On 13 November 2013, the parties settled a libel action by way of a settlement agreement scheduled to a Tomlin Order. The libel action concerned a series of articles published in the Ds Greek language newspaper about the C and the Lagarde List.
The action was settled after the Ds had issued a challenge to jurisdiction of the English court but before that matter had been heard. The agreement allowed for no damages or costs but the Ds undertook to publish an article the truth of which C warranted; not to repeat the offending allegations; not to publish in any jurisdiction, any articles or statements which refer to C or his immediate family, expressly defined as his mother, father, brother or children but subject to certain exceptions as to reports of court proceedings or parliamentary inquiries.
C contended that the Ds breached the third clause by publishing 2 articles where C was not named but where he contended he would have been understood to be referred to. He issued an application seeking to convert the contractual undertakings into an injunction and for an inquiry as to damages.
On 5 December 2014, Sir David Eady, sitting as a High Court Judge, refused C’s application to lift the stay in the proceedings imposed by the Tomlin Order; he refused C’s application for an injunction to enforce clause 3.2 of the settlement agreement; and he also refused to make an order for an inquiry as to damages occasioned to the appellant by the breach of the terms of the settlement agreement. C appealed with the permission of Christopher Clarke LJ.
On the appeal, the Ds did not seek to support the reasoning of the Judge below but contended that the court should uphold the judge’s decision, because the terms of the relevant clause were too wide (rather than too vague); and having regard to section 12 of the Human Rights Act 1998 and the importance of freedom of expression, it would be disproportionate and/or contrary to public policy to grant C the relief that he sought.