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Defendant given permission to appeal in Stocker v Stocker, the Facebook libel case

Lady Justice Arden has today (5 April) given, our client, Nicola Stocker permission to appeal the judgment of Mr Justice Mitting of last March.

The appeal will address the important issue of responsibility for publication on social media.  Mrs Stocker engaged in a Facebook conversation with Deborah Bligh, Mr Stocker’s current partner, which was also visible to Ms Bligh’s Facebook Friends.  Mr Stocker did not sue on the “publication” to Ms Bligh; only the “publication” to the Friends.

Mr Justice Mitting found that neither Mrs Stocker nor Ms Bligh was aware that their exchange was visible to the Friends.  He nevertheless imposed liability on Mrs Stocker in relation to it on the basis that she had not proved that she had no reason to believe that the exchange would be visible to the friends.  He relied on the 1891 decision of Pullman v Hill, which involved the plaintiff’s clerk opening a letter intended only for him.

Grounds of appeal here.

Skeleton argument for permission to appeal here.

Early decision of Lady Justice Hallett to refuse permission to appeal here.

Appellant’s statement as to why permission should be granted notwithstanding the refusal here.

Summary of reasons of Lady Justice Arden for granting permission here.