Archive for the 'On Line Defamation' Category

Leveson, Royal Charters and the future of press regulation in Scotland

On Monday the three main political parties in Westminster agreed on a plan to implement the Leveson Report’s press regulation recommendations in England and Wales.

The plan
The agreed approach involves a Royal Charter which will establish a new regulator for the press, and amendments to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill (to help entrench the Royal Charter so that it can only be dissolved by a two-thirds majority vote of both the House of Commons and also House of Lords) and the Crime and Court Bill (so that all “relevant publishers” who do not sign up to the new regulator will pay extra or exemplary (punitive) damages for libel and breaches of privacy). 

The Royal Charter is surprisingly difficult to find, but here is a link.  It remains to be seen whether the new plan will gain widespread acceptance.

Labour leader Ed Miliband has claimed that:

What we have agreed is essentially the royal charter that Nick Clegg and I published on Friday. It will be underpinned by statute. Why is that important? Because it stops ministers or the press meddling with it, watering it down in the future.

Tough talking, but what exactly does Ed Miliband mean when he says “essentially the royal charter”?  What might end up being different?

Well, according to the Royal Charter as drafted at present, a “relevant publisher” means:

a person (other than a broadcaster) who publishes in the United Kingdom:

i) a newspaper or magazine containing news-related material, or
ii) a website containing news-related material (whether or not related to a newspaper or magazine)

It’s an alarmingly wide definition, which could capture not just foreign news websites but also bloggers and perhaps Tweeters. It doesn’t entirely correspond with Culture Secretary Maria Miller’s assertion that:

a publisher would have to meet the three tests of whether the publication is publishing news-related material in the course of a business, whether their material is written by a range of authors – this would exclude a one-man band or a single blogger – and whether that material is subject to editorial control.

By way of example, here on Brodies Techblog we have a team of bloggers, we publish news-related material in our blogs (in that we comment on topical legal issues), and our posts are subject to editorial control before they are published. Did Cameron, Milliband and Clegg have blogs like this in their sights when agreeing the draft charter? Should a blog like this be treated differently from the blog of a individual, but high profile and influential blogger? It’s not clear.

What is clear is that there is still work to be done on the drafting of the charter.

Should the press be regulated like broadcasters?
An interesting – but often overlooked – aspect of the press regulation debate is that broadcasters are regulated by communications regulator Ofcom.

The traditional freedom of the press (particularly in comparison to broadcasting) has complex roots and justifications, including the practical issue of scarcity of broadcast spectrum, which has led to far stricter regulation of television and radio broadcasters.

As a consequence of Ofcom’s regulatory control over broadcasters, broadcasters’ websites are specifically excluded from the Royal Charter definition of “publishers” set out above.  These websites will continue to be regulated by Ofcom.

The Scottish dimension
Press regulation is a devolved competency of the Scottish Parliament.  Alex Salmond has said the concept of a UK-wide regulator backed by Royal Charter may be “an idea worthy of consideration”.

It appears that the First Minister is keen to distance himself from the report produced of the Expert Group on the Leveson Report in Scotland, better known as the “McCluskey Report” (in reference to the Group’s chair, Lord McCluskey), which was published three days before the Westminster announcement.

The recommendations were widely derided last week as being draconian and having gone too far.

Allan Rennie, editor-in-chief of Media Scotland, said:

it’s not just about the press, it’s about anyone in Scotland who dares to express an opinion.

Analysis of a Report and recommendations which appear stillborn are perhaps academic, but it’s not entirely easy to reconcile some of the more vigorous attacks on the McCluskey Report with the actual content of the Report’s proposed Draft Press Standards (Scotland) Bill.

For example, one of the most widely repeated claims over the weekend was that the proposed draft Bill would apply to any publication which can be viewed from Scotland (in other words, anything on the internet, regardless of where the author of the content in question is located). While it’s correct that in the case of allegedly defamatory publications posted on the internet it is generally accepted that “publication” takes place where the article is downloaded, the proposed draft Bill didn’t explicitly refer to this understanding of “publication”.

It referred instead to a publication which “takes place in Scotland”. Further, paragraph 20 of the McCluskey Report specifically stated that the proposed draft Bill was written in “plain English”. (On the other hand, it does seem curious that the proposed draft Bill dispensed with the “publishes in the United Kingdom” wording in several of the draft bills that have been in circulation recently, including Hacked Off’s “Proposed Media Freedom and Regulatory Standards Bill”.)

Differences under the Scottish legal system
Less ambiguous was the McCluskey Report’s conclusion that

we have reached the view that there is no practical alternative to making [the new regulation system] compulsory for all news-related publishers.

As discussed above, the new plan agreed by the three main parties in Westminster does not provide for compulsory opt-in, but instead envisages exemplary damages for publishers who fail to sign up to the new regulator.

However, because damages under Scots civil law are purely compensatory, the concept of exemplary or punitive damages is unknown in Scotland. This is explained in further detail in the Scottish Government’s “Carrots and Sticks” Leveson Briefing Note.

There are also other aspects of Scots Law which would require consideration should the Royal Charter plan be followed, including arbitration and court expenses (in Scotland “costs”).

However, none of these problems would be insurmountable, and the McCluskey Report itself noted at Paragraph 10:

Scottish legislation could provide for a separate Scottish Recognition Body. We do not consider that there is anything in such a proposal that would prevent the formation of a single UK-wide Regulatory Body if that as considered appropriate”.

Alex Salmond has said that he shall continue cross-party talks on press regulation, and report to the Scottish Parliament after Easter. The Scottish Government has separately sought clarification from the UK Government on the impact of the proposed Royal Charter in Scotland.

For the timebeing, however, the future regulation of the press and the web in Scotland (or available in Scotland), and its scope, remains unclear, leaving publishers in the UK uncertain as to whether they will be subject to two different regimes or a single, harmonised, regime.

We will continue to follow this debate as it evolves.

John-McGonagle

The joke’s on Twitter – conviction quashed in the Twitter joke trial

Did you hear the one about the guy on Twitter who joked about an airport?  He experienced some turbulence.

The High Court in London has quashed the conviction of a man who was originally found guilty of sending a “threatening” tweet.

Paul Chambers was found guilty in May 2010 of sending a “menacing electronic communication” after he tweeted to his 600 Twitter followers:

Crap! Robin Hood airport is closed. You’ve got a week and a bit to get your shit together, otherwise I’m blowing the airport sky high!!

Mr Chambers has maintained that his tweet was obviously a jovial expression of his frustration at the airport closing due to heavy snow.

Did you hear that the guy who threatened the airport on Twitter was cleared?  He must have friends in high places.

“Out of date”, was the verdict of Lord Judge.  Surprisingly he wasn’t referring to Stephen Fry and Al Murray, both of whom attended court in support of Paul Chambers.  Lord Judge was actually admonishing the Communications Act 2003 under which Mr Chambers was charged.

Section 127 of the Act makes it an offence to send “by means of a public electronic communications network” a message that is grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character. The Crown Prosecution Services website, in its website guidance on Communications Offences, advises that section 127 should be used for indecent phone calls and emails, but doesn’t refer to Twitter – mainly because Twitter hadn’t been invented when the legislation was enacted.

Why did the guy on Twitter threaten to bomb Robin Hood Airport? He wanted to steal from the rich and fly to Darfur.

The decision is a common sense one, but also a reminder of the perils of social media and the ease with which flippant comments can be easily misconstrued. There has already been £90,000 worth of libel damages for a 24 word tweet.

In particular employers would be advised, if they have not already done so, to implement policy on the appropriate use of social media. The ACAS guide “Workplaces and Social Networking: The Implications for Employment Relations” offers guidance as to good practice.

And for all the lawyers who visit Brodies Tech Blog to keep up to date, I would refer you to the Law Society of Scotland’s recent guide “Social Media – Advice and Information for the Legal Profession”.

Remember, different businesses will require different policies, depending on the extent to which each business expects its staff to utilise social media. Brodies’ technology and employment lawyers can help you to develop an appropriate policy for your business.

Heard the one about Twitter accounts being anonymous?   The Net is tightening…

In the case of Paul Chambers, he didn’t seek to disguise his identity and was therefore easy for the authorities to identify. 

But what about Twitter users who definitely wish to stay anonymous (and aren’t just vicious internet trolls, who deserve no anonymity)?  A good local example would be whoever is running @rangerstaxcase, a Twitter account and blog that has won awards for publishing stories regarding the financial scandal at Rangers Football Club which the mainstream Scottish press failed to address.

At present the owner of spoof Twitter account @UnSteveDorkland, which makes fun of Northcliffe Media Limited’s chief executive Steve Auckland, is trying to prevent Twitter from revealing his details

We wrote last year about the legal means of compelling Twitter to surrender details of account holders, in the context of Ryan Giggs and tweets about his super injunction which he wished to suppress.

It’s still not clear if Twitter will always co-operate in such circumstances.  Nevertheless these developments create the impression that – while a presumption of anonymity on Twitter isn’t yet a joke, it is under serious threat – and that can’t be good for Twitter in the long term.

(Rubbish jokes are all my own.  For lots more, and some occasional legal comment, follow me at @denislawyer.)

Beware of the link? English High Court raises possibility of liability for linking to defamatory material

A recent English High Court decision in McGrath and another v Dawkins and others [2012] EWHC B3 (QB) (you can read the decision herehas indicated that a person who links to a webpage containing defamatory material could themselves be liable for defamation.  The case is particular to its facts but it serves as a reminder of the need to be cautious when linking to material online and to be aware of what the link actually contains. 

The facts

The action was raised by Mr McGrath on behalf of himself and his company MCG.  They sued Professor Richard Dawkins, The Richard Dawkins Foundation, the online retailer Amazon and Mr Jones for comments made by Mr Jones on various online fora, relating to Mr McGrath’s book “The Attempted Murder of God: Hidden Science You Really Need To Know”.   It is fair to say that the ‘religion versus science’ debate got very heated and the exchange of comments became very personal.

The case against Amazon

In respect of the case against Amazon, the judge, HHJ Moloney QC, found that as Mr McGrath had not used Amazon’s standard online complaint system to notifiy it of the alleged defamatory material, Amazon could not be deemed to have actual knowledge of the comments in terms of Regulation 19 of the E-Commerce Regulations 2002.  Therefore the claim against Amazon was struck out. 

Liability for linking?

However, what emerged as one of the main issues in the case was whether The Richard Dawkins Foundation was liable for providing a link to the alleged defamatory comments which were posted on the website www.richarddawkins.net.  That website was operated by a separate US company which was not a party to the action.  However, The Richard Dawkins Foundation operated the website www.richarddawkinsfoundation.org in the UK and it provided a link to the comments on the .net website.  HHJ Moloney QC held that “the two websites are very closely associated [and] the link is hidden”.  In addition, he found that when a party clicked on the “Home” button of the .org site, it resolved to the index of the forum on the .net site without the user being given any indication that he was being directed away from the original website.

Ultimately it was a matter of fact whether the .org website could be responsible and liable for content on the .net website.  However, the judge said that he was not prepared at this early stage in proceedings to strike out Mr McGrath’s claim until further evidence is heard. 

Comment 

Whilst this case is very ‘fact specific’ and no decision has yet been made, it is a sobering reminder to be wary of linking to the content of third parties on the internet.  This case is particularly relevant against the background of Attorney General Dominic Grieve’s comments today that social media users should be more aware of how easy it is to break the law by posting comments online.

Mark Cruickshank

Will YouTube Mess With The Big Man?

You have probably seen the “Don’t Mess With The Big Man” YouTube video.  It shows a passenger on a train from Edinburgh to Perth arguing with a ticket inspector and seemingly refusing to pay his fare, before being then carried off the train by a fellow passenger.  The parties have been dubbed “the Ned” and “the Big Man” respectively, by the person who posted the video on YouTube.  (In the interests of not repeating any potential slander I won’t use the term “the Ned”!)

The video has provoked a lot of debate and the latest development is that the Big Man has been identified, and charged with assault.  I’m no criminal lawyer and I’ll leave the discussion about whether or not the Big Man’s actions constituted assault to the experts.

I’m more interested in considering what remedies both parties may seek.   Both probably wish the video had never existed, and are maybe wondering if they have any recompense against the person who posted the video and/or YouTube itself. 

Has the poster of the video on YouTube broken any law?
Murray v Big Pictures (the case involving tabloid photographs of JK Rowling’s son in his pram) makes it pretty clear that, in certain circumstances, the taking of photographs of somebody in a public place can infringe their rights to privacy.  It’s not impossible to imagine this precedent being extended to making a video clip of somebody in a public place.

Further, the processing of the parties’ data on YouTube is arguably contrary to the Data Protection Act, because the processing has been carried out without their consent. 

In reality the Information Commissioner is unlikely to respond to any data protection complaint by pursuing the poster for this type of content.

However breach of privacy rights could feasibly entitle both parties to claim damages. 

Has YouTube itself broken any law?
In the event of any claim or claims, YouTube would probably argue that it was a “mere conduit” under the E-Commerce Directive.  (This “mere conduit” defence provides that a web host isn’t liable for content on the basis that the host has no actual knowledge of illegal activity or information (provided that they act expeditiously to remove content if something or someone does alert them to illegality).)   YouTube would probably also say that they might well have removed the video if either of the parties had asked.

The catch is that the “mere conduit” defence doesn’t technically extend to privacy/data protection complaints.  This is at least partly why Italy is pursuing prison sentences for 3 executives of Google in relation to footage posted on Google Video in 2006.  (According to the San Francisco chronicle, an appeal will be heard early in 2012.)

As far as any financial liability is concerned, YouTube’s Terms of Service are drafted to protect the company from liability arising from user-generated content.  The Terms state that the user agrees to comply with all applicable laws. As discussed above, the user has possibly broken some laws.

The Terms also state that users are solely responsible for content and the consequences of submitting and publishing content, and that users indemnify YouTube against any and all “claims, damages, obligations, losses, liabilities, costs or debt, and expenses” arising from violation of the Terms.

What is likely to happen?
It’s impossible to predict how things will develop.

I imagine it’s pretty likely that charges may be quietly dropped, with both parties being encouraged to resume their normal (and private) lives.  

But it’s not impossible that this incident may come to have serious repercussions for “vigilantes”, “citizen journalists” and web hosts of user-generated content.

I Love Brodies (Tweeting and Privacy)

Yes, it’s Valentines Day, and I’d like to make a declaration of love. Love for Brodies!

This declaration isn’t just because I’m an embarrassing sycophantic crawler. No, it’s also to remind myself that going online and insulting my employer is rarely a good move.

In November last year Sarah Baskerville, a Department for Transport employee, posted on her Twitter account that a course leader was “mental”, and posted links to tweets attacking government “spin” and Whitehall waste.

The Daily Mail discovered the tweets and ran with a headline “Oh please, stop this twit from Tweeting, someone” and was critical of Baskerville because she worked as a civil servant at the Department of Transport and used Twitter to describe some aspects of her job and her feelings towards her work. The Independent on Sunday also carried a similar story.

You’d think that Baskerville would have tried to let the whole thing blow over, in the hope that her employer didn’t decide to investigate whether she was in breach of her contract of employment. Instead, and quite bizarrely, Baskerville complained to the Press Complaints Commission (“PCC”), arguing that she could have a “reasonable expectation” of privacy in the tweets published on the micro-blogging site, and that the reporting was misleading.

The Daily Mail and Independent on Sunday argued that the messages were public and could be read by anyone.

The PCC cleared the Daily Mail and the Independent on Sunday of breaching privacy by publishing the tweets, and my own reaction is that it’s difficult to see how the PCC could have reached any other decision. Baskerville was tweeting to over 700 followers, and Twitter’s own Terms of Service state: “The Content you submit, post, or display will be able to be viewed by other users of the Services and through third party services and websites (go to the account settings page to control who sees your Content.)”

On Friday Baskerville published her own version of events.  While I feel sorry that she has undergone stress, I get the feeling she still hasn’t quite grasped the point that the social media revolution has fundamentally changed what is meant by “private”.  Separating your personal and private life online is becomingly increasingly difficult.

If you publicly insult your employer you can expect repercussions.

Did I tell you how much I love Brodies?

Mucking Around with Adwords and Using a Competitor’s Brand as an Adword

Google Adwords is a system where you can buy a good screen position for your advert in the results of a Google search for a word or a phrase you choose.  So for example I could bid up to £2 for a Brodies’ advert to be displayed when a user Googles “Outsourcing Law Scotland”.  (Actually you only pay Google if someone clicks-through on your advert.)

I have been mucking around with Adwords in order to drive traffic to this Blog site partly because I got a free £50 credit from Google in a magazine flyer, partly because it’s something I need to understand in order to advise clients, and partly because there are interesting legal aspects to it.

Here is an example of my advert (click on the image to see it in a better resolution)

The words/phrases I bid for were all fairly dull –  “technology law”, “intellectual property law”. But imagine I had bid for a competitor’s brand name. I might get more traffic but I don’t think my competitors would be that impressed. 

This is what happened in Interflora v. Marks and Spencer. M&S bid for its flower delivery advert to be displayed if anyone Googled “Interflora”.  Interflora are going after M&S for trade mark infringement and passing off. The case is working its way through the Courts. Watch this space for the result.

In a parallel series of cases in the European Court of Justice (the highest court in Europe), the brand owners, including Luis Vuitton, sued Google (as opposed to the person who purchased the Adword).  Last week the ECJ held that Google was not liable because it was just a conduit for the infringement and not the author of the infringement.  While I think that decision is questionable, the upshot is clear – if you are the brand owner you have to go against the person who purchases the Adword, and not Google.

Hmmm!

Based on this I thought it would be funny for my advert to be displayed whenever anyone searched  for “Google” or  “Adword”. Surprisingly, Google seemed prepared to let me do this. However, in the end I got cold feet. (I had visions of trying to explain to the Brodies’ managing partner why Google was suing Brodies.)

Libel Law Reform

The Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee has published a Report on “Press standards, privacy and libel”.

The Report was prompted by concerns about the balance between personal privacy, libel law and press freedom, and also by the failure of the Press Complaints Commission to address persistent libelling by the UK press of the family of Madeline McCann.

It is 167 pages long and extremely wide-ranging. Besides containing a curiously under-reported allegation that the News of the World obscured the truth about the extent of illegal phone hacking by its journalists, the Report also considers the hot topic of libel tourism. 

“Libel tourism” describes the practice of claimants (in Scotland “pursuers”) choosing to bring libel suits in jurisdictions more likely to give a favourable result, even if hardly anybody in that particular jurisdiction has read the alleged libel.  Avid readers of Brodies Tech Blog will recall that back in August I discussed how a defamation action against a Dubai newspaper brought by a Dubai property developer regarding business events in Dubai came to be heard in the English High Court.  Libel tourism has become so prevalent that the US Congress is considering legislation to protect their citizens from the enforcement of libel settlements made in foreign jurisdictions. The Report concludes that: “it is a humiliation for our system that the US legislators should feel the need to take steps to protect freedom of speech from what are seen as unreasonable incursions by our courts.”

Secretary of State for Justice Jack Straw’s position a few months ago was that he didn’t see libel tourism as being a problem. However he has had a rethink, and it will now be specifically examined by the Ministry of Justice’s working group on libel. The terms of reference of the group are “to consider whether the law of libel, including the law relating to libel tourism, in England and Wales needs reform, and if so to make recommendations as to solutions.” A full list of members of the working group can be found here.

In stark contract to the Select Committee of MPs which produced the report, the working group is composed largely of newspaper editors and lawyers. Media law consultant David Banks is involved in the working group and reported on his blog at the start of the year that it was scheduled to meet 3 times in January, February and March, before reporting its recommendations to Jack Straw by mid-March.

It will be interesting to see how the recommendations of the working group compare to the recommendations of the Report.

Online defamation – changes afoot in UK law?

In August John McGonagle wrote about the case of an Edinburgh based property developer who won a defamation case in the English High Court against the publishers of Dubai newspaper “Gulf News”.  See “Why not Dubai?” for a reminder.

The (allegedly) defamed are keen to try to sue in the UK it would seem and the UK courts are equally cooperative in finding that they have jurisdiction. However, if changes contemplated by the UK Government become law, the UK could start to look like a less attractive forum for defamation proceedings.

Last month the Government issued a consultation paper on defamation and the internet, seeking views on how the law might be changed, including by replacing the UK’s “multiple publication rule” with a “single publication rule”, as in the US.

In the UK at present, each publication of defamatory material gives rise to a separate cause of action. The limitation period therefore recommences with each publication. Applied to content disseminated by the internet, this means that a new cause of action, with its own limitation period (of one year under English law and three years under Scots law), arises on each occasion that someone accesses that content online.

The US, in contrast, has abandoned the multiple publication rule in favour of a single publication model. This means a single cause of action triggered by initial publication of the defamatory content. In other words then the window of liability for any defamation constituted by the dissemination of that content is much more restricted.

Clearly, the UK’s continued application of the multiple publication rule does give rise to some interesting issues as to the balance which the law of defamation should strike between freedom of expression and the rights of the individual. After all, the rule was established in 1849 when the Duke of Brunswick successfully sued the publisher of the Weekly Dispatch for defamation (more specifically “fasely, wickedly and maliciously printing and publishing” allegations of “acts of oppression and outrage” on the part of the Duke), founding his action on the purchase of a back copy of an edition of the newspaper originally published in 1830. The world of publishing has changed a lot since then.

The Government’s consultation exercise runs until 16 December. The consultation paper is worthwhile reading for anyone interested in the policy considerations which influence the law of defamation, and obviously of particular practical significance to publishers of online archives.

Martin English (trainee solicitor) and Eleanor Peterkin

Twitter ye not

As a Scottish litigator and lover of the very specific and detailed rules relating to service and intimation in the Court of Session I was shocked when I saw that the English High Court had allowed service of an injunction via Twitter. My initial reaction was that there was no way that such a thing would be allowed in Scotland.

However, upon further research, it appears that this could also be attempted north of the border. The Scots equivalent of an injunction is an interdict and when one is seeking an interdict it is usual to seek an order for interim interdict pending a full hearing. In reality most IP actions tend to come to an end at this stage.

If one succesfully obtains an order for interim interdict normal practice is to rush to the court offices and obtain a certified copy of the court order which is then served by Messengers-at-Arms (process servers). It was this level of formality which led me to my shock at the suggestion that an order for interim interdict could possibly be served informally.

However, having looked more closely at the Court Rules and some older authorities, it appears that the position in Scots Law is that an order for interim interdict is valid as soon as it is granted by a judge. It then becomes operative when the respondent or defender becomes sufficiently aware of its contents (Clark v Stirling (1839) 1 D 955 and Burn-Murdoch on Interdict at para 447). Strictly speaking then, there is no formal requirement for service in order for the interim interdict to become operative.

Theoretically then, one could argue in proceedings for breach of interdict that the defender had been made sufficiently aware of the contents of the order as a result of service by Twitter. It is likely though that the bigger problem in Scots law would be obtaining an interim interdict against an unknown defender (the general rule being that interdict cannot affect unnamed persons (Lord Advocate v Scotsman Publications Ltd 1989 SC (HL) 122).)

There are options here as well though. If contacting the site moderator and ISP prove unsuccesful, it would also be possible to seek an order from the Court under s1(1A) of the Administration of Justice (Scotland) Act 1972 compelling the host site or ISP to disclose such information as they may have regarding the identity of the blogger. I feel another blog coming on…..

Iain Rutherford

Why not Dubai?

Last week newspapers reported that an Edinburgh-based property developer had won a defamation case in the English High Court against the publishers of a Dubai-based newspaper.

Mark Emlick runs both the Edinburgh-based company Dunedin Independent and also a Dubai property enterprise entitled the Strategic Property Investment Group. In April last year Gulf News published a story on its website www.gulfnews.com falsely accusing Mr Emlick of misleading Dubai investors.

Mr Emlick was awarded £25,000 in compensation for the damage to his business reputation.

This is how the story was reported. However I was surprised that there was no indication that the publishers had at least tried to advance any of the obvious defences that are available in this sort of case. In fact, they didn’t even turn up in Court. Why was this?

It turns out that the publishers didn’t bother with any of this because they entirely rejected the jurisdiction of the High Court. They maintained that a defamation case against a Dubai newspaper brought by a Dubai property developer regarding business events in Dubai should only be heard in a Court in – you’ve guessed it – Dubai.

In contrast presumably Mr Emlick brought the proceedings in England and not Dubai, because English law is very helpful to plaintiffs in defamation proceedings.

Consistent with previous decisions including the colourful case of boxing promoter Don King, the English court decided it did have jurisdition because the on-line edition of the Gulf News was accesible from England, and because Mr Emlick had a reputation in England.

So the on-line publication of an article allows the pro plaintiff English courts to decide defamation issues that are fundamentally unconnected with the UK, provided the plaintiff has a reputation in the UK. 

All that said, if the publishers couldn’t be bothered sending a lawyer to the High Court I doubt they are going to bother sending £25,000.   Also it suggests that they may be prepared to stand behind their accusations. Certainly Mr Emlick has not managed to force the publishers to retract the accusations in the country in which they were made.

I suspect Mr Emlick may have to answer the question “Why not Dubai?” before this matter is resolved to his satisfaction.

John


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