A Defamation Case in the UK Involving the Qualified Privilege Defence and Why That's Significant for New Zealand
I will talk about a significant decision from the UK Supreme Court involving the very important developing qualified privilege defence – the Flood case. (We should have a decision in the Chris Cairns case by then too, so I will mention that briefly as well). The Flood case is important for NZ because it indicates how qualified privilege might develop as a defence over here. This decision was a unanimous one which dealt with what we call a preliminary question as to whether Times Newspapers could rely on a defence of qualified privilege in relation to an article it had published with the headline ‘Detective accused of taking bribes from Russian exiles’. The article contained allegations about a Mr Flood, who was a Detective Sergeant in the Extradition Unit of the Metropolitan Police. In the article, DS Flood was identified as possibly being a police officer at the centre of allegations about bribe taking in return for information from the Extradition Unit.