Attorney General v News Group Newspapers [1987]

  • Created by: channyx
  • Created on: 20-03-20 21:14

A plaintiff in libel proceedings cannot obtain an injunction restraining further publication of the alleged libel when the defence is one of justification unless there is a substantial risk of serious prejudice to the trial. In 1984 the plaintiff began proceedings for libel against a newspaper which relied on the defence of justification. The case was set down for trial not earlier than March 1987.

In April 1986 the defendants the owners of another newspaper, proposed to publish the same allegations. The Attorney General brought proceedings to restrain the defendants under the strict liability rule in s.1 of the Contempt of Court Act 1981, i.e., "the rule of law whereby conduct may be treated as a contempt of court as tending to interfere with the course of justice in particular legal proceedings regardless of intent to do so."

However, under s.2 this rule only applied if the publication…


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