Ireland: Orders against social networks to identify anonymous posters of defamatory content (Muwema v Facebook part 3) – Eoin O’Dell

13 07 2017

Fred Muwema is a prominent lawyer in Uganda, who claimed that various Facebook pages in the name of Tom Voltaire Okwalinga, or TVO, defamed him. In Muwema v Facebook Ireland Ltd [(No 1)] [2016] IEHC 519 (23 August 2016), Binchy J declined to grant injunctions requiring Facebook either to remove the posts from the account or to prevent the material in them from being re-posted, and I considered these holdings in one of my earlier posts on the case.  Read the rest of this entry »





Damages and compensation for invasion of privacy and data protection infringements – Eoin O’Dell [updated]

16 05 2017

The saga in Bollea v Gawker shows two remedies for invasion of privacy. Hulk Hogan (real name, Terry Gene Bollea; pictured left), is a former professional wrestler and American television personality. Gawker was a celebrity news and gossip blog based in New York. In October 2012, Gawker posted portions of a secretly-recorded video of Hogan having sex in 2006 with one Heather Cole, who (as Heather Clem) was the then-wife of his then-best-friend (the wonderfully-monikered radio personality Bubba “the Love Sponge” Clem). Read the rest of this entry »





Ireland: Blasphemy is in the news again; it should be removed from the Constitution, as the Constitutional Convention recommended – Eoin O’Dell

10 05 2017

The Irish Independent reported last week that the Gardaí (the Irish police) had launched a blasphemy probe into comments made by Stephen Fry on the television show The Meaning of LifeRead the rest of this entry »





Ireland, Reform of the law of defamation: damages – Eoin O’Dell

6 01 2017

ipi-flag-eurosThe Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality is conducting a review of the operation of the Defamation Act 2009 (also here). No doubt the focus of media submissions will be the level of damages, and exhibit A in those submissions will unquestionably be the decision of the Supreme Court in Leech v Independent Newspapers [2014] IESC 79 (19 December 2014). Read the rest of this entry »





Ireland: The Department of Justice is conducting a review of the Defamation Act 2009 – Eoin O’Dell

2 11 2016

dojedublinThe Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality has announced a review of the operation of the Defamation Act 2009 (also here), and is now inviting contributions and submissions by 31 December 2016. This is excellent news. Read the rest of this entry »





Ireland: Reform of the law of defamation – the defence of innocent publication (Muwema v Facebook part 2) – Eoin O’Dell

29 09 2016

innocent_moonlit_night_1929_by_harue_kogaThe decision of Binchy J in Muwema v Facebook Ireland Ltd [2016] IEHC 519 (23 August 2016) demonstrates that, on the question of the liability of internet intermediaries for defamatory posts on their platforms, an important part of the answer is provided by application of the defence of innocent publication provided in section 27 of the Defamation Act 2009 (also here). Read the rest of this entry »





Ireland: Internet defamation and the liability of intermediaries (Muwema v Facebook Part 1) – Eoin O’Dell

28 09 2016

uganda-facebook-ireland-300x284The liability of internet intermediaries for defamatory posts on their platforms was central to the decision of Binchy J in Muwema v Facebook Ireland Ltd [2016] IEHC 519 (23 August 2016). A Ugandan lawyer objected to allegedly defamatory posts on a pseudonymous Facebook account, and Binchy J gave an order requiring Facebook to identify the account-holder. Read the rest of this entry »





Northern Ireland: Reform of the law of defamation, the defence of honest opinion – Eoin O’Dell

20 07 2016

honest_opinionIn Northern Ireland, the Minister for Finance has just published a Review of the Law of Defamation, prepared for it by Andrew Scott (Associate Professor of Law, LSE). Prof Scott had prepared a consultation paper for the Northern Ireland Law Commission (NILC) in November 2014. The consultation period closed on 20 February 2015. Read the rest of this entry »





Ireland: On World Press Freedom Day, the inevitable calls for reform of defamation law focus on the wrong issues – Eoin O’Dell

3 05 2016

wpfd2016Today is World Press Freedom Day. The UN/UNESCO Declarations on Promoting Independent and Pluralistic Media were adopted on 3 May 1991, at a seminar on Promoting an Independent and Pluralistic African Press, held in Windhoek, Namibia, from 29 April to 3 May 1991. Read the rest of this entry »





Ireland: Court reports and defamation – Eoin O’Dell

8 02 2016

320px-CriminalCourtofJusticeDublinBefore Christmas, the Attorney-General called for a debate on the question of whether reports of court proceedings should be actionable in defamation only if there is proof of malice. Putting her money where her mouth is, she has now referred the matter to the Law Reform Commission (Irish Legal News |Irish Times). Read the rest of this entry »