The BBC, Lord McAlpine and Libel Law

11 11 2012

The past week has seen a series of extraordinary events arising out of a BBC Newsnight broadcast about sexual abuse in children’s homes in North Wales in the 1970s and 1980s.  This led to the wide dissemination of false allegations against the former Conservative Party Treasurer, Lord McAlpine and resulted in the resignation of the Director General of the BBC.  The case gives rise to a number of interesting libel law questions and casts doubt on the appropriateness of a proposed new “public interest defence”. Read the rest of this entry »





Campaign Lies and the First Amendment – Jacob Rowbottom

11 11 2012

It is now a tradition that during an America presidential election year, commentators shall declare the campaigns to be the ‘nastiest’ and ‘dirtiest’ ever. It is difficult to know whether such a claim is true of the 2012 election, as tough campaigning has a long history in the USA (as a recent NY Times article explains). Read the rest of this entry »








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