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Court dismisses libel claim against the Metropolitan Police Commissioner

Court dismisses libel claim against the Metropolitan Police Commissioner
Published on: 11 May 2021
Published by: LexisPSL
  • Court dismisses libel claim against the Metropolitan Police Commissioner
  • What are the practical implications of this case?
  • Determining meaning—importance of reading the article as a whole, not just the heading
  • Serious harm—importance of establishing causation
  • What was the background?
  • What did the court decide?
  • Case details

Article summary

TMT analysis: Mr Justice Julian Knowles has dismissed William Spicer’s libel claim against the Commissioner of Police which concerned the publication of a press release relating to the outcome of Mr Spicer’s criminal trial (the ‘Article’). The court accepted the Commissioner’s defence that the Article was substantially true, pursuant to section 2 of the Defamation Act 2013 (DA 2013). The court also dismissed Mr Spicer’s argument that he had suffered serious harm to his reputation on the basis that, in the context of widespread press attention of his criminal trial (which related to the same issues as those set out in the Article), he was unable to demonstrate that it was the publication of the Article which had caused serious harm. Written by Francesca Knight, associate at CMS Cameron McKenna Olswang Nabarro. or take a trial to read the full analysis.

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