Scoop understands the appeal of former PM David Lange to the Privy Council in his defamation action against North and South magazine has been delivered in London.
The appeal is against a ruling of the New Zealand Court of Appeal – which upheld an earlier decision of (now) Chief Justice Sian Elias – on the establishment of a new defence of “political comment”.
Decisions in the Australia the US and Canada have already established and developed the defence but English and New Zealand courts have slower on the uptake of the defence.
Scoop understands that the effect of the Law Lords judgement today is to refer the matter back to the Court of Appeal.
Scoop will update with an explanation of what this is all likely to mean for loudmouth political commentators as soon as more information comes to hand…