From: John Woodgate
Subject: Re: What's going on in Australia?
Date: Wed, 25 Dec 2002 23:39:21 +0000
Organization: JMWA Electronics Consultancy
Reply-To: John Woodgate
NNTP-Posting-Date: Thu, 26 Dec 2002 00:03:42 +0000 (UTC)
X-Newsreader: Turnpike (32) Version 4.01 <5Z8C9wtxbnpWyFnyfFzqmVF739>
I read in sci.electronics.design that Bill Sloman
wrote (in ) about 'What's going on in
Australia?', on Wed, 25 Dec 2002:
>Not under the U.K.legal system it isn't. There is a legal maxim "the greater
>the truth, the greater the libel"
I think that applies only in VERY special circumstances. Normally, it's
a valid defence that the published statements are true.
>and IIRR a convicted murderer, who had
>served his sentence and had been living quietly in the community for years,
>was able to successfully sue someone who libelled him by publicising the
>facts of his conviction without good cause.
Yes, that was indeed a special case. IIRC, the jury agreed that the
publication was gratuitous, and malicious in nature. It wasn't just a
statement that 'Mr. X has a conviction for murder.'
>If the "facts" adduced by Dow Jones can be shown to be true, they are the
>sort of facts that Dow Jones exists to reveal to its customers and truth in
>this case shold be an adequate defence,
True. The dispassionate publication of facts about a business man and
his operations may very well be in the public interest.
> despite the fact that the "facts"
>alleged expose Mr Gutnick to hatred, ridicule or contempt.
Not true. That would be malicious, and would not be defensible. You can
say (if it is true) that 'Mr. X has been a director of a string of
failed companies that lost investors millions, and is now under
investigation by the SEC.' but to say 'Mr. X is a rogue, a liar and a
cheat.' is malicious and indefensible.
Regards, John Woodgate, OOO - Own Opinions Only. http://www.jmwa.demon.co.uk
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