A New Style Public Interest Defence in Libel Law? – Andrew Scott and Alastair Mullis

8 11 2012

An interesting proposal has slipped quietly into the mix for consideration during the House of Lords Committee stage deliberations on the Defamation Bill. During the Second Reading debate, Lord Lester mooted a possible alternative to the clause 4 defence of responsible publication on a matter of public interest. The Joint Committee on Human Rights has pressed the Government on the desirability of the new alternative. In our view, the proposal – developed by Sir Brian Neill (pic) – offers an opportunity both to improve the operation of the existing common law defence and to ‘tidy up’ aspects of the existing Bill. Read the rest of this entry »

South Africa: Zuma v Zapiro and the rape of the justice system – Dario Milo

8 11 2012

On 29 October 2012, President Zuma formally withdrew his defamation claim against Sunday Times, Mondli Makhanya and the cartoonist Zapiro, and offered to pay 50% of their legal costs. The claim related to Zapiro’s “rape of justice” cartoon. Given that Zuma’s original claim was for R4 million in damages to his reputation and R 1 million in damages to his dignity, as well as legal costs and interest, the withdrawal – which sees Zuma paying money to those he sued and not the other way round – has rightly been hailed as a victory for the defendants. Read the rest of this entry »


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