Archive for defamation

L’Affaire Weiler – A Brief Legal Assessment of the French Court’s Judgment

Posted in Legal issues with tags , , on 21 March 2011 by Steve

“According to Article 11 of the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 16 August 1789, the right to free expression of ideas and opinion is one of the most precious human rights …” (more)

[Laurent Pech, EJIL: Talk!, 21 March]


To Ban or Not? Gossip Web Sites Still Pose Troubling Questions for Colleges

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 28 September 2010 by Steve

“Just when you thought college gossip sites like JuicyCampus had disappeared, more college students are posting salacious, unsubstantiated gossip about their peers on a similar Web site called CollegeACB. (The initials stand for Anonymous Confession Board.) …” (more)

[Paige Chapman, Chronicle of Higher Education, 27 September]

Defamation actions which can chill or stifle scientific debate

Posted in Legal issues with tags on 21 June 2010 by Steve

“… These are only two conspicuous examples of a disturbing trend towards using the courts to prevent scientific debate. This is not what libel law is for. On the one hand, the right to a good name is a basic human right. On the other, the right to freedom expression is a central democratic principle. The aim of libel is to find the appropriate balance between these competing interests …” (more)

[Eoin O’Dell, Irish Times, 21 June]

Trouble in the Blog O’Sphere

Posted in Legal issues with tags , on 3 February 2010 by Steve

“It all began innocently enough: just before Christmas, Sunday Times journalist John Burns wrote a piece lamenting the shortcomings of blogging in Ireland. Leading bloggers naturally begged to differ. A month later, the spat was picked up by Trevor Butterworth writing on, who noted that ‘it’s hard to think of a free country more suited to blogging than Ireland’. By the same token, it’s at least as hard to think of a country more given to litigation …” (more)

[Eoin O’Dell, Cearta, 3 February]

Nick Clegg pledges to curb libel law’s ‘chilling effect’ on scientific inquiry

Posted in Legal issues with tags , on 18 January 2010 by Steve

“English libel law is a ‘legal farce’ that needs urgent reform to stop it from gagging scientists and endangering public health, Nick Clegg said today. The Liberal Democrat leader promised a manifesto commitment to create a strong public interest defence to defamation claims, so that doctors and scientists are not kept from publishing research or speaking freely for fear of being sued …” (more)

[Mark Henderson, Times, 18 January]

Academy’s freedoms threatened as libel law lands scholars in dock

Posted in Legal issues with tags , on 14 January 2010 by Steve

“Mark Stephens, partner at Finers Stephens Innocent, said that the number of academics and scientists approaching his firm after receiving threats of libel action had risen from none just a few years ago to an average of one a month …” (more)

[Times Higher Education, 14 January]

Publisher drops claim of plagiarism

Posted in Legal issues with tags , , on 8 October 2009 by Steve

UK“A Greek academic has succeeded in getting a UK journal to nullify two accusations that he plagiarised work, following what is understood to be a threat of legal action. The case concerns two papers by Christos Negakis, associate professor in the department of accounting and finance at the University of Macedonia in Greece, which appeared in the peer-reviewed scholarly journal Managerial Finance, published by the UK-based Emerald Publishing Group, in 2005 and 2006. Following their publication, Emerald issued statements suggesting that both contained ‘substantial passages’ of plagiarised text, and said it would not accept any further submissions from the author …” (more)

[Zoë Corbyn, Times Higher Education, 8 October]

A System for Fighting Digital Defamation

Posted in Legal issues with tags , on 2 October 2009 by Steve

USA“Part I of this two-part series argued that it was inappropriate for colleges and universities to assume responsibility under in loco parentis for protecting college students from anonymous digital defamation, and that institutions should instead empower students by educating them on available strategies and resources. In this essay, we discuss a disaggregated solution for addressing digital defamation and the resulting disaggregated harms it causes. By establishing a database-driven Web-based litigation system, we can empower students and level the playing field so that interested students can defend themselves, and hopefully deter future digital defamation …” (more)

[Benjamin Bleiberg and Joseph Storch, Inside Higher Ed, 2 October]

Student sues academics for defamation

Posted in Legal issues with tags on 20 June 2009 by Steve

Australia“A PhD student is suing two senior academics for defamation after they branded his TV comedy about people with disabilities as ‘amoral trash’. Michael Noonan is seeking $250,000 in damages from Gary MacLennan and John Hookham, of Queensland University of Technology’s (QUT) film and television school, over an article they wrote in The Australian newspaper in April 2007. The article was about a TV comedy featuring two people with intellectual disabilities, which Mr Noonan had written as part of his thesis, Laughing at the Disabled: Creating Comedy that Confronts, Offends and Entertains …” (more)

[The Australian Higher Education, 19 June]