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John v Mirror Group

[1996] 2 All ER 35

Case summary last updated at 17/01/2020 20:16 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case John v Mirror Group

P published an article claiming that D had an eating disorder and P sued D for defamation. This was accepted, but P tried to claim exemplary damages on the grounds that D’s standard of journalism had been very poor and had not tried to verify the facts. CA held that the exemplary damages granted at first instance (“£250k) were excessive as the story did not attack P’s personal integrity. Exemplary damages could only be granted where the defendant had no general belief in the truth of what he had published and had been motivated by a cynical calculation that publication was to his mercenary advantage AND a sum calculated on the ordinary basis was inadequate as a punishment/deterrent.

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