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Henderson v London Borough of Hackney & The Learning Trust - References, libel and qualified privilege [2010] EWHC

In a libel case, a defence of ‘qualified privilege’ can be defeated by an argument of ‘malice’ only if malice is unequivocally shown by pleading and proving facts which are more consistent with the presence of malice than with its absence; mere assertion of malice and an aim to garner more evidence at trial is not sufficient for a malice argument to be allowed to proceed. 

Ms Henderson worked for the Learning Trust (the “Trust”) – a not-for-profit company providing educational services – at Haggerston School. She was dismissed for gross misconduct after accessing, viewing and sending pornographic internet content in the workplace. Following her dismissal the Trust considered whether they should contact the Teachers’ Misconduct Team but after being told to await the outcome of an internal appeal nothing was formally done.

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