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Libel Law

November 11, 2011

English libel law is a disgrace and an affront to democracy. It is not a complete defence that you can prove your allegations are true. If the plaintiff considers the allegations damage his/her reputation that still makes it libel. Like so many areas of the law it is only available to those with bottomless pockets, and is therefore principally a means for wealthy individuals and companies to conceal their misdeeds from everyone else. American legal law is more reasonable. I am told it is roughly the equivalent of the English law of Malicious Falsehood.

The practice of granting superinjunctions is even more outrageous.

English courts claim a wide jurisdiction. Americans wishing to expose the sins of American companies can be sued by them for libel in an English court, although some states now have laws to protect American citizens in that position.

If an MP exposes a company’s sins in parliament he or she can claim privilege, and fair reporting of this is permissable. However if anyone repeats allegations made by a US Senate committee, they could still be sued for libel in an English court.

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