Friday, 11 July 2008

Update - Lancaster Unity On the Libel List

Lancaster Unity has now printed the article on their website.

That means they can now be listed as a party in the forthcoming libel action I will take on against the paper and its reporter.

The good thing about having no money is that whilst it is not worth sueing me, I can still sue you.

Anyone else want to be added to the list of parties then please send me a copy of your post repeating the allegations.

Heres a note for you - the article asserts that I actually made the statement, that the statement is true and therefore that the statements made in the article are true as well.

That means the Reynolds defence, the reportage defence and the Roberts defence in relation to libel cases are disabled.

The report was not neutral - it asserted that I actually made the statements, and therefore they are liable for it and also anyone who repeats the statements.

Articles asserting the statement is true are not protected under the reportage defence.

In the Roberts case it was held ;

Ward LJ said that reportage is best described as “the neutral reporting without adoption or embellishment or subscribing to any belief in its truth of attributed allegations of both sides of a political and possibly some other kind of dispute”.

A journalist has a good defence to a libel claim if what he publishes, even without an attempt to verify its truth, amounts to reportage. Reportage is a form of Reynolds qualified privilege. The reportage defence is not in conflict with the repetition rule, which is concerned with justification, not privilege.



Ward LJ listed 9 factors which must be taken into account when considering whether a reportage defence is made out. They can be summarised as follows:



(1) The information must be in the public interest.



(2) In a true case of reportage, there is no need to take steps to ensure the accuracy of the published information.



(3) To qualify as reportage, the report, judging the thrust of it as a whole, must have the effect of reporting, not the truth of the statements, but the fact that they were made.


(4) It is for the judge to rule upon the effect of the article as a whole in a way analogous to a ruling on meaning. The test is objective, not subjective. All the circumstances surrounding the gathering in of the information, the manner of its reporting and the purpose to be served will be material.



(5) The protection of the reportage defence will be lost if the journalist adopts the report and makes it his own or if he fails to report the story in a fair, disinterested and neutral way.


(6) The publication must always meet the standards of responsible journalism. The court must consider all the circumstances of the case and the 10 factors listed by Lord Nicholls in Reynolds v Times Newspapers Ltd [2001] 2 AC 127 adjusted as may be necessary for the special nature of reportage.



(7) There is no reason in principle why reportage must be confined to scandal-mongering rather than reports of more serious allegations. The critical question is: does the public have the right to know the fact that these allegations were being made one against the other?



(8) The relevant factors properly applied will embrace the significance of the protagonists in public life. It is not necessary, as a precondition for the defence, that the defendant should be a responsible prominent person, or that the claimant should be a public figure.



(9) Urgency is relevant, but that is not to say that reportage can only flourish where the story unfolds day by day as in Al Fagih. The story must be judged on its merits at the moment of publication.






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3 comments:

odin said...

Please sue Lancaster Unity Lee. Ill put you on my Christmass card list!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, go on, sue LU.

And watch them tear you and the BNP to pieces you piece of shit.

Defender of Liberty said...

LU is a sad joke and so are you , you sad little weasel