The recently published “Judicial Statistics 2011” shows that the number of defamation claims has remained stable, near the low level of 2010. In 2011 there were 165 issued defamation claims in London (where the large majority of claims are made) – as opposed to 158 in 2010 and 298 in 2009.
Examination of Lawtel (which notes most but not all cases in this area) suggests that during 2011 there were some 55 judgments in the Queen’s Bench Division or the Court of Appeal where one or more of the issues was an allegation of libel or slander. This is not, of course, directly related to the number of cases issued in the year – as the large proportion of judgments will be in claims issued in earlier years. The comparable figure for the first 6 months of 2012 is 20 judgments in cases which include a claim for libel or slander.
There is no separate record of the number of privacy and other claims against the media – they are, presumably included in the 542 “miscellaneous” claims issued. The Ministry of Justice does now publish statistics on privacy injunctions (see our post here, identifying the cases).
There is an Excel table for all Queen’s Bench Division cases in 2011 – showing that, across the whole Division there were only195 trials concluded (with an average length of 3.6 days).
|Year||Claims issued in London (QB)||Defamation Claims Issued in London||% of all London (QB) Claims issued||£15-50k||£>50k||No value stated|
|1991||114,904||Not available||Not available|
|1990||127,082||Not available||Not available|