Monthly Archives: June 2012

Defamation and the employers reference: a warning to claimants

Last months case of Thour “v- The Royal Free Hampstead NHs Trust [2012] EWHC 1473 (QB) highlights the risks of bringing a claim for defamation based on the inaccuracy of an employment reference.

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Daily Mail and Evening Standard ordered to pay £60,000 in damages to university tutor following libel jury trial

University tutor Luke Cooper has succeeded in his libel claim against the Daily Mail and the London Evening standard.  stories in the papers had effectively accused Mr Cooper of being a ringleader in the violence which took place at the Millbank Tower during the protests against education cuts in November 2010.  Evening standard journalist Benedict Moore-Bridger reported Mr Cooper as saying, The reason we attacked Tory HQ is we want to send a really strong message to this government that we are not going to let higher education be brutalised. Mr Cooper denied saying The reason we attacked Tory HQ.  Giving evidence, Mr Moore-Bridger denied falsifying the quote.

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The Defamation Bill – Comment before the second Reading

The Defamation Bill, which has cross-party support, is scheduled for a second reading on 12 June 2012. The Libel Reform Campaign has hailed its introduction as ‘the first wholesale attempt at reform since 1843’. This article looks at the Bill in its current form and the reasons behind its introduction. The Bill has it is origins in a 2010 private member’s bill introduced by the Liberal Democrat peer (and barrister) Lord Lester. The government launched a consultation process in March 2011 after publishing a draft bill. The revised bill follows the consideration of responses to the draft and the findings of a Joint Parliamentary Committee.

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Police ordered to pay £125,000 damages after losing murder libel trial

Bedfordshire Police has been ordered to pay Amilton Bento £125,000 in damages after the Force made a statement at a press conference in July 2009 which suggested that he had killed his girlfriend Kamila Garsztka.  Ms Garsztka’s body had been found in a lake in 2006.

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High Court orders Facebook to disclose identity of cyberbullies

Nicola Brookes has obtained a Norwich Pharmacal order against Facebook after “internet trolls” left “vicious and depraved” messages on her Facebook page.  The messages appeared after Ms Brookes posted a comment about the X-Factor television show.  The order requires Facebook to handover profile information and the IP addresses of the individuals who posted the office.  It is understood that Facebook will comply with the order once it has been served on the company.  Facebook did not contest the application, but would have been at risk of breaching data protection laws if it had handed over the information voluntarily.

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