The recent decision in Spiller v Joseph ([2010] UKSC 53) was the first libel case considered by the Supreme Court and the first to reach the highest court since Jameel v Wall Street Journal [2006] UKHL 44). The latest list of Supreme Court permission to appeal decisions shows that the Court will, next, year be considering more media law cases.  Decisions in relation to permission to appeal were made in two libel cases and one malicious falsehood claim.

We have already reported on the decision in the Reynolds case of Flood v Times Newspapers – where Lords Hope, Brown and Mance proposed to grant permission on the condition that the “Times” agrees to pay Mr Flood’s costs in any event.  We commented on the Court of Appeal decision at the time and other discussions of it can be found in the “Table of Recent Cases” above. There is a report about the permission decision in the Press Gazette.

On 15 November 2010, the same panel of justices granted permission to appeal in the malicious falsehood case of Ajinomoto Sweeteners Europe SAS v ASDA Stores Limited ([2010] EWCA Civ 609).  This is the case in which the Court of Appeal determined that the “single meaning rule” did not apply to an action in malicious falsehood.  We did a case comment at the time.

On the same date the same panel refused permission to appeal in the case of Khader v Aziz [2010] EWCA Civ 716.  This is a slander claim which had been struck out by Mr Justice Eady as an abuse of the process and on the ground it had no real prospect of success.  His decision was upheld by the Court of Appeal.  The claimant has now failed in his attempt to take the matter to the highest court.  There is a 1 Brick Court case note on the Court of Appeal decision.

It seems likely that Flood (if the appeal proceeds) and Ajinomoto Sweeteners will be heard by the Supreme Court towards the end of 2011.