Derbyshire CC v Times Newspapers  AC 534 Held : If a government authority could bring actions in defamation that would silence political debate and be damaging to democracy. The decision today is a departure from the celebrated House of Lords (UK) decision in Derbyshire County Council v Times Newspapers Ltd & Ors  A.C. 534 which essentially held that it is of the highest public interest that a government body or any democratically elected public figure be open to uninhibited public criticism. Derbyshire County Council v Times Newspapers Ltd Derbyshire County Council v Times Newspapers Ltd and Others  AC 534,  1 All ER 1011,  2 WLR 449, 91 LGR 179 House of Lords Lord Keith of Kinkel, Lord Griffiths, Lord Goff of … . Appeal from – Derbyshire County Council v Times Newspapers Ltd and Others CA ( 1 QB 770) In two issues of ‘The Sunday Times’ newspaper on 17 and 24 September 1989 there appeared articles concerning share deals involving the superannuation fund of the Derbyshire County Council. Derbyshire County Council (Appellants) Go to; v.Times Newspapers Limited and others (Respondents) Go to "In a free democratic society it is almost too obvious to need statingthat those who hold office in government and who are responsible forpublic … Lingens v Austria (1986) 8 EHRR 407 ; Derbyshire County Council v Times Newspapers Ltd and others  3 All ER 65 (CA) Sunday Times v United Kingdom (1979) 2 EHRR 245 ; Gay News and Lemon v United Kingdom (1982) 5 EHRR 123. Lord Keith says there is “no public interest” in allowing government authorities to sue for libel as it would “place an undesirable fetter on freedom of speech”. Appeal from – Derbyshire County Council v Times Newspapers Ltd and Others HL (Gazette 07-Apr-93,  AC 534, Bailii,  UKHL 18, Bailii,  UKHL 6,  QB 770,  3 WLR 28,  1 All ER 1011) Local Authorities must be open to criticism as political and administrative bodies, and so cannot be allowed to sue in defamation. The articles in the issue of 17 September were headed . Derbyshire CC v Times Newspapers Ltd  1 ALL ER 1011 (HL) LORD KEITH:....It is to be observed that [in Campion v Bognor Regis UDC] Browne J did not give any consideration to the question whether a local authority, or any other body exercising governmental functions, might not be in a special position as regards the right to take proceedings for defamation.