Galloway case off to Court of Appeal

Master of the Rolls to hear Telegraph libel appeal

The Court of Appeal has today granted permission to Appeal to the Telegraph to challenge the High Court judgment which awarded £150,000 in libel damages to MP, George Galloway.


Lord Justice Tuckey, who gave the judgment of the Court, said that it appeared there was a gap opening between the English law’s treatment of reportage under the Al-Fagih decision and the European Court of Human Rights decisions of Thoma and Selistö. As such, it was appropriate for the Court of Appeal to consider whether the parameters of a neutral reportage defence under Reynolds should be reconsidered.


In an unusual move, the Court (Tuckey & Latham LJJ) directed that the Appeal should be heard by the Master of the Rolls, Lord Phillips, sitting with two other Lord Justices.


A stay on the damages and costs originally granted by the trial judge, Mr Justice Eady, was continued by the Court pending the hearing of the Appeal, which is expected to be heard in October 2005.


Separately, Mr Galloway today launched the manifesto of his party, Respect, for the general election. He is standing in the Bethnal Green constituency.


5RB‘s James Price QC and Matthew Nicklin (instructed by Dechert) appeared for the Telegraph.