The Daily Mail exploits a man’s death to attack its enemies – Brian Cathcart

26 01 2014

Daily_Mail_clock,_closeupThe Daily Mail this week accused Hacked Off, the Media Standards Trust and Sir David Bell of reducing the late Lord McAlpine to a state of misery in the final year of his life, and insinuated that all three contributed to causing his death. Read the rest of this entry »

The search for meaning: Sally Bercow and Sally Morgan – Owen O’Rorke

3 07 2013

Sally-Bercow-800x532sally morganTwo high-profile celebrity libel cases have recently ended with a substantial financial settlement in the Claimant’s favour: undisclosed, following a ruling on meaning and liability, in the case of Sally Bercow and Lord McAlpine; and a £125,000 damages payment in the case of the “Celebrity Psychic” Sally Morgan versus the Daily Mail, reached privately with the matter already due for trial. Read the rest of this entry »

A Defence of Responsible Tweeting? – Paul Bernal

24 11 2012

One of the many issues to emerge as a result of the McAlpine saga is the question of how vulnerable users of social media like twitter might be under defamation law.  Lord McAlpine is reported to be planning to sue up to 10,000 twitter users – and some famous individuals have already been named as among them: George Monbiot, Sally Bercow and Alan Davies.  Read the rest of this entry »

Libel Claims against ITV and Twitter – Lord McAlpine and the restoration of reputation [Updated]

20 11 2012

As we pointed out last week, Lord McAlpine’s reputation was severely damaged by the event surrounding the ill-conceived Newsnight broadcast of 2 November 2012. That damage was caused in part by the publication on Twitter of material which linked him to the unidentified individual mentioned in the broadcast.  Lord McAlpine was plainly entitled to have his reputation restored.  This was, in practice, substantially achieved by the apology given by the BBC on 10 November 2012. Read the rest of this entry »

Libel damages and Lord McAlpine: did the BBC pay too much?

16 11 2012

There is no doubt that Lord McAlpine has been badly treated by the BBC. The Newsnight broadcast on 2 November 2012 about sexual abuse in children’s homes in North Wales in the 1970s and 1980s referred to “a leading Tory politician of the Thatcher era”.  Although he was not mentioned by name, this individual being referred to was Lord McAlpine.  He was identified before transmission on Twitter and was foreseeably identified afterwards by large numbers of people.  The report was wrong – as the BBC admitted on 10 November 2012.  It issued an unreserved apology. Read the rest of this entry »

The BBC, Lord McAlpine and Libel Law

11 11 2012

The past week has seen a series of extraordinary events arising out of a BBC Newsnight broadcast about sexual abuse in children’s homes in North Wales in the 1970s and 1980s.  This led to the wide dissemination of false allegations against the former Conservative Party Treasurer, Lord McAlpine and resulted in the resignation of the Director General of the BBC.  The case gives rise to a number of interesting libel law questions and casts doubt on the appropriateness of a proposed new “public interest defence”. Read the rest of this entry »