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made by such new defendants and the defendants in the actions already consolidated (p).

NOTE.—This is a most valuable provision to newspaper proprietors, and is aimed at preventing the repetition of such cases as Tucker v. Lauson (2), and Colledge v. Pike (r), where a series of actions were brought against different newspapers for the same libel which they had all copied, and heavy damages recovered against each. Prior to the Law of Libel Amendment Act, 1888, it was held (s) that in such a case, inasmuch as there were distinct and

separate publications, and consequently the liabilities of the various defendants were different, there could be no consolidation of the actions, and the only relief which the defendants could obtain was in regard to costs, and this was effected by obtaining a stay of all the actions except

Each defendant was then liable for whatever damages the plaintiff recovered in that action, and by this

a plaintiff might, of course, recover enormous damages for what was, in reality, the same libel. By this Act, however, such a course is rendered impossible, as the actions may be consolidated, and as will be seen by Article 29 (infra), the jury can now apportion the amount of damages between the defendants. It will be noticed that the above provision is of general application, and is not confined to the case of " actions in respect to the same, or substantially the same, libel," appearing in different "newspapers," as defined by sect. 1 of 51 & 52 Vict.

. c. 64 (t).



(p) 51 & 52 Vict. c. 64, s. 5.
(9) (1886), 2 Times L. R. 593.
(r) (1886), 56 L. T. 124.
(s) In Colledge y. Pike (1886), 56 L. T. 124.
(t) See supra, p. 28.

ARTICLE 29.-Assessment of damages in a consoli

dated action. In a consolidated action, the jury shall assess the whole amount of damages (if any) in one sum, but a separate verdict shall be taken for or against each defendant in the same way as if the actions consolidated had been tried separately; and if the jury shall have found a verdict against the defendant or defendants in more than one of the actions so consolidated, they shall proceed to apportion the amount of damages which they shall have so found between and against the said last-mentioned defendants(u); and the judge at the trial, if he awards to the plaintiff the costs of the action, shall thereupon make such order as he shall deem just for the apportionment of such costs between and against such defendants(v).

NOTE.—This enables a jury, after assessing the damages suffered by the plaintiff in a consolidated action (see preceding Article), i.e., the amount recoverable in all the actions, to go further, and apportion the amount of damages recoverable against each defendant. Without this provision, each defendant would of course be liable for all the damage, as, indeed, he still is in any action not coming within the meaning of a consolidated action under this and the preceding Article, i.e., under sect. 5 of the Law of Libel Amendment Act, 1888.

(u) See Note.
(v) 51 & 52 Vict. c. 64, s. 5.

ARTICLE 30.-Injunctions. The court has jurisdiction to restrain the publication of a libel by granting an interim (2), or final (y), injunction; but in the former case, the jurisdiction will be exercised with great caution (x).

Note.-In order to obtain an interim injunction, the plaintiff must prove that the words complained of are untrue (3), so that any subsequent publication by the defendant would be mala fide (a), and no such injunction will be granted where the words complained of are primâ facie privileged (6), or may be fair and bonâ fide comment on a matter of public interest (c).

(c) Quartz Hill Gold Mining Co. v. Beall (1882), 20 Ch. D. 501 (C. A.); 51 L. J. Ch. 874; 46 L. T. 746; 30 W. R. 583.

(y) Saxby v. Easterbrook (1878), 3 C. P. D. 339; 27 W. R. 188; Thorley's Cattle Food Co. v. Massam (1880), 14 Ch. D. 781 (C. A.) ; 42 L. T. 851; 28 W. R. 966.

(z) Burnett v. Tak (1882), 45 L. T. 743.

(a) Halsey v. Brotherhood (1891), 19 Ch. D. 386 (C. A.); 51 L. J. Ch. 233; 45 L. T. 640; 30 W. R. 279; Anderson v. Liebig's Extract of Meat Co., Limited (1882), 45 L. T. 757; Hill v. Hart-Davies (1882), 21 Ch. D. 798; 51 L. J. Ch. 843; 47 L. T. 82; 31 W.R. 22; Société Anonyme des Manufactures de Glaces v. Tilghman's Patent Sand Blast Co. (1883), 25 Ch. D. 1 (C. A.); 53 L. J. Ch. 1; 49 L. T. 451; 48 J. P. 68; 32 W. R. 71.

(6) Quartz Hill Gold Mining Co. v. Beall, supra.

(c) Armstrong and others v. Armit and others (1886), 2 Times L. R. 887.

ARTICLE 31.—Costs.

If the action is tried without a jury the costs are in the discretion of the judge, and if he makes no order each party must pay his own costs.

If the action is tried with a jury, the costs follow the event, unless for good cause the judge otherwise orders (d).

NOTE.-It is almost the invariable practice to try an action for libel with a jury, and therefore, generally speaking, if the plaintiff recovers any damages at all he gets his costs- unless the judge for good cause deprive him of them. As to what constitutes “good cause," see

, Hughes v. Merrett(e) (where the plaintiff recovered a farthing damages and the judge deprived him of his costs) and Jones v. Curling ($).


(d) Rules of the Supreme Court, 1883, Order LXV. r. 1.
(e) (1886), 17 Q. B. D. 373.
(f) (1885), 13 Q. B. D. 262; 53 L. J. Q. B. 373.

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ARTICLE 1.-Libel a crime.


The publication of a libel is a crime punishable by fine and imprisonment (a), for which proceedings may (subject to Article 4, infra) be taken by way of information or indictment.

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NOTE 1.—Whatever amounts to a libel in a civil action (see Part I., Article 1), will be held a libel on a criminal trial; the term has indeed a more extended application in the latter case, for it is a crime, though not actionable (6), to write and publish words injurious to the reputation of any deceased person (c), or of any collection of individuals, without referring to any individual in particular (d), provided in both cases that such words tend to provoke a breach of the peace. Thus, it has been held a libel in

(a) See 6 & 7 Vict. c. 96, ss. 4, 5, p. 85, infra.

(6) Owing to there being no proper plaintiff. Rex v. Darby (1687), 3 Mod. 139.

(c) Rex v. Topham (1791), 4 T. R. 126; per contra Reg. v. Ensor (1887), 3 Times L. R. 366. The dicta in Reg. v. Labouchere (1884), 12 Q. B. D. 320, only affect the remedy by way of information.

(d) Rex v. Osborn (1732), W. Kelynge, 230; 2 Barnard. 138, 166 ; Rex v. J. A. Williams (1822), 2 B. & Ald. 595 ; 2 Townsend's Mod. St. Tr. 231; Rex v. Gathercole (1838), 2 Lewin, C. C. 237.

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