High Court upholds McAlpine Twitter libel claim against Bercow

  • Print
  • Comments (12)

Readers' comments (12)

  • #uh oh

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Excellent news and common sense prevails. Ms Bercow is a vacuous self-publicist. Justice is done.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • No wonder it's a loss for Carter Ruck - they normally represent plaintiffs!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Plaintiffs!! Now that takes me back.

    The correct result without any doubt.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • The decision was completely wrong and completely contradicts the guidance given in other libel multiple defendant cases like Smith V ADVFN about over-compensation. A one dimensional decision which will come back to bite the judges.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Compensation has yet to be decided Miss Kelly. Let's wait and see what is decided. I am sure there will be a good part 36 in place.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Anony 1:39pm

    Not sure if you will find out what has been agreed between the parties. The point with this case is that it should never have got to the stage where compensation was payable in the first place. An abuse of process decision should have been reached based on ALL of the considerations you would normally have in a multiple libel/defendant actions. You cannot receive compensation when you have been paid well over the odds (£300K plus) for the same libel. The contribution of this 7 word tweet has to be considered in this context and the totality of ALL the publication/broadcasts. If you think about that, no more than a nomimal sum is due. There is plenty of legal precedent about over-compensation in libel. The judge ignored it and managed the case in such a way that the abuse of process argument could not be pursued. Look at other multiple libel and defendant cases and tell me I am wrong. The judge departed from the clear legal guidance - whatever your thoughts on Sally Bercow or libel in general, that fact is hard to get away from.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I think this judgment is totally wrong. The law is badly overreaching here. This was a short reference to the fact that someone was trending on twitter. The tweet does not express a personal opinion, make any offensive allegations or imply that the author has any personal knowledge of the subject or anything to contribute to the public debate.

    I think the consequences of this judgment are quite extreme. I fear that almost any discussion of current events, whether by social media or in print, could now also be seen as libellous.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Anonymous (10:04am)

    Amazing isn't it? I must admit I am still getting over the shock. As you say, the consequences could be extreme for many reasons. I do not expect the majority of people to understand that because obviously very few have studied and researched the libel cases I have referred to. As concerns those other cases which were judged correctly and sensibly, I wonder whether the judiciary are going to return to the previous legal guidance and this was just a one off. Or are we entering a dark new age of confusion and the chill of libel being further compounded by equally ludicrous decisions going forward? These should be interesting times for students of law but rather worryingly nobody seems to have picked up on this at all - or done any kind of proper analysis on the outcome and obvious material inconsistencies (rather than just the decision on meaning). All the reporting of this case which has expressed any opinion has been far from objective and dare I say, wrong in law.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Kelly - I entirely agree. The costs of this must be ruinous for Ms. Bercow over an admittedly misjudged but isolated and non-offensive tweet. I can only hope this gets successfully appealed.

    I think free speech and fair comment on current events is entering shaky ground here. There will surely be a significant chilling effect on public discussion through twitter.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

View results 10 per page | 20 per page

Have your say

Mandatory Required Fields

Mandatory

Comments that are in breach or potential breach of our terms and conditions in particular clause 8, may not be published or, if published, may subsequently be taken down. In addition we may remove any comment where a complaint is made in respect of it. These actions are at our sole discretion.

  • Print
  • Comments (12)