Colin Craig’s lawyer, Stephen Mills QC, says they will appeal on the basis that the jury did not consider the argument of qualified privilege.
That is simply dancing on the head of a legal pin.
Here is the problem. The jury was given what is called a Question Trail. That is a trail of questions they need to answer in a logical manner to step them through the legal complexity of defamation law. The judge spent two hours summing up and directing the jury on how to use this Question trail to come to their decisions.
The Question Trail was drafted by Craig’s lawyer, then approved by Jordan’s lawyer and then finally by the Judge. Mills drafted the Question Trail to start with the defence of Qualified Privilege, then move to truth when that failed and then to honest opinion after that.
The Question Trail contained 14 questions, and there were two counts, so the jury had to step through 28 questions and write up their reasoning beside each one and hand that to the judge after the verdict was given.
The first few questions stepped through qualified privilege. They would not have been required to step through any more questions if the jury had considered qualified privilege and decided it applied. They clearly passed through those questions after quite some time…they deliberated for 10 hours. Read more »