Limited Publication: Al Baho & Ors v Meerza [2011]

Al Baho & Ors v Meerza [2011] EWHC 2984 (QB)

The case bucks the recent trend of strike outs of claims where there has been limited publication.

The case involved publication of an email confined to one recipient in Kuwait.

Reliance was placed on the case of Jameel (Yousef) v Dow Jones & Co Inc [2005] QB 946 by the Defendant which allowed the court to strike out claims at an early stage.

Mr Justice Eady stated abuse could not be established just based on limited publication. Each case was dependant on its own facts, much will depend on the Defamatory allegation concerned, the extent of the publication and how serious it was taken, and the extent it impacted on the claimants reputation.

The judge also stated that in this case the Defendant had sought to justify the imputation was true.

It would therefore be unfair to deny them the opportunity of defending themselves.

The application was refused.

Mr Justice Eady said

“I reject the application based on abuse of process. There is a “real and substantial tort” (subject to any defences), although published to only one person. That person is, of course, a “victim” of the alleged wrongdoing and the sister of one of the Claimants. The allegations were thus likely to cause significant reputational damage.”

The case has been reserved to Eady and it may be then clarification will become apparent.


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