The claimant, who had disclosed extracts from witness statements in his claim for damages for the alleged disclosure of confidential information, was entitled, on the ground of lack of relevance, to refuse to disclose complete copies of the statements.The defendant publisher ('A') applied for an order that the claimant ('P'), a senior police officer, should supply it with complete copies of two witness statements, extracts of which were provided when P gave standard disclosure. P applied for an order that A should pay the costs of his application for an order for the provision of transcripts of interviews between A and one of its sources ('R'). P was seeking damages and an injunction in respect of the publication in A's newspaper of information that P claimed was private and confidential. The information included intimate details of P's relationship with R. The extracts of the witness statements, which P had disclosed concerned conversations that P had had with R before the date of publication. According to P, they revealed, inter alia, that R had told P that he would call A and say that he was not prepared to substantiate the cannabis allegations. P had made the application for the provision of transcripts of the interviews between A and R because the interview tapes were difficult to make out and because he wished to test A's assertion that what R had said was "ostensibly credible". P argued that: (i) the undisclosed parts of the witness statements were irrelevant and that a party's statement as to the relevance of documents was conclusive; and (ii) it was appropriate that A should pay the costs of P's application for an order for the provision of transcripts of the interviews between it and R.HELD: (1) P was correct to assert that the undisclosed parts of the witness statements were irrelevant, and that a party's statement as to the relevance of documents was conclusive, Loutchansky v Times Newspapers Ltd (No.1)  Q.B. 321 and GE Capital Corporate Finance Group v Bankers Trust Co  1 W.L.R. 172 applied. Furthermore, there was no justification for A's contention that P's assertion in his witness statement that R's allegations were false made falsity a part of his case or an issue in the case so as to trigger an obligation to give disclosure; the case for each party for the purposes of standard disclosure was to be found in that party's pleadings, and P had not alleged in his pleadings that any of the relevant allegations were either true or false. (2) As to P's application for costs, the merits of his position were on balance greater than those of A, and it would be appropriate to order that P's costs be in the case.Application refused.
 EWHC 2991 (QB)