Friday, September 21, 2007

Tim Ireland, Craig Murray

Basically, what everyone else said. The English libel laws are an anachronistic disgrace. In their current form they amount to little more than a licence for people sufficiently rich and litigious to bully others.

When such cases come to court they are often farcical, since the burden of proof lies, uniquely, on the accused. But, perhaps more important, it is the threat of going to court at all that is so effective. With no legal aid for the defendant and little likelihood of recovering costs from the claimant, defending a libel action is a no-win game for all but the deepest-pocketed newspapers. The libel laws need reform, and Tim Ireland and Craig Murray both need support.

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1 Comments:

Blogger Unity said...

>>> When such cases come to court they are often farcical, since the burden of proof lies, uniquely, on the accused.

Sadly, not quite uniquely anymore.

There are elements of reverse burden in recent anti-terrorism legislation and in rape cases where the defence of consent is relied upon.

3:30 pm  

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