Draft Defamation Bill nearly gets there

The Government’s draft Defamation Bill published today goes a long way to sorting out libel – but not far enough. The good things it proposes are: The claimant shall prove they were substantially damaged or were likely to be substantially damaged by the statement – now the claimant does not have to prove either; There Read More

Is he really a Wiked Witch?

Everyone in the media is closely following the current travails of Julian Assange and the ramifications of the Wikileaks news torrent. Whatever your political leanings, or opinion of the legal issues confronting Mr Assange (and I talk here of the civil suits threatened by the US among others, not the Swedish prosecutor’s charges), it is impossible to ignore the Read More

Fair comment strengthened and becomes “honest comment”

The fair comment defence for libel has been strengthened and renamed “honest comment”. The Supreme Court has decided in a small but important libel action that you no longer have to spell out the facts on which the comment is based. Comment on the Internet triggers change The Court made its decision because of the millions Read More

Pressure on free speech to ease with Eady retirement

The pressure on free speech by the triple whammy of libel, privacy and injunctions should ease.   Mr Justice Eady is retiring as the senior judge in the High Court of England and Wales hearing those types of cases. Eady has given a string of decisions which have tightened privacy and opened the way for injunctions to stop Read More