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England and Wales High Court (Chancery Division) Decisions
You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales High Court (Chancery Division) Decisions >> Griffin & Anor v Smith & Ors  EWHC 3414 (Ch) (21 December 2010)
Cite as:  EWHC 3414 (Ch)
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NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
| NICHOLAS JOHN GRIFFIN (1)
SIMON DARBY (2)
|- and -
|KENNETH SMITH (1) NICHOLLA SMITH (2)
SADIE GRAHAM (3)
STEPHEN BLAKE (4)
MATTHEW SINGLE (5)
IAN DAWSON (6)
Mr Adrian Davies (instructed by Frank & Co. Solicitors) for the Defendants
Hearing date: 29 November 2010
Crown Copyright ©
MR JUSTICE DAVID RICHARDS :
"I have been aware for some time of a dissenting faction within the Party. At first it appeared to involve a clash of personalities but it became apparent that a group which included the Defendants, had been meeting or talking together for the purpose of formulating their plans in respect of the Party and that their objectives were inconsistent with the Constitution. Accordingly I decided to exercise my powers under the Constitution firstly to revoke the appointment to administrative posts of the First, Second and Third Defendants and secondly, so far as I was able, to determine the Defendants' membership of the Party. "
"3.The reasons that we seek to discontinue are that (1) there has been a material change since proceedings were issued in that the Fifth Defendant frustrated the purpose of the litigation by publishing the entire membership list of the BNP online (2) in so far as orders for delivery up of chattels are concerned, the First to Fourth Defendants have since the issue of proceedings effected such delivery up either as a result of being served with proceedings or pursuant to the Order of this honourable Court made on the 10 April 2008.
4.In those circumstances there is no point proceeding with the claim since I am of the view that pursuing claims for damages would be wholly disproportionate to the costs involved. I should say that the Second Claimant has since the issue of these proceedings resigned both from the party and his position with it. I confirm, however, that he consents to the application.
7.The claim was brought mainly to restrain use of the Membership List of the BNP. The actions of the Fifth Defendant have rendered the issue academic.
8.The result of his publication of the list was that it was copied on to a number of sites other than the one he used, such Wikileaks, and it is still available online at various sites. Clearly, the Court would no longer grant an injunction in respect of the list against any of the Defendants. In any event, the damage has already been done."
"In this case there was nothing more. As already mentioned, the claimant knew what MW's position was and that it wished to contest its liability for the claim. The claimant made his decision to discontinue notwithstanding this and in the knowledge that the settlement with LMA made no provision for the payment of MW's costs against the claimant as opposed to those of the third party proceedings. By doing so Mr Messih removed the ability of MW to establish its defence and left the court in the position of being unable to determine what the outcome of the trial is likely to have been. The circumstances were therefore the quite usual consequences of a decision to discontinue and I can see nothing in them to justify the order which the Recorder made."