On 3 June 2020 the Supreme Court handed down judgment in Serafin v Malkiewicz & Ors UKSC 23. The decision upheld the Court of Appeal’s finding of unfair trial, but considered that by ordering a remittal limited to the assessment of damages, the appellate judges had failed to address the consequences that should flow from this finding. Continue reading
The newspapers are once again replete with Boris Johnson’s private life. Last weekend he rowed loudly with his girlfriend. Neighbours overheard. She shouted “get off me”, “get out of my flat”, “you’re spoilt”, “you have no care for money or anything”. He shouted “get off my f***ing laptop”. Continue reading
On 17 May 2019, the Court of Appeal handed down its decision in Serafin v Malkiewicz & Ors( EWCA Civ 852). The appeal concerned, amongst other things, the correct application of the ‘public interest’ defence under s.4 of the Defamation Act 2013. Continue reading
Section 4 of the Defamation Act 2013 (“the Act”) gives defendants who have published material concerning matters of public interest a defence to an action for defamation. The archetypal defendant in this context would usually be a professional journalist who has published a piece of investigative journalism.
The public interest defence under section 4 of the Defamation Act 2013 replaced the old defence of Reynolds privilege. A number of cases have since established that the old criteria for responsible journalism under Reynolds is still relevant when assessing the reasonable belief requirement of the new defence. Continue reading
This critique follows on from my previous post, in which I responded to Paul Wragg’s criticism of the manner in which the judge in Richard v BBC dealt with the first stage of the claim – whether Richard had a “reasonable expectation of privacy” in respect of the information broadcast about him. Continue reading
Public interest journalism could be considered the antithesis of media’s darker side, which includes fake news, propaganda, censorship and voyeurism. The outcomes of public interest reporting can expose corruption, launch royal commissions, remove improper politicians from office, and jail wrongdoers. Continue reading
The case of Economou v de Freitas ( EWHC 1853 (QB)) was the first case to substantively consider in detail the new “public interest” defence since the Defamation Act 2013 came into force, clarifying that the Court will place a great deal of weight on whether the Defendant “reasonably believed” the publication was in the public interest and not just on whether it was a general matter of public interest. Continue reading