Details of defamation claims made in 2019

The request was refused by Ministry of Justice.

Dear Ministry of Justice,

The 'Royal Courts of Justice Annual Tables - 2019' data was published on 4th June 2020 as part of the Civil Justice Statistics Quarterly:
https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics...

The MS Excel Spreadsheet '2019_RCJ_tables.xlsx' contains several tables of information. Table Table 3.20 - Queen's Bench Division - gives the number of defamation (libel and slander) claims started in the High Court in 2019 as 323.

Request: Please supply a list of the case details (case number, parties) for each of the cases which make up this figure of 323 (cell E33).

It may be useful to provide some additional information/context in order to pre-empt a response that 'this information is already in the public domain.' It is not! *Some* high court defamation cases are discoverable via the 'public search' function on the HMCTS e-filing portal (https://efile.cefile-app.com). However, a search for the QB Media and Communications list for 2019 reveals a total of 306 cases, which include many dozens of cases which relate to privacy, data protection, and injunctions (i.e. not defamation, slander, or malicious falsehood).

I assume that the remaining cases were originally filed in the district registries rather than at the Queens Bench Division in London. Since the public search function on the e-filing service does not allow search filtering by case type, there is no way to perform a search for the relevant cases using that service. The commercial provision of information (such as Westlaw and Lawtel) is similarly limited. So in order to get the definitive list, I would need the person who calculated the figure of 323 to provide the list of cases on which it was based.

For the avoidance of doubt, I am not requesting detailed particulars or documentation for these cases. Just the case number, parties, and date of claim etc, that a simple search of the appropriate databases would yield.

Yours faithfully,

Robert Sharp

PS — I have also submitted this request to HMCTS. If they are the more appropriate government agency to provide this data then please let me know and I can mark this request accordingly on the What Do They Know website.

LondonKILO, Ministry of Justice

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Sharp,

 

Please see the attached acknowledgement to your FOI request.

 

 

Regards,

 

Knowledge and Information Liaison Officer

Knowledge and Information Liaison Unit | London Regional Support Unit |
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LondonKILO, Ministry of Justice

1 Attachment

Dear Robert Sharp,

 

Please see the attached response to your request (our reference 200629027)

 

Knowledge and Information Officer
Knowledge and Information Liaison Unit | London Regional Support Unit |
3^rd Floor | First Avenue House | 42-49 High Holborn | London | WC1V 6NP |
DX160010 Kingsway 7

Web: [1]www.gov.uk/hmcts

 

Unless a higher marking is specified please treat this email as: OFFICIAL

Click [2]here to provide some feedback and help improve our service.

[3]Here is how HMCTS uses personal data about you

 

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