Case Law: Fiddes Court of Appeal judgment

29 06 2010

The Court of Appeal has, today, given its reasons for the dismissal of the Fiddes mode of trial appeal.   The judgment of the court in Fiddes v Channel Four ([2010] EWCA Civ 730) was given by the Master of the Rolls, Lord Neuberger.  We have already posted on the decision of the Court of Appeal and the settlement of the case on the first day of the trial.  The decision provides a useful summary of the position in relation to “mode of trial” in libel cases. Read the rest of this entry »





Supreme Court – Media get Permission to Intervene

29 06 2010

As we mentioned on 11 June 2010, Associated Newspapers Limited and Times Newspapers Limited sought permission to intervene in the forthcoming Supreme Court fair comment appeal of Spiller v Joseph (involving the Motown tribute band, the “Gillettes”, pictured right).  On 17 June 2010, Guardian News and Media Limited also applied to intervene.  On 21 June 2010, the solicitors for the respondents wrote to the court indicating that they opposed the application on the grounds that it would increase costs and as the interveners were seeking to advance similar arguments to the appellants, effectively “ganging up” on the claimants. Read the rest of this entry »





Opinion: “The Roberts Court’s Free Speech Problem” – David Cole

29 06 2010

On January 21, in its first decision of this term, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court’s five-member conservative majority announced that the First Amendment bars Congress from imposing even mild constraints on the ways corporations can employ their vast financial resources to drown out the voices of ordinary people in federal election campaigns. On June 21, in one of its last decisions of the term, Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, the same majority, this time joined by Justice John Paul Stevens, ruled that the First Amendment permits Congress to imprison human rights activists for up to fifteen years merely for advising militant organizations on ways to reject violence and pursue their disputes through lawful means. Read the rest of this entry »