Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Court of Appeal - libel counterclaim appeal dismissed

Re; Jacqueline Thompson v Mark James [2014] EWCA Civ 600

The Court of Appeal handed down judgment today on my appeal hearing held on the 30th April. The appeal was dismissed.

I am now more than two and a half years down the line since the litigation began, I hope readers will realise that the reason I have continued to fight on, is to show my total determination to seek justice and clear my name.

This was the reason for bringing the claim in the first place back in 2011 and the subsequent attempts to overturn the judgement against me. It was, as I have said before, a miscarriage of justice which I cannot, and will not accept but will have to live with.

Judgements are an end result of lengthy and detailed documented arguments and, in the case of the trial and appeal hearing, detailed oral arguments, submissions and evidence. At some point I hope to publish further details and documents relating to the case.

If you wish to read it in full, the published appeal judgement can be found on the Bailii website here. The judgement may be of wider interest following the Wales Audit Office report on the libel indemnity, a point which was raised at the appeal hearing.

The three appeal judges have specified that they make no observations on the lawfulness of the council's 'libel cost amendment' and it's subsequent use (para 16 on) nor a ruling, they also refer to the 2006 Order prohibiting it.

The issue which was the subject of the appeal was one of 'meaning' and related to part of the counterclaim and whether or not my use of two words (which can be read in the judgement) were defamatory of Mr James or, as we included in our argument, legitimate comment referring to the council.

The two words referred solely to this specific clause in the constitution which I have referred to above and its unlawfulness should any officers of Carmarthenshire Council use the provision to bring claims for libel. I had a permanent clarification of this on the side bar of the blog.

The clause has since been suspended and the indemnity stopped.

I'll end with the final paragraph from the leader opinion in The Times, dated 21st February 2013 on the final day of the trial;

"..whatever the outcome of the case in the High Court, it should be clear that the council has in both instances acted arrogantly and defensively. It has wielded excessive official and financial power against a lone citizen and has thereby become a case study in how not to behave in an era of transparency and accountability"

..and it is somewhat ironic that I heard the following quote in the Council Chamber itself this morning when Members were discussing webcasting, 'The price of freedom is eternal vigilance'.

I will carry on.


Cneifiwr said...

Dreadful news once again. I see that the Carmarthen Journal is reporting Mr James as saying that you should now cease your "pointless campaign".

Apart from the fact that you are not running a campaign, I suspect the vast majority of your readers, including many in County Hall, would not regard the blog as pointless either.

Anonymous said...

@Cneifrwr - I think the DYFED-Powys Police commissioner would argee it is anything but pointless.

Anonymous said...

Very sorry.

Redhead said...

There is no justice Jacquie - so sorry. Where does this leave you as regards costs?

Mrs Angry said...

Really sorry, Jacqui. Your blog has raised many issues that have been proven to be of very serious public interest, and it is vital that people continue to challenge all of those who try to obstruct the principles of transparency and accountability.

Anonymous said...

No one is going to forget your stance in trying to bring democracy to Carmarthenshire.Allow the chief executive his moment of triumph,but everyone far and wide will still be watching.

Sentinel said...

Unfortunately transparency and accountability is an anathema here in Carmarthenshire.

I have to say Jacqui, I admire your courage. I don't think I'd have the tenacity to do what you are doing.

Anonymous said...

Well to say I am disappointed is an understatement. However people still support you in your very worthy endeavours.You have shown great courage and fortitude. You are greatly admired despite how things turned out you continue to blog on.

Take care Regards A

caebrwyn said...

Article from Wales Eye blog;

The Wrong Arm of the Law