Ирвинг против Липштадт

Judgement

Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Judgment: Electronic Edition, by Charles Gray

Table of Contents

The anti-Zionist conference, the Moscow archive and section 5 of the Defamation Act 1952

13.165 My overall finding in relation to the plea of justification is that the Defendants have proved the substantial truth of the imputations, most of which relate to Irving's conduct as an historian, with which I have dealt in paragraphs 13.7 to 13.127 above. My finding is that the defamatory meanings set out in paragraph 2.15 above at (i), (ii), (iii) and the first part of (iv) are substantially justified.
13.166 But there are certain defamatory imputations which I have found to be defamatory of Irving but which have not been proved to be true. The Defendants made no attempt to prove the truth of Lipstadt's claim that Irving was scheduled to speak at an anti-Zionist conference in Sweden in 1992, which was also to be attended by various representatives of terrorist organisations such as Hezbollah and Hammas. Nor did they seek to justify Lipstadt's claim that Irving has a self-portrait by Hitler hanging over his desk. Furthermore the Defendants have, as I have held, failed in their attempt to justify the defamatory imputations made against Irving in relation to the Goebbels diaries in the Moscow archive. The question which I have to ask myself is whether the consequence of the Defendants' failure to prove the truth of these matters is that the defence of justification fails in its entirety.
 
13.167 The answer to that question requires me to decide whether (I am paraphrasing section 5 of the Defamation Act 1952) the failure on the part of the Defendants to prove the truth of those charges materially injures the reputation of Irving, in view of the fact that the other defamatory charges made against him have been proved to be justified. The charges which I have found to be substantially true include the charges that Irving has for his own ideological reasons persistently and deliberately misrepresented and manipulated historical evidence; that for the same reasons he has portrayed Hitler in an unwarrantedly favourable light, principally in relation to his attitude towards and responsibility for the treatment of the Jews; that he is an active Holocaust denier; that he is anti-semitic and racist and that he associates with right wing extremists who promote neo-Nazism. In my judgment the charges against Irving which have been proved to be true are of sufficient gravity for it be clear that the failure to prove the truth of the matters set out in paragraph. 13.165 above does not have any material effect on Irving's reputation.
13.168 In the result therefore the defence of justification succeeds.