Has US Internet liability law gone too far? The Shiamili decision – Jennifer McDermott

25 06 2011

Website operators in the US, who allow others to post defamatory content on their web­sites, can take huge comfort from a very recent decision by the New York State Court of Appeals, Shiamili v. The Real Estate Group of New York, (N.Y. June 14, 2011). Under section 230 of the federal Communications Decency Act (“CDA”), 47 U.S.C. such operators are virtually immune from suit. Read the rest of this entry »

Bar Council Law Reform Committee: Draft Defamation Bill Response – Part 2: Threshold, Responsibility, Truth and Comment

24 06 2011

This is the second part of a third part edited extract from the  Response of the General Council of the Bar’s Law Reform Committee to the Joint Committee on the Draft Defamation Bill.  The full response can be found here.

Clause 1: Threshold for actionability

We do not believe that Clause 1 ought to be enacted.  The current common law has already made proper provision by insisting on a threshold of seriousness before a claimant is Read the rest of this entry »

Opinion: “Don’t amend the Human Rights Act over the privacy row: a response to David Elstein” – Helen Wildbore

23 06 2011

David Elstein’s recent article ‘Privacy, super-injunctions and Twitter: what should we do?’ argues that the Human Rights Act (“HRA”) left unresolved the tension between privacy and freedom of expression. He concludes that “the only solution is new legislation”. However, the HRA already contains the framework for balancing these rights. Surprisingly, Elstein’s piece does not mention the free speech framework (section 12 HRA) introduced into the HRA at the behest of the former Chair of the Press Complaints Commission, Lord Wakeham. Read the rest of this entry »

Opinion: “Legal costs reforms will virtually kill off CFAs” – Martin Moore

23 06 2011

The government has published its Legal Aid, Sentencing, and Punishment of Offenders Bill, which includes reforms to civil litigation costs, in particular to Conditional Fee Agreements or ‘No Win No Fee’. Read the rest of this entry »

Bar Council Law Reform Committee: Draft Defamation Bill Response – Part 1: Guiding Principles

22 06 2011

The right to freedom of speech ought to be unfettered unless it is deployed in such a way as to cause unwarranted harm.

The core principle underpinning defamation law is that the law will provide a remedy where a claimant has been caused unwarranted harm by the publication of false information. Read the rest of this entry »

Retired High Court judge and former newspaper lawyer launch Early Resolution libel dispute scheme – Judith Townend

21 06 2011

A voluntary but binding libel arbitration process has been launched by the retired High Court judge Sir Charles Gray and the former legal manager of the Times and Sunday Times, Alastair Brett.

The Early Resolution scheme, which will be officially launched to lawyers on Tuesday 21 June, offers parties an alternative to High Court proceedings. Read the rest of this entry »

Law and Media Round Up – 20 June 2011

20 06 2011

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.


Tomorrow’s onset of summer reminds us that the Superinjunction Spring is drawing to a close – with no privacy injunction applications for over a month. We will begin with libel and, unusually, in Scotland where a remarkable settlement was announced. The “News of the World” has paid libel
Read the rest of this entry »