Sunday 25 February 2018

What the jury had to consider in reaching decision

* The questions the jury were asked:

Q1 In so far as these words allege (in the article) facts, (a) are these facts true or false? (b) if false, do they defame the plaintiff?

Q2 In so far as these words constitute comment, is it honest comment on a matter of public interest? Answer yes or no.

If the answer to 1 (b) is yes or if the answer to question 2 is no, assess damages.

* The questions the jury asked back:

Q1 Can we go beyond that definition [of honest comment] and find the article damaging or unfair to his character? Honest comment . . . can a lot of latitude be given?

Q2 What did the judge mean by common sense and life experience and how do you apply it in these circumstances?

Irish Independent

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