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Harcombe/Kendrick vs Associated Newspapers – The basics of the case

Introduction

This note goes through the basics of the case: who, when, what, defamation law, the defence put forward by the Defendants, the summary Judgment and what this case was and wasn’t about.

I will quote verbatim from the Judgment as much as possible in this note, and reference the paragraphs, as this is the most reliable way in which to share findings. I will put direct quotations from the Judgment in blue and without italics. This is because the Judgment often used italics (to quote from the Articles or emails) and I need to capture these faithfully. Any emphasis in blue passages is the original emphasis, unless stated otherwise. This will also distinguish any comments from the Judgment from anything else in italics and/or quotation marks in this note.

Please don’t worry if you are trying to read the Judgment and don’t understand the legal bits – especially all the case law references. I’m not sure more than a few lawyers working exclusively in defamation understand all aspects of defamation law. And then this case is complex on top of complex. As I shared in the Tuesday note (Ref 1), which announced the Judgment – the Judge, Mr Justice Nicklin, said of the case It is no exaggeration to say that the parameters of this litigation are very substantial. Indeed, this is the most significant piece of defamation litigation that I have seen in a very long time.”35 (9) That number reference (35 (9)) refers to the Judgment – paragraph 35 subpoint (9).

It might help to have the full Judgment to hand while reading this. The link is here, if so (Ref 2).

 

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