- tocCivil Procedure Rules
|Contents of this Part|
|Scope of this Part||Rule 69.1|
|Claimant’s statement of claim||Rule 69.2|
|Defendant’s statement of case||Rule 69.3|
|Ruling on meaning||Rule 69.4|
|Payments into court and offers||Rule 69.5|
|Statement in open court||Rule 69.6|
|Requests for information||Rule 69.7|
|Evidence to mitigate damages||Rule 69.8|
- These Rules apply to claims for libel or slander subject to the rules in this Part.
- The statement of claim (or counterclaim) in a defamation claim must, in addition to the matters set out in Part 8 –
- give sufficient particulars of the publications in respect of which the claim is brought to enable them to be identified;
- if the claimant alleges that the words or matters complained of were used in a defamatory sense other than their ordinary meaning – give particulars of the facts and matters relied on in support of such sense; and
- if the claimant alleges that the defendant maliciously published the words or matters – give particulars in support of the allegation.
- A defendant (or in the case of a counterclaim, the claimant) who alleges that –
- in so far as the words complained of consist of statements of facts, they are true in substance and in fact; and
- in so far as they consist of expressions of opinion, they are fair comment on a matter of public interest; or
- pleads to like effect; must give particulars stating –
- which of the words complained of are alleged to be statements of fact; and
- the facts and matters relied on in support of the allegation that the words are true.
- At any time after the service of the statement of claim, either party may apply to a judge in chambers for an order determining whether or not the words complained of are capable of bearing a meaning or meanings attributed to them in the statement of case.
- If it appears to the judge on the hearing of an application under paragraph (1) that none of the words complained of are capable of bearing the meaning or meanings attributed to them in the statement of case, the judge may dismiss the claim or make such other order or give such judgment in the proceedings as may be just.
- If the claimant claims against several defendants sued jointly and accepts money paid into court under Part 36 or a written offer under Part 35 by any one or more but not all of those defendants, the claim must be stayed against that defendant or those defendants, but –
- the sum recoverable under any judgment in favour of the claimant against any other defendant must not exceed the amount paid into court or the offer by the defendant or defendants against whom the claim has been stayed; and
- the claimant is not entitled to any costs after the date of acceptance of the payment into court or the offer to settle unless either the –
- court is satisfied that there were reasonable grounds to continue the claim against the other defendant or defendants; or
- damages awarded exceed the amount paid into court or offered.
- If a defamation claim is settled before trial either party may apply to a judge in chambers for leave to make a statement in open court in terms agreed by the judge.
- In a defamation claim where the defendant states that the words or matters complained of –
- are fair comment on a matter of public interest; or
- were published on a privileged occasion; the claimant may not make a request for information under Part 34 as to the defendant’s sources of information or grounds of belief.
- A defendant who does not in the defence assert the truth of the statement of which complaint is made may not give evidence in chief as to the –
- character of the claimant; or
- circumstances under which the libel or slander was published; with a view to mitigating damages unless particulars are given in a witness statement served at least 42 days before the trial.