Monday, 19 October 2009

Gagged by Libel Laws

Simon Singh writing in yesterday's Sunday Times says that bloggers are reluctant to write anything critical for fear of financial ruin. Singh himself is currently being sued and he has spent £100,000 to defend the suit and he could end up paying up to a million pounds. It's always nice to know that there is the absolute defence of "fair comment" to libel, which means that what is said is true.

This is what Simon Singh had to say

UPDATE - Some more on this case by George Monbiot.

3 comments:

Plaid Gwersyllt said...

This is what one commentator had to say on Times Online in response to Simon Singh's article:

Libel laws are used to shut people up and defend the reputations of crooks. I enjoyed working, once only alas, with George Carman, but he had made much of his fortune protecting Robert Maxwell from justified criticism. We can all say this as they're both dead.

caebrwyn said...

There is no 'absolute defence' of fair comment according to Mr Justice Eady, who cares little for the public interest defence. At least the Appeal judges are allowing Singh to re-argue the plea. He is risking alarming costs though.
Sadly, with UK libel law there is not even an absolute defence of justification if you cannot afford to defend it all the way.

Plaid Gwersyllt said...

Caebrwyn,
Thanks for the clarification, it makes the situation more worrying still.