Permission to appeal

Permission to appeal decision

7 December 2016

The Supreme Court has today announced its decision on the following permission to appeal application. This decision was made by a panel of three Supreme Court Justices following a review of the relevant written submissions.

Simpson (Appellant) v MGN Ltd (Respondent) UKSC 2016/0172

On appeal from the Court of Appeal Civil Division (England and Wales)

Permission for Mr Simpson to appeal was refused in a case relating to a libel action brought by the appellant against the respondents.

The appellant is a premiership footballer. On 15th November 2012 the Mirror published an article under the headline "EXCLUSIVE: PREM STAR'S PREGNANT GIRLFRIEND: Tulisa is just a homewrecker. I'm devastated". The appellant sued for libel in respect of the article. The issue in this case was where a judge has definitively determined the single defamatory meaning borne by the words complained of, is it open to a defendant to prove that those words are substantially true, notwithstanding that his justification does not address, and/or is incapable of proving the truth of, elements which the Judge has decided to incorporate into his formulation of the meaning.

The Supreme Court has declined to hear the appeal and the Court of Appeal judgment will therefore stand:

The substantive text of the Supreme Court's Order reads:

"The Court ordered that permission to appeal be refused because the application does not raise an arguable point of law which ought to be considered by the Supreme Court at this time."