Carter-Ruck defends 1849 libel rule against reform campaigners

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  • As one who has been grossly libeled in the British press over a long term relationship I had with a wealthy Englishman, I am in complete agreement with Nigel Tait of Carter-Ruck. These proposals are too biased in favour of publishers and defamers and it would have been helpful if they had consulted some Claimants before putting forth their proposals.
    Contrary to the campaigners' allegations about how easy it is to be successful as a Claimant in the English libel courts, I appear to be the only American Claimant unable to get justice, despite having a strong libel claim. Costs orders have been unjustly used against me to deny me access to justice by Associated Newspapers and Bruno Schroder, by either striking out or staying my claim over costs. And nearly all of my hearings have been held in private, further obstructing my ability to get justice. I am therefore unable to identify with many of the alleged problems highlighted by the campaigners.
    I expect The House of Commons Select Committee onCulture, Media and Sport will take a more balanced view in their soon to be published on Press Standards. I am grateful to them for publishing my Memorandum:

    The one public judgment:

    I can most definitely say that the proposal to adopt the one publication rule and abolish The Duke of Brunswick rule is very misguided. I have had several defamatory articles about me reappear on newspaper websites long after previously being removed. I would like to know what the campaigners propose for this problem.

    In conclusion and as an American from the land of free speech, I am of the firm view that the British press needs to learn some long overdue lessons on accuracy, providing a right of reply and prompt corrections from the American press. These simple measures would have prevented many a libel claim, including my own.

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