Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2015] All ER (D) 50 (Apr)
Neutral Citation: [2015] EWHC 915 (QB)
Court: Queen's Bench Division
Judge:

Nicola Davies J

Representation Godwin Busuttil (instructed by Taylor Hampton Solicitors Ltd) for the claimant.
  David Price QC (instructed by David Price Solicitors and Advocates) for the defendants in the first and second claims.
  Manuel Barca QC and Hannah Ready (instructed by Lewis Silkin LLP) for the defendant in the third claim.
Judgment Dates: 1 April 2015

Catchwords

Libel and slander - Preliminary point of law - Application for trial of preliminary issue on point of law - Claimant issuing proceedings against defendant newspaper publishers - Defendants seeking trial of preliminary issues as to serious harm, identification, abuse of process and meaning - Whether issues of reference should be tried as preliminary issues - .

The Case

Libel and slander Preliminary point of law. In the course of the claimant's defamation proceedings against them, the defendants sought the trial of preliminary issues as to serious harm, identification, meaning and abuse of process. The Queen's Bench Division, in allowing the applications, held that it was appropriate to determine serious harm as a preliminary issue, as it was a threshold condition in any action brought pursuant to the provisions of the . Common sense and the overriding objective required early determination of serious harm, reference, abuse of process and meaning to enable a determination to be made as to whether the claims should continue.

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