Murray v Times Newspapers Ltd

JurisdictionIreland
CourtHigh Court
JudgeMr. Justice Barron
Judgment Date12 December 1995
Neutral Citation1996 WJSC-HC 1983
Docket NumberNo. 4551/1991,[1991] No. 4554P]
Date12 December 1995

1996 WJSC-HC 1983

THE HIGH COURT

No. 4551/1991
MURRAY v. TIMES NEWSPAPERS LTD

BETWEEN

JAY MURRAY, MURRAY TELECOMMUNICATIONS GROUP LIMITED, MURRAY TELECOMMUNICATIONS LIMITED AND MURRAY TELECOMMUNICATIONS (UK) LIMITED
PLAINTIFFS

AND

TIMES NEWSPAPERS LIMITED
DEFENDANT

Citations:

JURISDICTION OF COURTS & ENFORCEMENT OF JUDGMENTS (EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES) ACT 1988

BRUSSELS CONVENTION ART 5(3)

BRUSSELS CONVENTION ON JURISDICTION & THE ENFORCEMENT OF JUDGMENTS IN CIVIL & COMMERCIAL MATTERS 1968

SHEVILL V PRESSE ALLIANCE 1995 1 ECR 415

BRUSSELS CONVENTION ART 18

BRUSSELS CONVENTION ART 16

CAMPBELL INTERNATIONAL TRADING HOUSE LTD V VAN ART 1992 2 IR 305

O'NEILL V RYAN 1993 ILRM 557 RSC O.19 r27

Synopsis:

PRACTICE

Pleadings

Deletion - Defendant - Application - Dismissal - High Court - Jurisdiction - Exercise - Defendant domiciled in foreign contracting State of European Union - Damages for libel claimed by plaintiff - Libel published by defendant in Ireland - Whether damage caused in United Kingdom relevant to plaintiff's claim in Irish action - No ground for striking out claim based on damage so caused - Issue to be decided at trial of action - Rules of the Superior Courts, 1986. order 19, r. 27 - (1991/4554 P - Barron J. - 12/12/95) - [1995] 3 IR 244

|Murray v. Times Newspapers Ltd.|

1

Judgment delivered by Mr. Justice Barron on the 12th day of DECEMBER, 1995.

2

In these proceedings the Plaintiffs claim damages for libel as a result of newspaper articles appearing in the Sunday Times for the 17th and 24th March, 1991. The third and fourth named Defendants are companies engaged in the telecommunications industry, both are wholly owned subsidiaries of the second named Defendant of which the first named Defendant is the majority shareholder. The Plenary Summons is sued on the 27th March, 1991. The Statement of Claim was delivered the following day. It is in the normal form, relating to a claim for damages arising from a libel published within the State. While the Statement of Claim does not include particulars of special damage, such appear to be contemplated by paragraph 11 which is in the following form:-

"11. Further, by reason of the premises, the Plaintiffs have suffered and sustained loss and damage which cannot be quantified until the full effects of the publication of the aforesaid articles can be assessed."

3

An unconditional appearance was entered on behalf of the Defendant on the 15th April, 1991.

4

By letter dated the 17th June, 1991 the Plaintiffs sought, inter alia, the following particulars:-

"1. Furnish full and detailed particulars of the loss and damage alleged to have been suffered and sustained by the Plaintiffs and each of them and vouch same where appropriate."

5

On the 21st June, 1991 the Defendant delivered its defence. This constituted a claim of justification. The Plaintiffs" replied by letter dated 9th February, 1993 to the letter for particulars dated the 17th June, 1991. So far as it is material the reply was as follows:-

"1. The Plaintiffs" business in the United Kingdom has suffered and continues to suffer considerable damage and loss."

6

There then followed details of loss of profits attributable to the business of the fourth named Plaintiff. This was claimed at the sum of £6,060,000 and was said to be continuing. The reply then continued:-

"The loss to the second named Plaintiff is the decrease in value of its shareholding in the fourth named Plaintiff which is estimated to be £21,980,000.

The loss to the first named Plaintiff is the consequent decrease in the value of the first named Plaintiff's shareholding in the second named Plaintiff."

7

A further letter for particulars was delivered on the 15th September, 1994 by the solicitors for the Defendant. This letter sought comprehensive particulars in relation to the loss of profits which had been set out in the letter dated the 9th February, 1993. At question 15 the letter sought confirmation that the Plaintiffs" claim was confined to damage alleged to have been suffered by the Plaintiffs as a result of publication only within this jurisdiction.

8

The Plaintiffs" reply dated the 14th November, 1994 was as follows:-

"15. The Plaintiffs" claim is not confined to the damage suffered by them as a result of publication within this jurisdiction only."

9

The present application is an application to strike out the particulars of special damage contained in the replies dated the 9th February, 1993 and also to strike out the claims by the first and second named Plaintiffs for damages as set out in the same letter. The Application in relation to the special damage claimed by the fourth named Plaintiff is based upon two grounds:-

10

(1) That under the Brussels Convention, this Court has no jurisdiction to hear such a claim since the damage did not arise from publication within the jurisdiction.

11

(2) That in any event there is no evidence that such damage arose by reason of such publication and accordingly should not be entertained.

12

The second part of the application is based upon the proposition that loss to a company does not give rise to a claim by its shareholders.

13

For the purposes of the Brussels Convention which is part of our domestic law by virtue of the Jurisdiction of Courts and Enforcement of Judgments (European Communities) Act, 1988persons whatever their nationality may only be sued in the Courts of the State in which they are domiciled. There are, however, exceptions to this rule. Article 5 Rule 3 provides that a person domiciled in a contracting State may, in another contracting State, be sued:

14

(3) in matters relating to tort, delict or quasi-delict, in the Courts of the place where the harmful event occurred.

15

Accordingly, where a person domiciled in another contracting State is sued in these Courts, the summons or other originating document must set out the ground upon which the Plaintiff is relying to found the jurisdiction of the Courts of this State. In the instant case the summons was endorsed, inter alia, as follows:-

"(1) The Court has power under the Jurisdiction of Courts and Enforcement of Judgments (European Communities) Act, 1988to hear and determine the Plaintiffs" claim and the Court should assume Jurisdiction to hear the said claim under the provisions of Article 5(3) of the Brussels Convention on Jurisdiction and the Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters, 1968."

16

Before the Courts of this State have Jurisdiction in relation to tort involving a defendant who is not domiciled within this Jurisdiction it is...

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3 cases
  • Maple Leaf Macro Volatility Master Fund v Jacques Rouvroy and Another
    • United Kingdom
    • Queen's Bench Division (Commercial Court)
    • 4 March 2009
    ...... deliberately lying, but parts of his oral evidence were, in my judgment, incredible and at times his evidence was unrealistic when faced with what did not fit his account of events. For example, ... any claim against him related in any way to the subject matter of the original action: see Murray v Times Newspapers Ltd , [1997] 3 IR 97 . That, however, does not mean that a defendant is to be ......
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    ...shareholdings, struck out as disclosing no cause of action. The defendant's motions were refused by the High Court (Barron J.), (see [1995] 3 I.R. 244). The defendant appealed to the Supreme Court. Held by the Supreme Court (Hamilton C.J., Barrington J. and Murphy J.), in allowing the appea......
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