Controlling costs in defamation proceedings


Master of the Rolls (MoR) Private Office response

We agree with the statement in the MoJ consultation paper that “there is an inherent unfairness in the present system, which impacts disproportionately on defendants in defamation cases”. That inherent unfairness arises from the fact that, where the claimant has a CFA and ATE insurance, the claimant is at no risk as to costs whereas the defendant is at a grossly inflated risk as to costs. Precisely the same inherent unfairness exists in all areas of civil litigation where one party has a CFA and ATE insurance, but the other party does not. Thus it is often just as able to affect claimants as defendants.