Full case report

Mireskandari v Associated Newspapers Limited (No 3)

Reference [2010] EWHC 967 (QB)
Court Queen's Bench Division

Judge Eady J

Date of Judgment 4 May 2010


Summary

Defamation – Application for specific disclosure and/or further information to support allegation of judicial bias


Facts

C, a former solicitor, sued D, the publisher of the Daily Mail and (at that time) the Evening Standard for libel in respect of a number of articles alleging that he had committed fraud, had bogus academic and legal qualifications and employed a serving Met police officer as a secret expert to assist a defendant in a prosecution involving the Met.

On 19 February 2010 an application by D came before the Court seeking an Order that C properly comply with his disclosure obligations and give specific disclosure. Having originally opposed the application stating that it was designed to deliberately vex him, C, through his Leading Counsel, made a complete volte face (as the Judge put it) and accepted that the disclosure had been inadequate. An appeal also came before the Court on the same day from a decision of Master Fontaine for C to produce the original of his United States Security card for inspection. The appeal was dismissed.

Following the hearing, C made an application requiring D to ‘disclose to the Claimant the number of matters that they instructed Mrs Justice Sharp to advise on and/or represent them prior to her appointment as a judge in January 2009….’ It was said in the Application Notice that ‘the targeting of ethnic minorities is an issue in this case and Mrs Justice Sharp may have represented the Defendant in relation to such cases.’


Issue

Whether disclosure and/or further information of the kind sought by C should be ordered.


Held

Dismissing the application:

The jurisdiction relied upon was not clear; the information sought did not relate to issues in the action; and an order would be unnecessary and would not serve a legitimate purpose.


Comment

A court will always need to be satisfied that it has jurisdiction to make any order sought, which was not the case in respect of the unusual order sought here.


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Instructing Solicitors

J Tehrani Solicitors for C; RPC LLP for D