Law and Media – News and Events, 19 March 2010

19 03 2010

In this  regular feature we draw attention to the last week’s law and media news and next week’s upcoming events. If readers have any news or events which they would like to draw attention to please add them by way of comments on this post.  We are particularly interested in forthcoming events which readers might like to attend.

News

The challenge by “Lawyers for Media Standards” to the Lord Chancellor’s his decision to reduce the maximum success fee in defamation claims to 10% has finally been picked up by the mainstream media.  Michael Peel wrote an article in the FT under the headline “Libel Lawyers hit back in free speech” debate.  Strictly speaking, the challenge has nothing whatever to do with any “free speech debate” but, rather, relates to the lawfulness of a decision about CFA success fees.

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Opinion: “Thoughts on Recent Media Law Reform Debates”, Part 2 Public Trust in the Media Godwin Busuttil

19 03 2010

My first thought: given that the debate is about freedom of speech, isn’t it just a little bit ironic that the debate is so one-sided?  We may be hearing from the press and those who hold a brief for the press, in the press, that libel claimants should bear the burden of proving damage and falsity; that libel damages should be capped in any case, however serious, at £10,000; that companies should not be permitted to maintain a libel action unless they can prove malice; that there is “no robust public interest defence in libel law” (notwithstanding the decisions in Reynolds v Times Newspapers Ltd [2001] 2 AC 127 and Jameel v Wall Street Journal Europe Sprl [2006] UKHL 44; [2007] 1 AC 359), and so on.

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