Polanski Appeal Allowed

House of Lords permits video link evidence in Vanity Fair libel trial

Film director, Roman Polanski, has won the right to give evidence in his libel action against Vanity Fair via video link from France, the House of Lords has ruled today.


In a 3-2 majority judgment, the Law Lords have reversed an earlier ruling of the Court of Appeal and reinstated the order of Eady J allowing Mr Polanski to give his evidence without attending the High Court trial in person. Had he set foot in the UK he would have been arrested and subject to possible extradition proceedings to the US in connection with his conviction for a sexual offence over 25 years ago.


The judgment reaffirms that there is no ‘outlaw principle’ in English law, as well as emphasising the width of the right to adduce hearsay evidence, even before juries.


5RB‘s Justin Rushbrooke instructed by Schillings appeared for Mr Polanski in the House of Lords.


For the full judgment and the 5RB case report, click here.