Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2002] All ER (D) 275 (Jul)
Neutral Citation: [2002] EWCA Civ 1034
Court: Court of Appeal, Civil Division

Peter Gibson, Potter LJJ and Sir Murray Stuart-Smith

Representation David Price, solicitor advocate, and John Samson of David Price Solicitors and Advocates for the claimant.
  Jacob Dean (instructed by Peter Carter-Ruck & Partners) for the defendants.
Judgment Dates: 18 July 2002


Jury - Trial by jury - Libel - Defendants applying for summary judgment on part of claim for libel - Judge granting application - Judge striking out remainder of claim - Whether judge applying correct tests for summary judgment and striking out in respect of claim for libel.

The Case

The institution of proceedings with an ulterior motive was not of itself enough to constitute an abuse, but where the conduct of the proceedings themselves, including the initiation of the claim, was not so as to vindicate a right but rather was designed to cause the defendant problems of expense, harassment, commercial prejudice or the like beyond those ordinarily encountered in the course of properly conducted litigation it could be appropriate to strike out the proceedings as an abuse of process. The test was an objective one, and there was nothing to suggest that the overriding objective was to be applied any less rigorously, or that judges were to be less interventionist, in litigation of the kind where there was a right to a trial by jury. On the facts of the instant case, a claim for libel, the judge had applied the correct test and his decision to strike out the claim would stand.

Practice Areas

If you are a LexisLibrary subscriber you can read more about this case here.