it not more, as the late Sir Rupert Cross put it, that 'the idea that a man should be compelled to give answers expos-ing himself ......
  • ‘The Stuff of Which Political Debate is Made’: Roberts V Bass1
    • Nbr. 31-1, March 2003
    • Federal Law Review
    ...... the impact of the Lange decision on the common law defence of qualified privilege. In Ro berts v Bass , 3 the High Court by majority allowed ......
  • Correspondence
    • Nbr. 37-3, May 1974
    • The Modern Law Review
    ...... Tds Publishing 00. about such a breach of qualified privilege are faithfully set out with the same authority as ......
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Law Firm Commentaries
  • English Court of Appeal Rules on Privilege and Settlement Agreements
    • JD Supra United Kingdom
    The Court examined “without prejudice” privilege and litigation privilege as they apply to settlement agreements and their inspection by co-defendants. In BGC Brokers LP & Ors v. Tra...
  • A Confidential Consultation?
    • JD Supra United Kingdom
    The Court of Appeal reaffirms the qualified nature of legal professional privilege. In the recent case of R v Edward Brown (formerly Latham) the Court of Appeal held that it wa...
    .... The Court of Appeal reaffirms the qualified nature of legal professional privilege. In the recent case of R v Edward ......
  • Publish And Be Damned? Clift v Slough Borough Council
    • Mondaq United Kingdom
    ...... whether the words complained of were published on an occasion of qualified privilege. Qualified privilege is a longestablished defence to a claim in ......
  • Daniels vs British Broadcasting Corporation
    • Mondaq United Kingdom
    ...... Employer's can argue fair comment, justification, and privilege as three possible defences against a defamation claim. The most common ... (and the one most likely to be argued by an employer) is 'qualified privilege', whereby the employer argues that it had a moral, social or ......
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