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Category: Libel (Page 1 of 85)

Corporate Claimants in Libel: Part 2, The Defamation Act 2013 and its Impact – Guy Vassall-Adams QC

Parliament decided to legislate in relation to corporate libel claimants by tackling head on the presumption of harm. By s.1(1) of the Defamation Act 2013, Parliament established the well-known serious harm test: “A statement is not defamatory unless its publication has caused or is likely to cause serious harm to reputation”. By s1.(2), it was provided that “harm to the reputation of a body that trades for profit is not serious harm unless it has caused or is likely to cause serious financial loss”. Continue reading

Corporate Claimants in Libel Cases: Part 1, The Case for Reform – Guy Vassall-Adams QC

In June 1994 a libel trial began in the Royal Courts of Justice in London that would ultimately become the longest case in English legal history. Lasting 313 days, it pitted McDonalds, the fast food giant and multi-billion dollar company, against Helen Steel and David Morris, two activists of modest means who had distributed leaflets which were critical of the company. Continue reading

The truth, pure and simple, as a defence to defamation claims after Depp v NGN in England and Ireland – Eoin O’Dell

The truth, as Oscar Wilde has Algernon Moncrieff remark to Jack Worthing in Act I of The Importance of Being Ernest, is rarely pure and never simple. Nowhere is this more evident than in a defamation courtroom. At common law, the defence of justification to a claim for defamation averred that the words complained of, in their natural and ordinary meaning, were true in substance and in fact. Continue reading

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