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November 6, 2014

Miller and Crawford: permission refused

Categories: Defamation, Harassment, News

Tags: Defamation, Harassment, Supreme Court

Permission to Appeal dismissed by the Supreme Court in both cases


The Supreme Court has recently refused permission to appeal in two media law cases which reached the Court of Appeal earlier in 2014:

Miller v Associated Newspapers Ltd was a defamation case concerning a Chase Level 2 meaning of there being reasonable grounds to suspect that the claimant was a willing beneficiary of improper conduct and cronyism. That meaning was decided by Tugendhat J. The trial was heard by Sharp J, who found that the defence of justification was not made out and awarded the Claimant £65,000 damages. The Court of Appeal dismissed the defendant’s appeal, applying the conduct rule and the principles the principles relating to Chase level 2 meanings as set out in King v Telegraph Group Ltd [2004] EWCA Civ 613.  On 31 October 2014 the Supreme Court refused the appellant’s application for permission to appeal on the ground that the application did not raise a point of law of general public importance. 5RB‘s Adam Speker was junior counsel for the defendant/appellant, Associated Newspapers Ltd. A 5RB case report on the meaning decision can be found here, on the first instance decision here, and on the Court of Appeal decision here.

In Crawford v Jenkins the Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal by the claimant against a decision of HHJ Baucher, ruling that the witness immunity rule as it relates to defamation claims covers other causes of action where a complaint to the police does not lead to prosecution – in this case causes of actions under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 and malicious procurement of an arrest. In doing so the Court drew a clear line between complaints made to the police that result in prosecution and those that do not. On 30 October 2014 the Supreme Court refused the appellant’s application for permission to appeal . 5RB‘s Adam Speker acted for respondent, Bronwen Jenkins. A 5RB case report on the Court of Appeal decision can be found here.