Cadwalladr is now defending the claim against her on the basis that her reporting was in the public interest.
IANAL. However, I’m not entirely sure that we have a public interest defence to libel in England, do we? Thought that was more an American thing?
When Banks first brought his case against Cadwalladr, seven press freedom groups, among them Reporters Without Borders and Index On Censorship, called for the case to be thrown out and for the British government to defend public-interest journalism. Their open letter described the case as bearing many of the hallmarks of a so-called Slapp suit – strategic lawsuits against public participation – in which legal action will inevitably be expensive and time consuming for journalists to resist.
Equally, Slapp is an American, not English, thing isn’t it?