Judgement handed down in Serafin v Malkiewicz & ors [2020] 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

In this news post  – Dr Anton van Dellen

Dr Anton van Dellen has experience in a wide range of defamation proceedings, ranging from pre-action advice to fully contested High Court claims and appeals up to the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. He also has sound experience in bringing Judicial Reviews and appeals against a wide range of public authorities, challenging decisions for being unlawful, irrational and/or failing to follow published guidance. High Net Worth clients are represented by Dr Anton van Dellen in a range of litigation involving disputes over assets.