Tort law cases often make the news headlines. The purpose of the web links provided here is to fill you in on some of the background to the cases and, occasionally, statutes that you are studying. They include a mixture of video and audio clips, newspaper reports, blog posts, Government reports, case reports and so on. We've also taken the opportunity to include 'updates' where the law has changed or developed since the publication of the book.

In our experience it is often easier to remember the facts or decision of a particular case when you know a bit more about its background - when you can, for example, visualise the parties involved, or picture the accident or event that lead to the claim. We also believe that awareness of the context of a particular case or the passage of a statute can often help students understand – and begin to question – why the decision was reached, or why the introduction of legislation was felt necessary. Our view is that it is important that you experience – and engage with – tort law as a dynamic and fluid process, as a body of progressive rather than static, ahistorical rules. We hope that the links provided here (as well as other things you may link to from them) will help you do this and that they will give you a sense of historical perspective and an insight into the role of the context and history in the development of legal doctrine.

We've done our best to ensure that the links are as extensive as possible but the links are (obviously) not exhaustive. We urge you to make keep an eye on developments both in tort and other areas of law by reading good legal blogs as well as the law pages of quality newspapers online.

Of course, we also know that on occasions (particularly when a deadline is pressing) these sort of additional materials (as well as the others included on our online resources) can prove to be a bit of a distraction. These links are intended to supplement your studies. They are not an alternative to the harder work of reading the text book, academic commentary, and cases. In fact, there is no excuse for not reading the cases. Within these web links we've provided deep links on BAILLI to a selection of key cases from each chapter, and we encourage you to put your background reading, watching, and surfing to good use by reading these in full so that you gain a deeper understanding of the issues they raise.

Judicial Statistics

Latest Judicial Statistics, 2019: Issued defamation claims up by 22%, highest number since 1998, Inforrm Blog, 19 June 2020

Defamation claims in 2018 up by 70%, the highest number for nine years, will Lachaux reverse the trend?, Inforrm Blog, 11 June 2019

2017: Judicial Statistics, 2017: Issued defamation claims up by 40%, highest for three years, Inforrm Blog, 26 June 2018

2016: Issued defamation claims down by 17%, lowest recorded number in modern times, Inforrm Blog, 6 June 2017

The Defamation Act 2013

There has been an enormous amount of discussion online about the Defamation Act 2013. It is worth taking the time to have a look at some of the commentary, though you should be aware of who is writing (the debate was very polarised and not all comments will be impartial) and when the person is writing as the law changed during the legislative process. Here is just a snap shot:

You can read the text of the Act here

You can follow the progress of the Act here

Ministry of Justice press release, “Defamation Act reforms libel law”, 25 April 2013

The Inforrm Blog

The Inforrm’s Blog ( has a large number of articles on the Defamation Act (as well as discussion of defamation and privacy cases and media law generally)

Defamation Act 2013, commencement and some initial reactions, 3 May 2013

News: Defamation Act 2013 receives Royal Assent, 26 April 2013

Timothy Pinto, ‘Defamation Act 2013: A boost for free speech – Part 1: Serious Harm, Truth and Honest opinion’, 21 May 2013

Timothy Pinto, ‘Defamation Act 2013: A boost for free speech, Part 2: Public Interest and Privilege’, 22 May 2013

Timothy Pinto, ‘Defamation Act 2013: A boost for free speech, Part 3: Intermediary liability’, 23 May 2013

Timothy Pinto, ‘Defamation Act 2013 – A boost for free speech – Part 4: Single publication rule, forum shopping and juries, 24 May 2013

The Index on Censorship blog

Index on Censorship is an international organisation that promotes and defends the right to freedom of expression. It played a key role in debates surrounding the enactment of the Defamation Act. Here are just a few related posts:

Padraig Reidy, ‘Libel Act to commence “before end of year”’ Index on Censorship blog, 13 June 2013

Padraig Reidy, ‘Victory for free speech as libel bill passes’, Index on Censorship blog, 24 April 2013

Other reaction in the press

Dominic Ponsford, ‘Defamation Bill passed: 'It will change the landscape of free speech in Britain’, Press Gazette, 25 April 2013

Lisa O’Carroll, ‘Government U-turn on defamation bill heralds libel reform victory’, The Guardian, 22 April 2013

Oliver Wright, ‘Blow to freedom of speech as key libel reform the Defamation Bill is blocked’, The Independent, 15 April 2013

On libel reform generally

The Defamation Act 2013 is the culmination of a long campaign to reform the English libel laws.

The libel reform campaign

Libel reform – Guardian law pages

Dara O'Briain and friends at the Big Libel Gig

Defamation Bill: Prof Brian Cox on libel law changes, 27 June 2012
Professor Brian Cox and the comedian Dara O' Briain have been to Downing Street to deliver a petition to make changes to the Defamation Bill. Brian Cox talks on the BBC’s Daily Politics Show.

Speech by Lord Hoffmann ‘The Libel Tourism Myth’ (6 February 2010)

And comment from Nick Cohen

Cases in the news and legal blogs

First Impressions UKSC Blog Podcast Ep 1: Lachaux v Independent Print Ltd [2019] UKSC 27

Sarah Marsh, ‘Johnny Depp loses bid to overturn ruling in libel case’ 25 March 2021

Alexandros Antoniou, ‘The Johnny Depp libel trial explained’ The Conversation 3 November 2020

Behind the Depp headlines: meaning, evidence and juries, 6 November 2020

Case comment: Depp v NGN – an analysis of the judgment

Oliver Cox, Case Law: Stocker v Stocker, Supreme Court overturns Judge on meaning of “tried to strangle”, Inforrm Blog, 5 April 2019

Mathilde Groppo, Case Law: Lachaux v Independent Print, Supreme Court abolished common law presumption of damage in libel cases, INnforrm Blog, 13, June 2019

Frances Perraudin, Ex-Ukip councillor ordered to pay £80,000 in damages to Rotherham MPs, The Guardian, 1 June 2016

BBC News, ‘High Court: Sally Bercow's Lord McAlpine tweet was libel’, 24 May 2013 (on McAlpine v Bercow)

BBC News, ‘Lord McAlpine drops some Twitter defamation cases’, 21 February 2013 (on McAlpine v Bercow)

BBC NEWS, ‘'Revenge porn' site owner Hunter Moore sued for defamation’, 11 March 2013

BBC News, ‘X Factor judge Louis Walsh settles 500,000 euro defamation case’, 28 November 2012

BBC NEWS, ‘Nature journal libel victory prompts libel reform call’, 6 July 2012

Hugh Tomlinson, ‘Case Comment: Flood v Times Newspapers [2012] UKSC 12, Court allows “Reynolds” appeal’, UKSC Blog, 21 March 2012

Siobhain Butterworth, ‘Flood v The Times: Reynolds privilege defence is back’. The Guadian, 21 March 2012

Katie Price agrees to pay Peter Andre libel damages, 2, December 2011

Inforrm blog poston Joseph v Spiller

Supreme court changes fair comment defence in libel cases (on Joseph v Spiller)

Simon Singh wins libel court battle – with video clip (on British Chiropractic Association v Singh)

Chiropractors' libel case dropped against Simon Singh (on British Chiropractic Association v Singh)

Book author wins historic libel case (On the application of the Reynolds defence)

BBC ordered to pay £500,000 costs (On the application of the Reynolds defence)

Landmark decision for 'free speech' (On Jameel [2007] and Reynolds)

Beckham pays out in slander row (McManus v Beckham [2002])

Paper welcomes Grobbelaar ruling (Grobbelaar v News Group Newspapers [2002])

On Monroe v Hopkins [2017]

BBC News video discussing the case

A blog post on Monroe v Hopkins:

BBC news, ‘Katie Hopkins cannot appeal Jack Monroe libel tweet case’, 29 March 2017

On #MeToo and defamation

France's MeToo creator on trial for defaming man she accused, 30 May 2019

Southall Black Sisters Press Release: PRESS RELEASE: Lachaux v Independent News Print Limited and Another

Jon Robins, Women silenced from speaking out in ‘an asphyxiating vortex of litigation’, The Justice Gap, 24 January 2019

On McLibel

On This Day: 19 June1997: Victory for McDonald's - at a cost – this site includes BBC video clips of the verdict against McDonalds.

'McLibel' pair win legal aid case – including video on the background to the case

This website tells the story of the McLibel litigation and includes transcripts of the trial


We still find the inforrm blog is best place to keep up to date with the –many – defamation (and privacy) cases:

Flood v Times Newspapers [2012]

Reynolds v Times Newspaper [2001]

Joseph v Spiller [2010]

British Chiropractic Association v Singh [2010]