News Media Ownership v Finlay: 1970

References: [1970] NZLR 1089
Coram: North P
Ratio: (New Zealand Court of Appeal ) The plaintiff, a Member of Parliament, brought libel proceedings against a newspaper in respect of an article appearing in the newspaper which alleged that the plaintiff had been acting improperly and for purposes of personal profit in making statements in the House. North P said: ‘Mr McKay was right when he submitted that while violence of language is not in itself enough to take away privilege even though it may provide evidence of malice, yet privilege is lost if the reply becomes a counter attack raising allegations against the plaintiff which are unrelated or insufficiently related to the attack he made on the defendant. In other words he cannot claim the protection of privilege if he decides to bring fresh accusations against his adversary.’ and, as to a contention that the words complained of were not defamatory:
‘In my opinion, there is no substance in this contention, for surely it is plain enough that it is harmful to the trading reputation of a newspaper company to allege that it conducts its business without regard for the public interest, its principal concern being merely with the making of profits.’
Jurisdiction: England and Wales
This case is cited by:

  • Cited – Prebble v Television New Zealand Ltd PC (Times 13-Jul-94, Gazette 26-Oct-94, [1995] 1 AC 321, [1994] 3 NZLR 1, Bailii, [1994] 3 WLR 970)
    (New Zealand) The plaintiff, an MP, pursued a defamation case. The defendant wished to argue for the truth of what was said, and sought to base his argument on things said in Parliament. The plaintiff responded that this would be a breach of . .

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Last Update: 15 June 2020
Ref: 409976