Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2002] All ER (D) 465 (Jul)
Neutral Citation: [2002] EWHC 1600 (QB)
Court: Queen's Bench Division
Judge:

Eady J

Representation Adrienne Page QC and Adam Speker (instructed by S J Cornish) for the claimants.
  Gordon Bishop, Iain Christie and Sara Mansoori (instructed by Wragge & Co) for the authority and the review team.
Judgment Dates: 30 July 2002

Catchwords

Libel and slander - Qualified privilege - Malice avoiding privilege - Public interest - Claimants accused of sexually abusing children - Local authority appointing review team to investigate allegations - Review team publishing report to authority - Authority publishing report to other recipients - Report alleging claimants engaged in widespread sexual abuse of children - Claimants suing in libel - Whether allegations true - Whether publication of report subject to qualified privilege - Whether maliciousness on part of review team - Quantum.

The Case

The court awarded 200,000 libel damages to each of the two claimants in regard of a report published by a review team appointed by the defendant local authority, which claimed that the claimants had abused a large number of children and were part of a paedophile ring, since the allegations in that report had been untrue, and the review team were not protected by qualified privilege since they had published the report maliciously.

Practice Areas

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