Defamation Bill


To respond to the Government’s Draft Defamation Bill and Consultation Paper.

Outcome of Working Party

Further information including the CJC Response to the Consultation can be found on the Defamation Bill page of our website.


  • Chair: Robin Knowles CBE, QC (member of CJC)
  • Gideon Benaim (Schillings and the Law Society Reference Group)
  • Desmond Browne QC (5 Raymond Buildings)
  • David Marshall (Senior In-house Lawyer at Which? and executive member of the Media Lawyers Association)
  • Professor Rachael Mulheron (Queen Mary University of London and member of the CJC)
  • Lucy Moorman (formerly of Doughty Street Chambers, now of Simons Muirhead & Burton)
  • Joshua Rozenberg (journalist)

Last updated: June 2011

Costs in Defamation Proceedings


The Government has asked the CJC to look in detail at the issue of costs in defamation proceedings, and to report by the end of March 2013. A working group has been formed, chaired by CJC member John Pickering. Its full terms of reference is as follows:

The Civil Justice Council (CJC) is asked:

1. To identify whether there are meritorious actions for defamation and privacy, which could not properly be brought or defended without some form of costs protection;

2. If so identified, to advise –

(i) in which types of cases (or stages of cases) some form of costs protection should apply; and

(ii) what options for costs protection might be considered, with their advantages and disadvantages


The final report of the Working Group was sent to the MoJ on 28 March 2013, and is included, along with a news release, as a link in the right hand column of this page.


John Pickering (Chair) – Partner, Irwin Mitchell

Nick Bacon QC – Barrister, 4 New Square

Desmond Browne QC – Barrister, 5 Raymond Buildings

Keith Mathieson – Partner, RPC

Professor Rachael Mulheron – Queen Mary University of London

Lucy Moorman – Partner, Simons Muirhead and Burton

Zoe Norden – In-House Lawyer, The Guardian

Jack Norris – Ministry of Justice

Marcus Partington, Group Legal Director, Trinity Mirror plc

Alasdair Pepper – Partner, Carter-Ruck Solicitors

Costs Judge Gordon-Saker

Chloe Strong – Barrister, 5 Raymond Buildings

Robert Wright – Ministry of Justice

Peter Farr – CJC Secretary

Andrea Dowsett – CJC Assistant Secretary

Last updated: January 2013