Libel and slander – Preliminary point of law. In the course of the claimant's defamation proceedings against them, the defendants sought the trial of preliminary issues as to serious harm, identification, meaning and abuse of process. The Queen's Bench Division, in allowing the applications, held that it was appropriate to determine serious harm as a preliminary issue, as it was a threshold condition in any action brought pursuant to the provisions of the Defamation Act 2013. Common sense and the overriding objective required early determination of serious harm, reference, abuse of process and meaning to enable a determination to be made as to whether the claims should continue.