We reported yesterday that the Supreme Court has given Times Newspapers permission to appeal against the decision of the Court of Appeal in Flood v Times Newspapers ([2010] EWCA Civ 804). Permission has been granted on condition that the “Times” agrees to pay Mr Flood’s costs in any event. The “Times” has now provided us with copies of the relevant Supreme Court appeal documents: sections 5 and 6 of its Notice of Appeal and its submissions on the proposal to grant conditional permission to appeal.

First, there is Part 5 of the Supreme Court Notice of Appeal.  This is headed “Information about the Appeal” and provides a Narrative of the facts, Chronology of proceedings, a summary of the Issues before the Court appealed from and their treatment and of the issues on the appeal.

There is then Part 6 which sets out the Grounds of Appeal.  The “Times” contends that the decision of the Court of Appeal is conflict with Reynolds, Jameel, In re BBC, Re Guardian News and Media, Galloway v Telegraph Group and Browne v Associated Newspapers and that it

“represents a retrograde and impermissible departure from the principles that now govern cases such as the present.  Far from giving effect to the liberalising intention of the Reynolds decision it subverts it and risks stifling investigative journalism” [4]

The Grounds of Appeal summarise the “Times'” contentions by saying that the Court of Appeal made seven fundamental errors [20]:

“a.  It failed to follow Jameel

b.   It wrongly held that this case is distinguishable from Jameel.

c.    It wrongly held that the inclusion in the article of details of the information being investigated by the police was fatal to the Reynolds defence.

d.   It misapplied the Reynolds requirement of verification, setting a standard that was too high and wrong in law.

e.   It failed to pay any or any sufficient regard to the trial judge’s findings of fact and so failed to appreciate that the journalists had in fact achieved a higher standard of verification than was required by law.

f.   It proceeding on the basis of a meaning of the article that was more serious both than that contended for by Mr Flood and than that which the article was capable of bearing.

g.  It refused to accept that it was bound by its own decisions in Galloway (and Browne) not to interfere with the judge’s assesment of where the balacne between the parties’ competing Convention rights lay”

The “Times” also contends that it was entitled to decide not to update or amend the article published on its website before trial.

In addition, the “Times” made Submissions as to whether the grant of permission to appeal should be conditional on the payment of costs.  This draws attention to the fact that Mr Flood is represented on a CFA whereas the condition would have an adverse effect on the “Times'” Article 6 and Article 10 rights.

All these documents are signed by Richard Rampton QC, Heather Rogers QC and Kate Wilson.

We commend all these documents to libel lawyers and thank the “Times” for making them available to our readers.