Ireland: It’s time to abolish juries in defamation cases – Eoin O’Dell

29 09 2017

Libel cases in England and Wales are “better off without juries”, according to Sir Mark Warby, the High Court judge with responsibility for the Media and Communications List of the Queen’s Bench Division. Read the rest of this entry »

Case Law: Yeo v Times Newspapers, Judge dismisses Times application for jury trial and determines meaning – Media Lawyer

21 08 2014

Tim YeoIn a judgment handed down on 20 August 2014 in the case Yeo v Times Newspapers ([2014] EWHC 2853 (QB)) Mr Justice Warby decided that the trial of a defamation action brought against the Sunday Times by senior Conservative MP Tim Yeo will take place without a jury.  The Judge dismissed an application by the newspaper’s publisher, Times Newspaper Ltd, for a jury trial.  He went on to determine the meaning of the words complained of. Read the rest of this entry »

News: Libel Jury Trial, Frankie Boyle v MGN

20 10 2012

Court 13 of the Royal Courts of Justice was, this last week, the venue for an unusual legal event: a High Court libel jury trial.  The claim is being brought by comedian Frankie Boyle against MGN Ltd, publishers of the Daily Mirror, in respect of an allegation that he is a racist. MGN is defending the case on the basis that the allegation is true or that it was “honest comment”. Read the rest of this entry »

Inforrm Debate: Abolition of Libel Juries, Poll Results

2 08 2012

In June and July 2012 we published a number of posts as part of an “Inforrm Debate” on the issue as to whether trial by jury should be abolished in libel cases. On 13 July 2012 we published a poll to find out whether our readers favoured the abolition of the statutory right to jury trial contained in clause 11 of the Defamation Bill.

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Inforrm Debate: Libel juries, is there a middle way? – Hugh Tomlinson QC

11 07 2012

The Government proposes to abolish the right to trial by jury in libel cases. Opponents seek the retention of the right in the established form of a “presumption” in favour of libel trials in jury cases unless the case involves “prolonged examination of documents”.  Is it possible to find a middle way?  It is important to consider the arguments on both sides to see whether there is any possible common ground.  Read the rest of this entry »

Inforrm Debate: On Jury Trials in Civil Cases – A view from the United States – Jack W. London

5 07 2012

I am a long-term member of the Jury Charge committee of my state bar in the United States, a committee that writes the legal instructions to the jury in civil cases, and was thus very pleased to observe the closing arguments and the Judge’s summing up to the jury in the recent trial of Cooper v Evening Standard and Associated Newspapers, a civil  jury trial that arose from a newspaper article that incorrectly reported that Mr. Cooper was a ringleader who organised the Millbank riots  in  November 2011.  Read the rest of this entry »

Inforrm Debate: Jury Trial, does clause 11 reflect the views of the Joint Committee?

3 07 2012

The Defamation Bill which is presently before Parliament provides for the abolition of the right to trial by jury in libel cases. Clause 11 of the Bill provides for the removal of the right to jury trial in such cases – a right which has been enshrined in law for nearly 100 years (see our post on the historical background). This clause was approved by the Defamation Bill Committee last week. Read the rest of this entry »

Inforrm Debate: Luke Cooper’s case shows damage of abolishing trial by jury in libel cases – Louis Charalambous

30 06 2012

Immediately following my client Luke Cooper’s win last Friday against the Evening Standard and Daily Mail, their lawyer came over to the claimant’s side of the court and said “I truly do hope that was the last ever jury libel trial“.

It had been hard fought, with both sides content for a jury to decide the case, and the first jury trial in a libel case for three years since Tom Bower defeated Richard Desmond‘s libel claim in 2009. Read the rest of this entry »

Inforrm Debate: Vindication for the Jury – Lucy Moorman

28 06 2012

The jury award of £60,000 libel damages to PhD student Luke Cooper was a vindication not only of Luke Cooper’s reputation, it was a vindication of the jury itself and a reminder of what effective justice a jury can deliver.  Events in Court 13 last Friday remind us that, when newspapers demonise individuals and refuse to admit they are wrong, there is no more appropriate and telling vindication than the unanimous verdict and award of damages by a jury.   Read the rest of this entry »

Inforrm Debate: Libel Jury Trials – Some Historical Background

26 06 2012

The right to trial by jury was a fundamental feature of both criminal and civil procedure under the common law.  While the right to trial by jury is seen, by most commentators, as a fundamental right in criminal cases, it has over the last century and a half been gradually eroded in civil cases. Read the rest of this entry »