UK Court Says You Can't Be Defamed If The Article You're Complaining About Doesn't Even Mention You
from the but-now-lots-of-people-may-know-about-it dept
We've had plenty of posts in the past about the insane broadness of UK defamation law, which often effectively puts the burden on the accused to prove they didn't defame the accuser. However, sometimes, at least, they seem to get things right. A lawyer, Robin Tilbrook, who is also the chair of a political party, took offense and sued a blogger for defamation over a blog post that called the political party "racist." The blogger, Stuart Parr, asked for summary judgment and got it, as the court found that since Parr never even referred to Tilbrook directly, the defamation claim couldn't stand.
Mr Justice Tugendhat said: "The main issue before the court in this application is whether the words complained of are capable of being understood as referring to the claimant.What strikes me as amusing about all of this is that, by suing and complaining that this was defamatory, it seems that Tilbrook has done much more to connect himself to that comment and to draw attention to it. I'm still amazed that, in this day and age, anyone in politics gets so offended by the things people say about them online. But, even worse than worrying about it, is calling attention to yourself when you're not even named in a post. If you can't do those kinds of things right, it certainly raises questions about your skills for actually being in government.
"The claimant is not named. Nor do the Particulars of Claim set out any facts relied on which might be known to any particular publishees, and no publishees are identified."