10 things Leveson must not fluff this Thursday

Ten things Leveson must not fluff 1                     Regulation must have legal backing: we can’t have the publishers opting out. 2                     Editors and publishers, including owners, should have responsibility for what their employees do, as in corporate manslaughter. 3                     Newspapers need to establishe internal compliance operations to implement a newly written code. 4                     Clarify what is Read More

Three vital issues in libel

Never forget these 3 things about libel: 1                     It does not matter what you meant to say, or who you meant to write about.   The meaning of what you say is not up to the writer etc.  It is determined by thinking what the right-minded reader would make of it. 2                     However small your reference Read More

Leveson faces contradictions

The Leveson inquiry has to join up three major criteria in the regulation of the press: each with a contradiction in them.  They are:                 How should the public be involved?                 How can it be independent of both the press itself and the government of the day? And                 How can it be voluntary Read More

First Twitter libel in England

We’ve got the first libel case in England and Wales about Twitter.  It involves cricket, allegations of cheating, New Zealand and an Indian cricket authority. So why here?  Because the libel laws here are the most strict in any democracy.   And the Tweet was read by between 35 to 95 people here. 24 words accuse Read More

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

Libel rule 1: know who sues

The first rule of libel is to know who sues.  You can add another name to the long list: the footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, ex-Manchester United and Portuguese International. He has this week won undisclosed libel damages, and presumably costs, against the Daily Telegraph.  It said on paper and online in July 2008 that he was Read More