Levi Francis Joseph Defendant/Appellant v Louis Hippolyte Lockhart Plaintiff/Respordent [ECSC]

JurisdictionCaribbean States
CourtEastern Caribbean Supreme Court
JudgeLEWIS. C. J., Allen Lewis, MR. JUSTICE KEITH GORDON, K.L. Gordon, MR. JUSTICE E. L. ST. BERNARD (ACTING), E. L. St. Bernard, Chief Justice
Judgment Date17 Feb 1970
Neutral Citation[1970] ECSC J0217-1
Docket NumberCivil Appeal No. 1 of 1970
[1970] ECSC J0217-1



The Honourable the Chief Justice

The Honourable Mr. Justice Gordon

The Honourable Mr. Justice St. Bernard (Acting)

Civil Appeal No. 1 of 1970

Levi Francis Joseph
Louis Hippolyte Lockhart

McChesney George for the Appellant

C.O.R. Phillips, Q.C, B. Lake with him, for the Respondent


This is an appeal against the judgment of Mr. Justice Louisy awarding $5,000.00 damages for a defamatory article published by the appellant in a newspaper called the "Workers' Voice" of which the appellant is Editor, in an issue of that newspaper on 12th July, 1967.


The words complained of occur in an Editorial under the heading "BREAKING THE SILENCE".


There had been a split in the Union known as the Antigua Trades & Labour Union in the course of which some of their officers had been expelled from office and the respondent, who had been a member of that Union, then left the Union and assisted in his capacity as solicitor the expelled persons to commence another union; thereafter a series of meetings were held in the process of forming the new union and the respondent appeared on the platform of the new union.


"The Workers' Voice" is published by the Antigua Trades & Labour Union and in this Editorial of 12th July, the appellant referred to the fact that the respondent had left one union and gone to another, and referred to him as "a turncoat" who was not sincere in his former adherence to the Antigua Trades & Labour Union.


One might think that it is perhaps not so bad for equal blows in a struggle for power between two unions, but then the article went on to say that the respondent had been advising Antiguans to "kill each other" and that the Premier of the country and other members of the Cabinet "be removed from their posts by means of revolver bullets."


Lower down it said that "Lockhart has said enough at Hawksbill Hotel and elsewhere to convince us that he intends to incite the people to bloodshed and violence" and the Government was asked to have him imprisoned and then deported.


The respondent wrote to the paper and asked for an apology; his letter was ignored; and the action was brought.


A defence was put in in which it was pleaded that the words were fair comment and that so far as they consisted of statements of fact, those facts were true and the rest were fair comment on a matter of public interest and...

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