Trial judge was correct in refusing to strike out parts of defamation defence

By: Ciaran Joyce BL

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Court of Appeal dismisses a number of appeals arising from defamation proceedings brought by a businessman who claimed he was defamed as a result of a Prime Time broadcast by RTE (save in respect of a costs order), finding that: a) the trial judge was correct in refusing to strike out parts of RTE's defence on the basis that RTE could put forward alternative meanings to the allegedly defamatory material; b) it was within the judge's discretion to consider the words broadcast by RTE capable of holding the meaning which RTE contended; c) the trial judge properly granted RTE leave to cross examine the plaintiff in respect of his affidavit of discovery; d) orders made directing RTE to make discovery were valid; and e) a reserved costs order should not have been postponed.

Defamation – discovery – pleadings – practice and procedure – jurisdiction of the appellate court – refusal to strike out paragraphs of defence – issues relating to discovery – costs order made by the High Court judge – Order 99, R. 1(4A) of the Rules of the Superior Courts – O. 19, r. 27 of the R.S.C. – appeal dismissed save in respect of costs order

Note: This is intended to be a fair and accurate report of a decision made public by a court of law. Any errors should be notified to the editor and will be dealt with accordingly.

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