Limitation appeal allowed

Court of Appeal rules that ignorance of 1-year limitation period usually irrelevant, overturns permission to sue LexisNexis for libel

The Court of Appeal today allowed an appeal brought by LexisNexis and Community Care Inform (CCI) over the publication of a legal case report first placed on its websites in October 2010 and January 2011. The issue before the Court was whether the one-year limitation period applying to libel claims should be disapplied. The Court of Appeal held that the court below had erred in granting the Claimant’s application to disapply the limitation period. It further struck out the remainder of the claim, which was based on a very small number of online hits that were not time-barred, as Jameel abuse.

The claim was brought by Mr Raymond Bewry, a local authority approved foster carer and the current Chair of the Norfolk Foster Carer Association.

This appeal provides valuable guidance in an area where there are still few authorities, and in which there is even scarcer guidance in respect of continuing online publications.  The appeal also deals directly with the interesting issue of whether a claimant’s ignorance of the limitation period can ever be relevant to the exercise of discretion under s.32A.

The 5RB case report can be accessed here and includes a link to the judgment.

5RB’s Justin Rushbrooke QC and Yuli Takatsuki (instructed by Aslan Charles Kousetta LLP) acted for the Appellants.