Case details

Stocker (Appellant) v Stocker (Respondent)

Case ID: UKSC 2018/0045

Case summary

  1. Whether the judge erred in determining the meaning of the words complained of, contrary to material adduced by the appellant as to the usage of the words to which he should have had regard
  2. Whether the Court of Appeal erred in its approach to the standard of appellate review of the determination of meaning

The parties were married in 1999 and divorced in 2012. Towards the end of 2012 the appellant requested and was accepted as a Facebook friend of the respondent’s new partner, Ms Bligh. On 23 December 2012 the appellant made a number of allegations concerning the respondent in an exchange with Ms Bligh on Facebook, which was visible to any of Ms Bligh’s Facebook friends. The appellant alleged that the respondent had ‘tried to strangle’ her, leaving red marks on her neck, following which the respondent had been arrested, and that he had been arrested on other occasions as well. The respondent issued a claim for libel, alleging that the words meant he had tried to kill the appellant. The judge determined that this was indeed the meaning the words bore, which the appellant had failed to justify, and he granted judgment to the respondent on the claim.

Judgment appealed

[2018] EWCA Civ 170



Nicola Stocker


Ronald Terence Stocker



Lord Reed, Lord Kerr, Lady Black, Lord Briggs, Lord Kitchin

Hearing start date

24 Jan 2019

Hearing finish date

24 Jan 2019

Watch hearing
24 Jan 2019 Morning session Afternoon session