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Chapter 7: Privilege: Buckley v Dalziel & Anor [2007] EWHC 1025 (QB)

The public interest requires that those involved in a criminal investigation should be able to communicate freely and without being inhibited by the threat of proceedings for defamation. That requirement, therefore, should be accorded priority over the countervailing consideration that sometimes a malicious informant may be able to benefit from such a rule in circumstances which would appear to be unfair or unjust: per Lord Hope in Taylor v Serious Fraud Office [1999] 2AC 177, in which the House held that, in the context of a criminal investigation, the immunity extended to statements made out of court if they could fairly be said to be part of the process of investigating a crime or possible crime. This view is not incompatible with the ECHR, per Eady J. in Buckley v Dalziel & Anor [2007] EWHC 1025 (QB).


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