Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2008] All ER (D) 176 (Jan)
Court: Queen's Bench Division

Pitchford J

Representation The claimant appeared by his representative.
  Peter Houghten (instructed by Churchills) for the defendant.
Judgment Dates: 24 January 2008


Libel and slander - Privilege - Absolute privilege - Defendant making oral and written allegations regarding claimant to police officer conducting criminal investigation - Whether statement protected by absolute privilege.

The Case

Libel and slander Privilege. Public policy required that communications between a witness and those investigating an offence should be immune from action as the public policy priority was that those who made complaints could do so without the fear that they would subsequently be challenged in court, even if those who made such statements maliciously benefited from that protection. Accordingly, in the instant case, the defendant's oral and written complaints to the police were protected by absolute privilege and immunity from suit.

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