Mirror, mirror on the wall; will this press arbitration scheme do any good at all?

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, there was an investigation into press behaviour. Lord Leveson heard from witnesses, tale upon tale of poor press conduct, and ultimately issued a plethora of sensible recommendations for press regulation with a view to ensure that the watchdog and bloodhound of society that is the press, could no longer savage the rights and reputations of the public. Continue reading

Science fiction or science fact?

Science fiction or science fact?That science and new scientific developments are a vital part of our modern society is reflected in one of the changes brought in to defamation law, by the new Defamation Act 2013. We now have a shiny new state of the art defence of qualified privilege in relation to peer-reviewed material published in scientific or academic journals. Continue reading

A penny for your thoughts.

A penny for your thoughtsHow does the defence of “Honest Opinion” offer protection from a defamation claim?

The right for a person to express their honest opinion without worrying about being sued is taken for granted by anyone lucky enough to live in a liberal democracy. You don’t need a lawyer to tell you that people should be able to express their thoughts and opinion without being sued for damages, or thrown into prison. Continue reading

Amber Warnings – Don’t be socially awkward…

Amber Warnings – Don’t be socially awkward…At our event, Socially Awkward, last night, Daniel Isaac of our employment team, Kenneth Mullen of our IP team and I discussed social media and its legal implications.  We were joined on stage by Phil Lewis of London Strategy Unit.

I spoke about three of the legal weapons that you may find in your armoury to protect you against attacks from others in the online environment; and reminded you that you may find these weapons turned on you. They are the laws of defamation, privacy and harassment.

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You cannot be serious…?!

The new serious harm test under section 1, Defamation Act 2013

The law of defamation assists a claimant, damaged by a defamatory publication, to remedy a rubbished reputation. But just what is a defamatory publication? Right from the get go of the new Defamation Act 2013, which came into effect on 1 January 2014, it is clear that changes are afoot. Continue reading

Love Twitter; US and UK Style

Courtney Love has successfully defended her former lawyer’s US Twitter libel claim – ‘Twibel’ as it been labelled by media and on social media. The case has been lauded as breaking new ground in defining the nexus of social media and defamation, writes Amber Melville-Brown in the Huffington Post here.

Emergency injunction to stop the Queen…

Emergency injunction to stop the Queen…The press is not a big fan of injunctions. Except when it suits them that is. And today, it suits them.

This morning, representatives of the press are off to the High Court to seek an injunction to stop the sealing of the cross party Royal Charter on press regulation, which was due to take place today. Continue reading

London calling – Libel is still alive and kicking

A judge in the defamation court this week, struck out a libel claim brought by a former Russian policeman against a UK based fund manager, Mr Browder, in respect of an English language campaign website run by him. The case has been hailed as bringing to an end London’s proud boast of being the libel capital of the world. No longer, happily say the media, will claims be brought by foreigners seeking to take advantage of our libel laws to obtain vindication here. Continue reading

Royal Charter shenanigans

Royal Charter shenanigansLord Justice Leveson argued in his report on press ethics and standards that the press could not go on ‘marking its own homework’ and that what was needed was independent regulation. Continue reading