“Sorry” – Statements in Open Court in Libel Actions, 2003-2010

17 01 2011

In our post on how defamation actions were disposed of in 2010 we had a list of 46 Statements in Open Court in libel actions in that calendar year.  The figures were provided by Mr Benjamin Pell who has now drawn our attention to the “Benjamin Pell Statistic of the Month” in the David Price Solicitors and Advocates Media Law Newsletter for March 2008 which provides the figures for statements in open court from 2003 to 2008.  Mr Pell has now kindly provided us with an updated list – covering statements for each legal year from 2003-2004 to 2009 to 2010.  The figures show that the average number of statements in open court a year is 47 – last year was very slightly above average – with 2007-2008  (the year of the many McCann apologies – see picture) being the highest (63) and 2005-2006 the lowest (39).

These are the figures:

Legal Year commencing 1 October 2010 to date – 17 Statements In Open Court

including 3 by Associated Newspapers Ltd, 2 by Express Newspapers, 2 by Mirror Group Newspapers Limited, 1 by Independent News & Media Ltd, 1 by News Group Newspapers Ltd, 1 by Times Newspapers Ltd and 1 by Telegraph Media Group Ltd.

Legal Year commencing 1 Oct 2009 – 49 Statements In Open Court

including 10 by News Group Newspapers Ltd, 6 by Mirror Group Newspapers Limited, 6 by Express Newspapers, 4 by Associated Newspapers Ltd, 2 by the BBC, 1 by Independent News & Media Ltd and 1 by Guardian News & Media Ltd.

Legal Year Commencing 1 Oct 2008 – 45 Statements In Open Court

including 9 by Express Newspapers, 6 by Associated Newspapers Ltd, 4 by the BBC, 3 by News Group Newspapers Ltd, 2 by Mirror Group Newspapers Limited, 1 by Times Newspapers Ltd, 1 by Telegraph Media Group Ltd, 1 by Guardian News & Media Ltd, 1 by Independent News & Media Ltd, 1 by The Scotsman Newspapers Ltd and 1 by BSkyB

Legal Year Commencing 1 Oct 2007 – 63 Statements In Open Court

including 8 by Express Newspapers, 6 by Associated Newspapers Ltd, 6 by Mirror Group Newspapers Limited, 3 by News Group Newspapers Ltd, 2 by the BBC, 2 by Sports Newspapers Ltd, 2 by News Media Group, 1 by Times Newspapers Ltd, 1 by Telegraph Media Group Ltd, 1 by Guardian News & Media Ltd and 1 by BSkyB

Legal Year commencing 2 Oct 2006 – 44 Statements In Open Court

including 6 by Express Newspapers (plus 1 by Northern & Shell), 6 by News Group Newspapers, 6 by Associated Newspapers, 4 by Mirror Group Newspapers, 2 by Guardian Newspapers, 2 by Telegraph Group, 1 by Times Newspapers, 1 by Independent News & Media, 1 by BBC , 1 by ITV News and 1 by Sports Newspapers

Legal Year commencing 3 October 2005 – 39 Statements In Open Court

including 7 by News Group Newspapers, 6 by Associated Newspapers, 4 by Times Newspapers, 3 by Independent News & Media, 2 by Express Newspapers (plus 1 by Northern & Shell) , 2 by BBC and 1 by Guardian Newspapers

Legal Year commencing 1 October 2004 – 39 Statements In Open Court

including 6 by News Group Newspapers, 4 by Mirror Group Newspapers, 3 by Associated Newspapers, 3 by Express Newspapers (plus 1 by Northern & Shell) , 2 by BBC, 1 by Guardian Newspapers, 1 by Independent News & Media, 1 by Times Newspapers and 1 by Telegraph Group

Legal Year commencing 1 October 2003 – 47 Statements In Open Court

including 13 by Associated Newspapers, 3 by Mirror Group Newspapers, 3 by BBC, 2 by Telegraph Group, 2 by News Group Newspapers


Actions

Information

4 responses

17 01 2011
Amanda Smith

But what about apologies from publishers over libel claims in books? I know there have been some, why not show those too?

17 01 2011
INFORRM

We do not have a complete list of all statements – just the figures. In any event, book publishers are often less easy to identify from the names of the cases. Some publishers can be seen on the 2010 list on the earlier post. Furthermore reserarch can be carried out by using Lawtel – which has some (but not all) Statements in Open Court going back to 1995 (although the full text is not usually available until relatively recently).

Inforrm Editorial

17 01 2011
Elaine Decoulos

I hope Benji included the correction and apology I received from The Express, as read out in Court 13 on the 13th December 2005, stating that Bruno Schroder never said I was a stalker. It would be interesting to break down the statistics to see which publisher provided the most Statements in Open Court. I doubt Associated Newspapers is high on the list. I am still waiting for a very long overdue correction and apology from them over similar allegations.

Martin is spot on, yet as expected, the situation is even worse. Wealthy defendants can be abusive as well, particularly after they have used the courts via The Harassment Act or common law in Scotland to defame and libel, as I explained in my Memoranda to The House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee. The Harassment Act is being used through the bad door to defame and libel.

Unbelievably, some of the profits received from libellous material come from syndicating them to other English speaking countries, such as America. This has happened to me and it is salt in the wound, not least because America is my home country. So I got libeled all over the English press and then in several large databases in my home country. This calls for American style punitive damages. That is the only way the British press will change their behaviour. The damages should be equal to Paul Dacre’s salary, bonus and benefit package.

18 01 2011
Elaine Decoulos

My apologies for any confusion in my earlier comment. In paragraph one, I meant to say a breakdown of the statistics per claims issued, i.e. the percentage of claims issued against each publisher that results in a Statement in Open Court. It would also be interesting to note the average length of time from issue to statement for each publisher. Benji, I am sure you can come up with this.

It would also be interesting to know which publisher is sued most often and which publisher takes a case to trial most often.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: