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1 - Youssoupoff v Metro-Goldwyn- Mayer Pictures Ltd (1934) 50 TLR 581,

where the defendants made a film which falsely imputed that the plaintiff had been
raped or seduced by Rasputin. The defamatory matter was in pictorial (as opposed
to soundtrack) part of the picture and was held as libel. The judge in the case,
Slesser Lord Judge referred to a permanent matter capable of being seen by the
Rule: A publications is defamatory if: (1) A reasonable 3 rd person (2) would believe
the statement to be defamatory (3) to another identifiable person.
2 - Cassidy v Daily Mirror Newspapers Ltd (1929). The defendants published a
photograph of a couple, with a caption stating that it was Mr Cassidy and Miss X,
whose engagement had just been announced. Mrs C sued for libel, claiming that
people who knew them would interpret the article as meaning she was not married
to Mr C. The action succeeded.
Cassidy -v- Daily Mirror [1929] 2 KB 331
Russell LJ, Scrutton LJ
Words which would not otherwise have been defamatory can become so because of
circumstances. The intention of the defendant is irrelevant: "Liability for libel does
not depend on the intention of the defamor; but on the fact of defamation."
Scrutton LJ said: "I agree with the view expressed arguendo by Sir Montague Smith
in the case of Simmons v. Mitchell (1880) 6 App. Cas. 156, 158.: The Judge must
decide if the words are reasonably capable of two meanings; if he so decide, the
jury must determine which of the two meanings was intended; and by intended I
understand that a man is liable for the reasonable inferences to be drawn from the
words he used, whether he foresaw them or not."
3 - Tolley -v- J S Fry & Sons Ltd; HL 1931
Held: The picture was capable of bearing the meanings suggested. The matter
should be reheard, but as to the quantum of damages only.
4 Newstead v London Express Newspaper
Held (affirming the decision of Hawke J. [1939] 2 KB 317), (1.) that the evidence
would have justified a finding by the jury that reasonable persons would have
understood the words complained of to refer to the plaintiff; and (2.) that, assuming
the words complained of were capable of a meaning defamatory of the plaintiff, the
fact that they were true of another person did not afford a good defence to the

5 - In Knupffer v London Express Newspaper Ltd ([1944] AC 116) the House

of Lords had held that the leader of a political party of Russian migrs which
had some 200 members in total, of whom 24 were in the British branch, had not
been defamed by a newspaper article which described the party as "a minute body
professing a pure Fascist ideology..."
The House of Lords said the test, when a claimant was not named, was whether the
words "would reasonably lead persons acquainted with the plaintiff to believe that
he was the person referred to".
This test, said Mr Justice Tugendhat, was "essentially the same as the test to be
applied where the question is whether the words complained of have a particular
meaning", which was most recently formulated by Sir Anthony Clarke MR in Jeynes v
News Magazines ([2008] EWCA Civ 130).
"The policy of the common law has long been to give effect to the right of freedom
of expression," Mr Justice Tugendhat went on.

6 Morgan v Odhams Press Ltd

Lord Morris of Borth-y-gest ruled that even though the plaintiff was never referred to
by name, nor was he even directly implicated upon strict reading of the defamatory
article, he was still sufficiently identified. This was because a substantial group of
people who knew the plaintiff understood that it referred to him. Lord Morris held
that this was sufficient, even though no-one called to give evidence in fact believed
the allegations to be true.

7 Huth v Huth 1915

Held, that there was no evidence of publication by the defendant of the
communication, and that therefore the action would not lie.