University of Haifa instructs Mishcons in libel fight with AUT

Mishcon de Reya has garnered a new instruction from the University of Haifa in its dispute with the Association of University Teachers (AUT).

On 22 April the AUT agreed on a boycott of the University of Haifa and the Bar-Ilan University, claiming that the universities and other Israeli academics and institutions were complicit in suppressing academic freedom.

Now Haifa has instructed Mishcon consultant and former litigation head Anthony Julius to defend it against the allegations. Today (Tuesday 10 May) the firm sent a letter to the AUT to give Haifa’s position in relation to the association’s claims.

The letter concludes: “The AUT has, both by the assistance it gave to the resolution’s sponsors and by its publication of the resolution on its website, defamed the University of Haifa. Our client is entitled to seek damanges, a retraction, and an undertaking against further publication of the defamations. It reserves its position in this regard.”

The university is awaiting the outcome of the AUT’s special council meeting on 26 May, which is designed to have a full debate over the boycott.

Julius, a solicitor-advocate, is not instructing counsel.