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Defamation Act 2013

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Defamation Act 2013

Post by mysterion on 31.12.13 10:58

Can't post a link up but this new law comes into force tomorrow. I`m clueless about the exact meaning of it but the main thrust is that to take someone to court for defamation, you have to prove serious harm. Will this affect what people can say in public about the McCann case? 

Is there a legal wizard in the house?

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Re: Defamation Act 2013

Post by Guest on 31.12.13 11:26


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Re: Defamation Act 2013

Post by Guest on 31.12.13 11:27

Far from being a wizard, I was a lawyer in another existence, and my take on the Law would be this:


1 (1)
It concerns the effects of causing serious harm. This excludes not-so-serious-harm, to start with.
The claimant will have to prove suffering serious harm.
Serious harm to what?
To the reputation of the claimant.
So: the claimant will have to give evidence of his/her reputation at the outset, at the moment of the serious harm being done.

So: if you have no reputation to speak of, or a bad reputation, or a negative one; this (added) serious harm may well prove to be difficult to prove, if not impossible. Those amongst us with their reputations in tatters already: beware!

1 (2)
This paragraph concerns serious harm to companies in trade for profit.
If serious harm is caused to them, causing financial loss, they may complain about that in a court of law.

As we all know, the Fund is not in trade for profit. What it's there for, God only knows, but profit: no.

Therefore: this paragraph, providing for a venue for such a trading company, does not regard a certain well known Fund Limited.
This, reversely, seems to imply that no complaint for causing serious harm can be brought by this Fund Limited, EVEN if something is being purported about it (=the Fund Limited) causing financial loss to it, like if, for instance, the donation tap would dry up completely.

Of course, if the tap had been turned off by exterior forces already, no complaint could be made by it at all.

3.
Seasons greetings from the Continent where, as we all know, expertise about the intricacies of the UK legal system is very, very scarce, as it is with yours truly and all the above may be totally mistaken.

Correct me if I am wrong!

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Re: Defamation Act 2013

Post by jeanmonroe on 31.12.13 11:48

What harm would be done to a person's reputation, if say, they damaged it themselves, say by, not co-operating with an official police investigation into a possible criminal act?

Who could that person possibly sue for perceived, harmful, reputational damage?

Themselves?

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Re: Defamation Act 2013

Post by canada12 on 31.12.13 11:51

Perhaps Kate and Gerry will sue each other for defamation :-)

or... not quite as frivolously...

Does this mean Amaral could sue the McCanns in the UK for defamation, if the libel trial finds in his favour?

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Re: Defamation Act 2013

Post by Guest on 31.12.13 12:18

No Fate Worse Than De'Ath wrote:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25551640

More information here.




Clive Coleman
Legal correspondent, BBC News
So, will the new Act bring significant change?

In many respects it is an exercise in codifying, simplifying and giving statutory force to existing law. For instance, courts had already started to dismiss "libel tourism" cases and jury trials had all but vanished in defamation cases. The power to achieve these things are now put into the Act.

However, the Act will affect the balance between free speech and the right to protect reputation. For instance, it will be more difficult for companies to sue for libel as they now have to show they have suffered or are likely to suffer serious harm because of a defamatory statement, and they will only be able to do that if they can show they have suffered or are likely to suffer serious financial harm. That makes it tougher for them to go after journalists or scientists who write about their products and services.

There is also more protection from libel for those running websites if they can show they are not the authors of defamatory posts and assist in identifying those who are.


Will this open the floodgates, or make posters more cautious ?? I hope it gives candyfloss a breather anyway.  titter 

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Re: Defamation Act 2013

Post by PeterMac on 31.12.13 12:31

This is snipped from the article.

The Defamation Act 2013 contains a series of measures, including:

"New serious harm threshold" aimed at helping people to understand when claims should be brought and discourage wasteful use of court time
Protection for scientists and academics publishing peer-reviewed material in scientific and academic journals
Protection for those publishing material on a matter of public interest where they reasonably believe that it is in the public interest
Libel tourism targeted by tightening the test for claims involving those with little connection to England and Wales being brought before the courts
Introduction of a new process aimed at helping potential victims of defamation online, by resolving the dispute directly with the person who has posted the statement
Single-publication rule to prevent repeated claims against a publisher about the same material

Justice minister Shailesh Vara said: "As a result of these new laws, anyone expressing views and engaging in public debate can do so in the knowledge that the law offers them stronger protection against unjust and unfair threats of legal action.
It's taken four years, support from 60,000 people and a cross-party consensus to get to where we are today”
"These laws coming into force represent the end of a long and hard-fought battle to ensure a fair balance is struck between the right to freedom of expression and people's ability to protect their reputation."
The Libel Reform Campaign, which is made up of Index on Censorship, English PEN and Sense About Science, has been demanding new legislation since 2009.
Mike Harris, of the campaign, said: "The Defamation Act was intended by politicians to end the chill from the archaic libel laws of England and Wales.
"It's taken four years, support from 60,000 people and a cross-party consensus to get to where we are today.
"We hope the judiciary will take note, and that in the future open debate on matters in the public interest will not be chilled by litigious oligarchs or corporations."
He added: "The Defamation Act is good news for free speech.[/quote]

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To be specific

Post by PeterMac on 31.12.13 12:36

The Defamation Act 2013 contains a series of measures, including:

"New serious harm threshold" aimed at helping people to understand when claims should be brought and discourage wasteful use of court time    TM Take Note
Protection for scientists and academics publishing peer-reviewed material in scientific and academic journals
Protection for those publishing material on a matter of public interest where they reasonably believe that it is in the public interest   Is the Disappearance of a little girl, and the continued campaign of lying and obfuscation by her parents and supporters a matter of public interest ?  I believe it may be.
Libel tourism targeted by tightening the test for claims involving those with little connection to England and Wales being brought before the courts
Introduction of a new process aimed at helping potential victims of defamation online, by resolving the dispute directly with the person who has posted the statement
Single-publication rule to prevent repeated claims against a publisher about the same material
Justice minister Shailesh Vara said: "As a result of these new laws, anyone expressing views and engaging in public debate can do so in the knowledge that the law offers them stronger protection against unjust and unfair threats of legal action.   Unjust and unfair - as in inequality of bargaining power and financial resources ?

"We hope the judiciary will take note, and that in the future open debate on matters in the public interest will not be chilled by litigious oligarchs or corporations."   QUITE SO

He added: "The Defamation Act is good news for free speech.

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Re: Defamation Act 2013

Post by Over The Hill on 31.12.13 12:36

@canada12 wrote:Perhaps Kate and Gerry will sue each other for defamation :-)

or... not quite as frivolously...

Does this mean Amaral could sue the McCanns in the UK for defamation, if the libel trial finds in his favour?
or could Amaral sue certain papers for calling him a disgraced cop etc
The key to defamation is whether the reputation of someone has been damaged
Since Amaral didn't have a reputation in the UK before all this happened (because nobody had heard of him), it's unlikely (but possible if it can be argued that the UK reports were read in Portugal)

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Re: Defamation Act 2013

Post by Smokeandmirrors on 31.12.13 13:00

This development in the Law is really interesting in relation to the Mccann case.

In their own case, the single most powerful and immediate damage was caused by - at least the main issue that gets repeated the most often, with Amaral's conclusions following much later, and in direct consequence to - their admission / claim that they left three infants alone for extended periods over a number of days, dispute the children waking and crying on at least two known occasions.

Regardless of anything else, any other opinion that has arisen in the subsequent years, the single biggest damage to persona;l reputation is the issue of child neglect, and self proclaimed at that. The very vast majority of the population GLOBALLY, and especially in the UK and the USA (see appearances on Montel, Grace et al), who know of this story, think the parents shockingly negligent to have committed this offence against their own children.


So, if the McCanns were to launch any future libel cases in the UK from today onwards, they would be obliged to provide evidence that SOMEONE could cause more damage to their reputation than THEY THEMSELVES have caused by admitting child negligence.

Very interesting….

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Re: Defamation Act 2013

Post by jeanmonroe on 31.12.13 13:38

Smokeandmirrors:

That was what i was going to say!
Damn!
 big grin big grin big grin 

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Re: Defamation Act 2013

Post by Smokeandmirrors on 31.12.13 13:40

@jeanmonroe wrote:Smokeandmirrors:

That was what i was going to say!
Damn!
 big grin big grin big grin 

You can say it anyway, I promise not to sue for copyright!!  empathy 

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Re: Defamation Act 2013

Post by Woofer on 31.12.13 15:14

@Over The Hill wrote:
@canada12 wrote:Perhaps Kate and Gerry will sue each other for defamation :-)

or... not quite as frivolously...

Does this mean Amaral could sue the McCanns in the UK for defamation, if the libel trial finds in his favour?
or could Amaral sue certain papers for calling him a disgraced cop etc
The key to defamation is whether the reputation of someone has been damaged
Since Amaral didn't have a reputation in the UK before all this happened (because nobody had heard of him), it's unlikely (but possible if it can be argued that the UK reports were read in Portugal)

Thats interesting OTH - so the press is free to smear any foreign person, and there is nothing the foreign person can do about it.  This would also assume that every smeared person had a bad reputation to start with.

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Re: Defamation Act 2013

Post by Truthandjustice on 31.12.13 16:58

@Over The Hill wrote:or could Amaral sue certain papers for calling him a disgraced cop etc
The key to defamation is whether the reputation of someone has been damaged
Since Amaral didn't have a reputation in the UK before all this happened (because nobody had heard of him), it's unlikely (but possible if it can be argued that the UK reports were read in Portugal)

I would like to think he could.. when I mentioned his name to a friend who only knows about the case from MSM she believed he was a rubbish cop (I enlightened her).  Whether or not he could be bothered is another matter, he strikes me as the type of man to whom discovering the truth about Maddie would be more important than his own reputation.

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Re: Defamation Act 2013

Post by Miss Trunchbull on 01.01.14 12:19

I heard the news on the radio that there was a new, and more sensible, libel/defamation law coming into force. I immediately thought it might affect the discussion sites for Madeleine, and the rather silly blanket ban that sites such as Digital Spy have, where all discussion is banned (there are many others too, not just DS). I knew there would be a decent explanation here of how the new law will work, so thanks for that.

There was a campaign on the internet to help out Simon Singh, a scientific journalist and broadcaster who had written disparagingly about chiropractors ( I think it was chiropractors, anyway some pseudo-medical group with no evidence that their cures worked, except maybe placebo effect). The official body that represent this group objected to being called charlatans and sued Singh. He had to re-mortgage his house to raise £100,000 for legal fees. The campaign was to raise to funds to help him defend himself and try to get the law amended, as all scientific opinions would be effectively muzzled if he lost the case. I sent off my £20 to help, and now I'm delighted to hear that the law has been improved, so I did my bit at the justice barricades, folks!

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Re: Defamation Act 2013

Post by bobbin on 01.01.14 13:52

@Miss Trunchbull wrote:I heard the news on the radio that there was a new, and more sensible, libel/defamation law coming into force. I immediately thought it might affect the discussion sites for Madeleine, and the rather silly blanket ban that sites such as Digital Spy have, where all discussion is banned (there are many others too, not just DS). I knew there would be a decent explanation here of how the new law will work, so thanks for that.

There was a campaign on the internet to help out Simon Singh, a scientific journalist and broadcaster who had written disparagingly about chiropractors ( I think it was chiropractors, anyway some pseudo-medical group with no evidence that their cures worked, except maybe placebo effect). The official body that represent this group objected to being called charlatans and sued Singh. He had to re-mortgage his house to raise £100,000 for legal fees. The campaign was to raise to funds to help him defend himself and try to get the law amended, as all scientific opinions would be effectively muzzled if he lost the case. I sent off my £20 to help, and now I'm delighted to hear that the law has been improved, so I did my bit at the justice barricades, folks!
I understand your point, but in this case the loss and gain are not as self-explanatory as you may mean.
From where I come, the area in red is as shocking a statement of 'unverified opinion, against chiropractic', as Singh's statement that he called them charlatans.
I know that what you are expressing is the common line, held by the majority of 'orthodox medical practitioners and their pharmaceutically orientated patients'. I don't blame you for that. The propaganda machine of bigpharma sees to it that people will have great difficulty thinking outside the box or even questionning their ultimate authority so imprinted upon today's society.
I must put the other side however, in the interest of 'balance'.  
The evidence from the thousands and thousands of people who are helped daily, around the world, by osteopathy / chiropractic is sufficient in itself to justify these 'manipulating techniques'.
If it were only the 'placebo' effect, then why can't doctors attain the same level of placebo relief that an osteopathic manipulation / subluxation re-positioning achieves, either by telling the patient that they will get better if they wish hard enough for it, or just to keep taking the tablets, and stronger ones if the current ones don't do it.
Look into it a bit. If an injury, a slip, a fall, a torsion, over-working one lopsided muscle group, etc. has caused the spinal column to become dislocated or under tension, at any one point, even to a very minor degree, the pressure that develops on the spinal column nerves which exit the vertebrae through very restricted holes causes nerve tissue inflammation which then has a localised swelling, followed by a distal destabilising effect on the distant nerve endings.
Chiropractic / osteopathy / corrective sports therapy massage/ stretching exercises etc. can be some of the ways to 're-position' the site of the (dis)torsion and allow the nerves to return to their normal un-inflamed state and allow the 'pain / discomfort' caused by the dis-position in some apparent 'non-associated' site to dissipate.
I don't mind you having your opinion about which therapies you may wish to utilise for any problem that you may have, but I do think it important to investigate with an intelligent mind just how and why some things work, in spite of a one sided monopolistic viewpoint being exclusively propagated.

ETA
https://www.google.fr/search?q=chiropractic+spinal+nerve+chart&client=firefox-a&hs=Oii&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=sCDEUqvAGuKU0AWI04GYCg&ved=0CCwQsAQ&biw=1280&bih=666

http://goldcoastchiropractor.com/health-info/spinal-nerve-chart/

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