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Tort Law - Defamation
Terms in this set (84)
Sim v Stretch per Lord Atkin
The questions of whether the material complained of tend to lower the claimant in the estimation of right-thinking member of society has become the best known test for deciding whether the material is defamatory.
Monson v Madame Tussauds
Waxwork was found to be libel. Lopes LJ gave some examples of what could constitute libel: statues, caricatures, an effigy, chalkmarks on a wall, signs and pictures
Youssoupoff v MGM
film was libel. material that would tend to lead to the claimant being 'shunned or avoided'.
Broadcasting Act 1990 s166 and s201; Theatres Act 1968 s4.
Mechanically-preserved sound statements are usually slander unless they fall within statutory exception, such as that for radio and television and theatrical performances.
Godfrey v Demon Internet
Material posted on the Internet is libel
Lynch v Knight
Special damage to be proven for slander must be such damage as "might fairly and reasonably have been anticipated and feared" on the facts of the case".
Gray v Jones
Imputation that the claimant has committed an imprisonable offence.
Bloodworth v Gray
Imputations that the claimant has a contagious disease.
Kerr v Kennedy
Slander applies if you imply that a woman is a lesbian.
S. 1 slander of women act 1891
imputation that a female claimant is unchaste or has committed adultery.
McManus v Beckham
s.2 Defamation Act 1952 makes slander actionable per se where the words are calculated to disparage the claimant in his office, profession, calling, trade or business.
McDonalds v Steel & Morris
Trading corporations can sue for defamation where the statement defames the corporate reputation.
Derbyshire CC v Times Newspapers
Governmental bodies cannot sue for defamation.
Goldsmith v Bhoyrul
Political parties can't sue for defamation.
Lingens v Austria
Only in exceptional circumstances will defamatory remarks about a politician's political activities result in a successful claim for defamation.
Harvey v French per Lord Tenterden CJ
"A court must read the words complained of in the sense in which ordinary persons would understand them".
Charleston v News Group Newspapers
words to be taken in context (Neighbours actors on front page)
Allsop v Church of England
A false innuendo does not require extrinsic knowledge. It is an implied or extended meaning which might arise because of the use of slang, sarcasm, puns or colloquialisms.
Plumb v Jeyes Sanitary Compounds
A false innuendo could also arise by a combination of words and pictures which suggest an underlying meaning.
Lewis v Daily Telegraph
Company being investigated by fraud squad. Lewis' name was used, as Director. Company was cleared. Lewis sued. Found in favour of Telegraph.
Tolley v JS Fry & Sons Ltd
Amateur status of a golfer was undermined.
Byrne v Deane
objective test for defamation: "right-thinking members of society" would not think less of smb who reported a criminal to police
Berkoff v Burchill
Material that would tend to expose the claimant to 'hatred, ridicule or contempt'. allegations that the actor was hideously ugly.
Roach v Newsgroup Newspaper
sued for an article describing him as boring.
Cornwell v Myskow
article saying she had a big bum.
Cruise & Kidman v Express Newspapers
Allegation of deceiving the public as to one's sexuality.
Liberace v Daily Mirror
Allegation of homosexuality.
Parkins v Scott
vulgar abuse during fight not defamatory
Hulton & Co v Jones
a barrister who was not a churchwarden having amorous liaisons sued for defamation.
Newstead v London Express Newspaper
a true statement about one person may be defamatory of another with the same name.
Cassidy v Daily Mirror Newspaper
Picture of plaintiff with woman saying that he was engaged (he was married) this was defamatory...living in sin.
Eastwood v Holmes
a class can not be defamed
Knuppfer v London Express Newspaper
24 people in the group was considered too big for everyone of them to be defamed
Foxcroft v Lacey
17 people in a group being accused of consipiring to commit murder was defamatory.
White v J & F Stone Ltd
speaking in a loud voice so that those nearby can hear is publication
Theaker v Richardson
sending letter likely to be opened by third party - publication - opened by a husband
Pullman v Walter Hill & Co
sending letter likely to be opened by third party - publication - opened by an office clerk
Wennhak v Morgan
statements to def's spouse - not publicaiton
Huth v Huth
defamatory material in a letter where it is not reasonably foreseeable that it would be opened by a third party.
Hinderer v Cole
defence of volenti / no publication. Claimant received a letter from defendant and then published it. + No defamation if the defamatory statement is made by D to Claimant only.
Metropolitan International Schools v Designtechnica Corp
Internet search engines are not publishers in respect of material that appears on search result pages.
Vizetelly v Mudie's Select Library
if the D didn't know that the material was defamatory, defence of innocent dissemination applies, so long as their failure was libelous and not due to their negligence.
Duke of Brunswick v Harmer
Slipper v BBC
where the repetition of the libel is natural and a probable consequence of the original publication, the original publisher will remain liable.
McPherson v Daniels
A true statement cannot be defamatory, even where the defendant was actuated y malice. Justification is an absolute defence.
Alexander v North Eastern Railway Co
Substance of the statement must be true. publication as to the claimant receiving three weeks' imprisonment instead of two.
Sutherland v Stopes
the statement must be shown to be 'true in substance and in fact' in order for the defence of justification to apply.
The Defamation Act 1952 s.5
States that where there are two or more defamatory imputations, and not all can be justified, the defence will only fail if the remaining imputations 'materially injure' the claimant.
Irving v Penguin Books
defence of justification: if 2 or more imputations are defamatory and not all of them have been proven substantially true, the defence will be effective if the remaining imputations do not "materially injure" the claimant in comparison with the justified ones
Cookson v Harewood
where c has consented to the publication of defamatory material, it will be a defence.
s.13 The Civil Evidence Act 1968
a conviction for an offence constitutes conclusive proof for the purposes of justification in a defamation claim that the person committed the crime for which they have been convicted.
London Artists v Littler
fair comment defence: comment must be made on a matter of public interest. Widely interpreted by courts
Convery v Irish News
fair comment defence: restaurant review was found to be of public interest.
British Chiropractic Association v Singh
If there is a mixture of fact and opinion, and you're not sure which way to go, it's probably opinion; fair comment can be used.
s.6 The Defamation Act 1952
The defence of fair comment no longer fails if the truth of one or more of the statements relied upon is not proven. as long as the facts used with the comment are true and s.t. privilege.
Thomas v Bradbury
There must be no evidence of malice of fair comment defence is lost.
Hamilton v Al Fayed
s.13 Defamation Act 1996
Horrocks v Lowe
Malice defeats qualified privilege
Clarke v Molyneux
A D acts maliciously, in this context, if they use "the occasion... for an indirect or wrong motive".
Angel v HH Bushell & Co
Motivated by anger to bring wrongdoings of C to attention of fellow businessmen.
Lillie and Reed v Newcastle CC & ors
Acted maliciously blaming 2 nurses for child abuse.
Defamation Act 1996 s.15
Statutory qualified privilege
Adam v Ward
A common law qualified privilege: Statements made to protect public or private interests
Watt v Longsdon
A common law qualified privilege: Statements made in pursuance of a legal, social or moral duty. false allegations that director misbehaved abroad communicated to wife (defamation) and company (duty to tell).
Kearns v General Council of the Bar
Barrister had a duty to report information to the bar council and the bar council had a reciprocal duty to listen to the barrister.
Loutchansky v Times Newspapers Ltd (No.2)
The CA held that Reynolds can be viewed as setting out a responsible journalism test for false statements.
Grobbelaar v News Group Newspapers
Tone of article. Defamation statements that he threw the games could not be proud, just that he took the money.
Galloway v Telegraph Group
Implied Claimant was in receipt of monies from S. Hussain. C wasn't offered opportunity to respond to the allegations, no steps taken to verify allegations; tone of article unbalanced.
Jameel v Wall Street Journal Europe
C's funding Alcaida. Matter was in the public interest so journalism was sufficiently responsible.
GKR Karate v Yorkshire Post
Reynolds defence was applied to a local newspaper, which the court was held was in public interest despite the fact that it was relevant only to a small area.
Roberts v Gable
Involved BNP. Neutral reportage succeeded as a defence here.
John Cleese v Clark
Where an offer of amend is made, it may mitigate the level of damages to be awarded.
Milne v Express Newspapers
D could lose the defence of offers of amends and consent if he acted in bad faith by deliberately shutting his mind to info which could have demonstrated that the statement was defamatory.
Bunt v Tilley
c/f Godfrey v Demon Internet. If ISP actively solicits defamatory content, it is more than a "mere conduit" and becomes liable as publisher
Rantzen v MGN
The power contained in the courts legal services act 1990 s8 was considered here, giving CA power to intervene and substitute its own figure where an excessive award has been made by jury.
John v MGN
Jury awarded him damages for allegations that he was bulimic, and the damages were reduced on appeal.
Lillie & Reed v Newcastle CC
The effective cap on libel damages in the UK is £200,000. This sum was awarded to the two nursery nurses here, because of the gravity of the allegations, and the substantial publicity they received.
s.1 The Defamation Act 1996
It makes the defence of innocent dissemination available to printers, distributors, sellers, broadcasters of live programmes and the operators of a communications system by means of which a defamatory statement is communicated.
Aspro Travel v Owners Abroad Group
member of defamed group may sue if group sufficiently small or refers to them particularly
Thornton v Telegraph Media Group
in order to be defamatory, the meaning must cause a sufficiently serious degree of injury to the claimant's reputation
Seray-Wurie v The Charity Commission of England and Wales
definition of Malice: D. either dishonest or had a dominant motif to injure the claimant". M. beats Qualified Privilege, not Abs Privilege. Irrelevant to Reynolds Privilege
Goldsmith v Pressdram
libel is a crime.
s.7 Defamation Act 1996
the judge will decide whether the statement is capable of being defamatory and then it will be up to the judge to decide whether it is, in fact, defamatory of the statement.
Kemsley v Foot
indicates that something is stated as fact in fair comment.
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