Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Judge Sues Newspaper for Defamation

I find the idea that a Judge can sue for defamation in respect of a matter arising out of his office, to be very odd indeed (see here).  Judges are properly immune from suit from such actions, and it would seem to me that they should not use a tort that cannot be used against them.  If a newspaper defames a judge, then he should take it on the chin, it is part of being in the public eye -it is part of properly being subject to public scrutiny - if the defamation is credible, then the OJC will investigate and the judge can respond through the proper process and a successful outcome for the judge - the judge being cleared - will be announced publicly - I am not sure what more defamation proceedings can achieve - save for money?  I can see how in an extreme case, an injunction might be necessary to protect the judge, but that would surely be on extreme facts, probably also amounting to contempt of court actionable and restrainable at the suit of the Attorney General.    I am just not sure a judge should take matters into his own hands and sue at private law for his own benefit?  Perhaps the LCJ will issue guidance.

1 comment:

  1. I think this is not proper. Newspaper is very important to the public. How can newspaper be defamed? This is important to the public's eye-view of what was happening.