Law, Justice and Journalism

Posts Tagged ‘defamation’

Tracing “unaccounted for” defamation actions

In Journalism, Law on January 17, 2011 at 10:17 am

By Judith Townend

[Also posted on Meeja Law]

The Inforrm blog has an excellent piece on what happens to defamation actions in England & Wales. It reports that while there are between 200 and 300 defamation claims each year, very few are disposed of at hearings, let alone make it to full trial. So what happens to all the others?

Inforrm comments:

…. the total of all the cases we have mentioned so far – hearings, statements, apologies and withdrawals – is only 79, or just over a third of the annual figure for libel claims which are commenced. Even assuming that we have missed a number of settlements and apologies, it appears that there a very substantial proportion of issued claims – perhaps around half – which have not been accounted for.

Of course, it is possible that each year a number of claims are simply “left on the court file” with neither party taking action to progress the case – although it can be assumed that if a claimant does nothing for a period of years then a defendant will, eventually, take steps to have the case struck out.

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