Lord McAlpine pursues legal action against Twitter users

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  • Has anyone got any idea what the "going rate" is for a Twitter libel of this nature?

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  • 1p - the lowest coin in the Realm.

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  • Suspect that not a lot of these will go to court to defend themselves.... Open and shut on liability ...and if he's aftet a low quantum then may as well just pay up/get in touch with loansdirect.com!

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  • I feel very uneasy about this (and no, I didn't tweet his name).
    If the innocent use the law to stop such statements, we can assume that the guilty will also seek to do the same.
    Lord McAlpine is innocent. However in 2008 Jimmy Saville was using a law firm to silence rumours.

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  • Perhaps I am alone in thinking that McAlpine's solicitors are doing their client a great disservice. He has received £185,000 already. They should read this judgement which concerned scattergun libel litigation, failure to observe the protocol, threats without any consideration of the overall merits, over compensation and context. The last two particularly important points here.
    It is by no means open and shut on liability and the fact he has been compensated by the tune of 185K already will have to be considered in the context of other cases. Solicitors cannot just go around sending invoices to people when the risk of over compensation is very real.

    http://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/markup.cgi?doc=/ew/cases/EWHC/QB/2008/1797.html&query=smith+and+v+and+advfn&method=boolean

    In my opinion if cases go to court they are likely to
    be dismissed. The use of the media to stir up a frenzy of intimidation and fear will not go down well with any judge who ends up dealing with these cases.For example, demanding responses within 48 hours is totally contrary to fairness and justice. McAlpine and his solicitors will lose sympathy and there will be a public backlash if they go for more compensation. You watch and learn. I just hope McAlpine's solicitor has considered all the above or it could end up being very costly to them when the backlash begins.

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  • Interesting to note that the draft Defamation Act (Bill) 2012, not yet I think in force, makes it clear that English courts will not have l;ibel jurisdiction when person allegedly libelled is not domiciled in the jurisdiction. I have no idea whether that applies to the case in question though i understand that the person allegedly libelled has been resident in past and recent years in Australia and Italy.

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  • Child abuse is horrendous and if Twitter had existed all those years ago the abused may have been able to write 'this is what you have done to me and this is who you are' and then the abuse could have ended and there would be no need for speculation all these years later. As a parent I would glady forfeit my reputation - if wrongly accused - in the hope that child abuse (and all other abuses) can be brought to an end. Defamation Laws should be tamed rather than empowered

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  • Good for Lord McAlpine - someone should have done this years ago. Getting libel removed from Facebook or Twitter is not easy ... and such nonsense undermines free speech. This will make free speech easier as the government wont be reduced to section 127 of the Communications Act all the time ... etc
    Horay for Lord A - the Clint Eastwood of Twitter.
    So Philip Schofield, feel lucky punk?
    Seriously they have it coming.
    As for the BBC and ITV -
    rule 1 of reporting ... have more than one source ...broken.
    rule 2 - tell the person you're going to criticise so if it does go to libel the damages will be less punative
    How can they be so dumb - even the local paper usually manages that...

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