Wednesday, 15 April 2009

McBride must be closeted with his lawyers

Nadine Dorries MP is reported to be considering seriously taking out a libel action against Damian McBride. Judging by the comments, especially those of Bernard Salmon, to this opinion from Antony Hook (barrister), she would stand a reasonable chance of success. The government would surely not wish to give the slightest impression of interfering.

The important point to bear in mind, in a medium which tends to be dominated by American views of the law, is that it is much easier to prove libel in an English court than a US one. For one thing, "absence of malice" is not a defence over here (though McBride would hardly be able to rely on this, given his motivation for floating the false stories). That, and the record of awards of high damages in London courts, produce a seemingly endless flow of Americans to sue in English courts on the slightest of pretexts.

(The usual disclaimers apply.)

Updated 2009-04-16 in the light of the first comment.

1 comment:

Ali Goldsworthy said...

Antony is very lovely but since last weekend I don't think he's become a QC!