Judgement handed down in Serafin v Malkiewicz & ors  UKSC 23
The appeal to the Supreme Court concerned the Court of Appeal’s interpretation of the s.4 public interest defence and whether the trial was unfair by virtue of the trial judge’s interventions. The original trial was before Jay J in 2017 and concerned the publication in a Polish newspaper of allegations about Mr Jan Serafin. The Court of Appeal decided that the trial had been unfair due the trial Judge’s interventions, but handed down a very restrictive interpretation of the s.4 public interest defence.
The Supreme Court made it absolutely clear that the public interest defence does not import of a test of responsibility or treat the Reynolds factors as a checklist. The Supreme Court did, however, find that the trial was unfair. The claim now returns to the High Court for another trial before a different judge of the Media and Communications List.
Dr Anton van Dellen represented the Appellants together with David Price QC and Anthony Metzer QC and was instructed by David Price QC (Solicitor Advocate).
Case analysis by Dr Anton van Dellen