4 thoughts on “Defamation”

  1. Good question, to which there is no short answer. I understand that Leech is continuing with other libel actions against other newspapers, and that she has lodged an appeal against the Charlton J’s decision against her in her claim against the Irish Independent.

    More than that, whether you republish your post would depend on three things: (i) whether it is in fact libelous in the first place (ie, whether it damages her reputation); (ii) whether there is nevertheless a defence of truth; or (iii) whether there is a defence of public interest publication (as adverted to by Charlton J).

    (i) and (ii) are matters of fact for you to decide. (iii) is a little more difficult. The defence recognised by Charlton J amounts to a qualified privilege for responsible journalism where there is a real public interest in communicating and receiving the information, and the publisher has taken reasonable care to verify the information published. However, he seemed to confine it quite narrowly to the context of a professional duty on the part of journalists both to seek out information that is of public interest and to impart it to the public; in particular, he saw this as a matter of professional skill, training and responsibility. Obviously, this would make it difficult for non-professional journalists, such as most bloggers, to rely on the defence.

  2. Thanks guys.

    It is an interesting one. The post in question largely repeated the contents of the Independent article without adding much in the way of comment. I think Ms Leech did not like my headline, or the fact that it was first result on Google.

  3. I got a threatening letter from a firm of solicitors which does most of the governments dirty work, when I published a poem on my website(its still there) taking the mickey out of Martin Cullen & the Monica Leech saga. I ignored it because there was nothing libellious in the poem, The problem with people/writers etc based in Ireland is that when massive legal guns are levelled against most people (and even newspapers) they run scared and capitulate.The cost of defending such actions is enormous. Even Charlie Bird nearly had a nervous breakdown waiting for the possibility of one of our upcoming ministers in Berties government (Beverley Flynn) taking RTE to the cleaners. There is little justice in the law, its just a game to clean out both parties. The only consolation I can give you Gavin is, if you have few assets (not enough to pay the legal eagles) there is a very good chance they will find against the opposition.(because they always like to get paid)
    I believe Fianna Fail & Martin Cullen, have guaranteed Monica´s fees, win loose or draw. She certainly has not the money to pay if she loses. Problem is of course RTE have replenished her war chest so generously with taxpayers money that now she has the deposit for further court cases and she´s “going for gold”
    let us hope she ends up like Beverley.(If there´s any justice in the country at all)
    My article for which I was threatened is here:
    http://www.soldiersofdestiny.org/monicalewinsky.htm

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