Judicial Statistics, 2017: Issued defamation claims up by 40%, highest for three years

26 06 2018

The most recent annual Judicial Statistics – those for 2017 – show a substantial increase in the number of issued defamation claims.  These are up by 40% on 2016.  In 2017 there were 156 defamation claims issued in London (where the large majority of claims are brought) as opposed to 112 in 2016 (and 135 in 2015).

The Ministry of Justice no longer publishes a separate annual “Judicial Statistics” bulletin but the figures can be now be found in the Royal Courts of Justice Tables [xls] which were published on 7 June 2018.

The 2017 figure reverses the downward trend of the previous two years and suggests that the Defamation Act 2013 has not had a significant impact on the number of claims brought. The average number of claims per annum in the 3 years before the Act came into force was 164 and the average for the 4 years after it came into force was 158.

There is no separate record of the number of privacy and  data protection claims against the media – they are, presumably included in the 729 “miscellaneous” claims issued.   Anecdotal evidence suggests that data protection claims against the media are on the increase but it is not possible to verify this from the official statistics.

The Ministry of Justice does now publish statistics on privacy injunctions which form part of the Civil Justice Statistics Quarterly and are published every 6 months. The most recent edition containing privacy injunction statistics is October-December 2017 [pdf].  We had a post about these statistics when they were published in March 2017

More details of libel claims can be found in this table of defamation (and other) claims since 1992 – adapted from a table which was originally provided to us by media solicitors RPC.

Claims issued in London (QB) Defamation Claims Issued in London % of all London (QB) Claims issued £15-50k £>50k No Value Stated
2017 4,319 156 4.00 37 113 6
2016 4,123 112 3.00 42 60 10
2015 4,869 135 3.00 40 71 54
2014 5,417 227 4.00 52 119 56
2013 5,186 142 3.00 37 56 49
2012 5,549 186 3.00 65 60 61
2011 4,726 165 3.49 28 61 76
2010 4,864 158 3.24 27 47 84
2009 5,694 298 5.23 52 62 184
2008 5,173 259 5.00 43 77 139
2007 4,794 233 4.86 43 45 145
2006 4,246 213 5.02 24 39 150
2005 3,841 252 6.56 43 70 139
2004 4,292 267 6.22 30 31 206
2003 3,514 190 5.41 22 15 153
2002 4,394 128 2.91 1 1 126
2001 5,122 220 4.30
2000 5,599 241 4.30
1999 10,317 236 2.29
1998 21,684 379 1.75
1997 23,411 452 1.93
1996 29,834 201 0.67
1995 31,737 560 1.76
1994 37,450 418 1.12
1993 56,567 336 0.59
1992 83,852 337 0.4

 


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3 responses

26 06 2018
Steve

“These are by down by 40% on 2016” – should this be “These are up by 40% …”?

26 06 2018
INFORRM

Yes, sorry for the typo. inforrm

2 07 2018
Law and Media Round Up – 2 July 2018 | Inforrm's Blog

[…] noted last week that there has been a 40% increase in issued defamation cases in 2017.  The reasons for this […]

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