Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Summary of repetition rule: McAlpine v Bercow [2013] EWHC 1342 (QB) (24 May 2013)

McAlpine v Bercow [2013] EWHC 1342 (QB) (24 May 2013): "The effect of the repetition rule is that the Defendant, as the writer of the Tweet, is treated as if she had made, with the addition of the Claimant's name, the allegation in the Newsnight and other media reports which had previously been made without his name. It is an allegation of guilt. I see no room on these facts for any less serious meaning. The fact that the accused's denial was also reported in media (other than Newsnight) may be one of a number of factors that the Defendant can rely on in mitigation of damage, but it does not reduce the seriousness of the allegation.
If the Defendant wished to avail herself of a public interest defence, such as Reynolds privilege or reportage, she would have had to plead it. She has not done so. Given the well known risk that a victim of a real crime may make a mistaken identification of the criminal, I do not find it surprising that she has not pleaded any defence of that kind." 'via Blog this'

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