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Redefining the defence of fair comment

first_img Lord Phillips explained that ‘the defence originated in respect of comments about work products such as: books, plays, theatrical performances, musical compositions and concerts. Comments in relation to such matters necessarily identified the work product to which they related, or they would have been meaningless… There was no doubt about the matter to which the comment related… No issue was likely to arise as to whether the comment was “fair”, for beauty is in the eye of the beholder… The only issue was malice’ (paragraph 84). The defence was later developed to also cover the conduct of individuals, where this was of public interest, which complicated the nature of the defence. Once it became possible to comment on the conduct of individuals, it was not always the case that this conduct was in the public domain and so it was necessary to indicate the facts on which the comment was being made. Lord Phillips’ judgment set out that it was ‘fallacious to suggest that readers will be able to form their own view of the validity of the criticism of a matter merely because in the past it was placed in the public domain… this will not be possible where the criticism is of an ephemeral matter such as a concert, or the single performance of a play, or a football match, all of which can give rise to general criticism that is protected by the defence of fair comment’. Phillips noted that, with millions of internet users posting derogatory comments online without detailed information about the facts that have given rise to the comments, evaluation by the reader is impossible: ‘If Lord Nicholls’ fourth proposition is to apply, the defence of fair comment will be robbed of much of its efficacy.’ Most parents have experienced the plaintive cry of ‘it’s not fair!’ hurled from the mouths of offspring made to tidy their rooms or deprived of the must-have of the moment. But the words have also recently sprung from the lips of our judiciary and government ministers, at least in terms of the name of the longstanding defence to libel proceedings, fair ­comment, leading potentially to a tidied, new, and must-have, defence for the citizen publisher and media commentator. Spiller was the first libel case to be considered by the Supreme Court and the first to reach the highest court since Jameel v Wall Street Journal [2006] UKHL 44. It considered to what extent the facts on which the comment is based are required to be set out in the publication complained of, as required by Lord Nicholls’ fourth proposition in Cheng. The claimant music band and its members had sued for defamation over a notice on the defendant agency’s website which alleged, they said, that they were ‘grossly unprofessional and untrustworthy and will not, and/or are unlikely to, honour any bookings made for them’. The defence of fair comment had failed in the lower courts because, inter alia, the alleged breaches of contract on which the defendants sought to base their comments had either taken place long before the alleged breach which had promoted the alleged comment or had not been identified at all in the article complained of. Accordingly, it did not satisfy Lord Nicholls’ fourth proposition as the reader could not make up their own mind. The points of principle that the court was asked to consider, were:Accepting the rule in Cheng in general terms, the Supreme Court unanimously held that the fourth proposition should be rewritten. Its first sentence was good, but its second sentence – ‘the reader or hearer should be in a position to judge for himself how far the comment was well founded’ – should be removed. Additional research/reporting by Natalie McEvoy, Withers SpillerHard on the heels of last year’s success for the defence in the case of British Chiropractic Association v Dr Simon Singh, came the case of Spiller v Another v Joseph & Others. whether the statement that ‘the comment must explicitly or implicitly indicate, at least in general terms, what the facts are on which the comment is being made’ is good law; whether the commentator has to know the facts at the time of publication; and the correct interpretation of section 6 of the Defamation Act 1952.center_img RequirementsLord Nicholls of Birkenhead set out the outer limits of the defence of fair comment in the Hong Kong case of Tse Wai Chun Paul v Cheng [2001] EMLR 31 CFA (HK):Importantly, the fifth proposition pushed aside the word ‘fair’ in favour of a requirement for honesty. Nicholls LJ said: ‘A comment which falls within the objective limits of the defence of fair comment can lose its immunity only by proof that the defendant did not genuinely hold the view he expressed. Honesty of belief is the touchstone. Actuation by spite, animosity, intent to injure, intent to arouse controversy or other motivation, whatever it may be, even if it is the dominant or sole motive, does not of itself defeat the defence. However, proof of such motivation may be ­evidence, sometimes compelling ­evidence, from which lack of genuine belief in the view expressed may be inferred.’ first, the comment must be on a matter of public interest; second, the comment must be recognisable as comment, as distinct from an imputation of fact; third, the comment must be based on facts which are true or protected by privilege; fourth, the comment must explicitly or implicitly indicate, at least in general terms, what are the facts on which the comment is being made. The reader or hearer should be in a position to judge for himself how far the comment was well founded; and fifth, the comment must be one which could have been made by an honest person, however prejudiced he might be, and however exaggerated or obstinate his views. Defamation Act 2012?Statutory reform has been proposed by the Ministry of Justice to the law of defamation, preceded by Lord Lester of Herne Hill’s private members’ Defamation Bill. The reworking of the defence of fair comment in the draft bill is consistent with the notion that the material relied upon need not be set out in the article itself, provided the facts upon which the opinion was based existed, and they are facts upon which an ‘honest person’ could form the same view as the defendant. Lord Nicholls concluded in Spiller: ‘There is only one reform that I would seek to make by this judgment… The defence of fair comment should be renamed honest comment.’ Whether he will get his wish remains to be seen. Lord Lester proposes ‘honest opinion’ in his defamation bill; ‘honest comment’ was offered by Lord Nicholls in Spiller. One thing is for sure, there can be no further complaining that it’s not fair. It’s not – honestly. Why fair comment?The defence of fair comment provides a greater degree of latitude for the publication of personal opinions and comments, recognising the vital role played by reviewers and commentators in a society where we cannot hope to go to every restaurant, see every film, read every book or digest every political or scientific argument. The word ‘critic’ itself comes from the ancient Greek, meaning one who offers reasoned judgement or analysis, interpretation or observation. Not all observations will be positive and some can be positively vitriolic. (That said, not all will lead to litigation. The German composer Max Reger is said, as a result of a particularly critical review of one of his works, to have asserted his own right to free speech, retorting: ‘I am sitting in the smallest room of my house. I have your review in front of me. Soon it will be behind me.’) last_img read more

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Orders figures continue to point to a rougher road ahead

first_imgTo continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Subscribe now for unlimited access Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our communitylast_img read more

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DWF adds 360 staff through £14.2m outsourcing acquisition

first_imgListed international firm DWF today announced the acquisition of a legal outsourcing business for a deal which could be worth £14.2m.The company told the London Stock Exchange it had reached a definitive agreement to buy privately held Mindcrest with a mixture of cash and shares, with the deal expected to complete within six weeks.Mindcrest is headquartered in Chicago but the majority of its 360 workforce are in Pune, India, offering litigation support, contracts, compliance and legal analytics for large international corporate clients.DWF said today its purchase will create a more efficient cost base, enabling annual savings of £2.9m by 2022.Group chief executive Andrew Leaitherland said: ‘Managed services continues to be a real differentiator for DWF, and Mindcrest will provide the resources to better support our clients globally by meeting their requirements where and when they need them.’DWF will pay £1.8m in cash and £6.5m in shares at completion, with deferred payments of £5.9m over the following six months. Mindcrest managers will be subject to a clawback on their earnings from the sale if they leave within two years. As part of the transaction, the group will assume £1.6m of net debt, including £1m payments to Mindcrest shareholders on completion.The 5m shares issued under the deal are locked in for two years and will be released in two equal tranches to the sellers following the announcement of the company’s financial results in 2021 and 2022. In the financial year to 31 December 2019, Mindcrest is expected to declare a pre-tax profit of £900,000 on a turnover of £9.2m.DWF shares remained unchanged this morning at 127.2p.last_img read more

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Egypt signs $17.7 billion electricity deal with Japan

first_imgEgypt and Japan have a number of agreements and memoranda of understanding worth around $17.7 billion in electricity and other sectors.The agreements and MoU’s were signed on the sidelines of the tenth meeting of the Egypt-Japan Business Council in Tokyo.Three bilateral agreements were signed in the fields of thermal energy generation, manufacture of electric generators in Marsa Matrouh at the capacity of 1,000 megawatts and establishing a thermal energy station to the west of Marsa Matrouh.Fifteen memoranda of understanding were signed on the Matrouh thermal energy station, operation and maintenance of electricity generating stations of Egypt’s Electricity Ministry, electricity generation projects in Qena province at capacity of 1,300 megawatts, generating electricity through the thermal electricity station in Sidi Shebeib area at a capacity of 2,000 megawatts, renting semi-submersible rigs and developing the Suez Canal zone.The memorandums were also signed in fields of comprehensive strategic partnership between Egypt and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation.On Monday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that Egyptian projects are worth about US$17.7 billion in electricity and other sectors.last_img read more

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TERREGLES EXCLUSION ZONE REMAINS IN PLACE

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInSpecialist officers from the emergency services remain at a farm cottage, near the Old Glen, Terregles, Dumfries this morning Saturday the 31st of March 2018.Emergency services were called to the cottage, around 1200 hrs on Friday 30 March 2018 and discovered the body of a man within the cottage. His death is being treated as unexplained.In addition, officers came across a chemical spill on the floor of the cottage.Specialist officers are conducting enquiries and assessing the area. They are expected to be there for most of today.An exclusion zone of 100 metres remains in place as a precaution. There is no cause for concern for members of the public.Roads between Terregles Village and Old Glen Road remain closed as emergency services continue to deal with the situation.last_img read more

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UWP saddened by former senator’s death

first_img 129 Views   no discussions Share Photo compliments: Dr Lennox HonychurchThe main Opposition United Workers Party (UWP) has expressed sadness at the death of former senator and deputy speaker of the House of Assembly, Swanston Carbon.In a statement issued on Tuesday, September 2, 2014, the UWP said it mourned Mr Swanston’s passing at its management meeting on Monday, September 1, 2014.“The United Workers Party TEAM Dominica is truly saddened by the death of former Senator and businessman Swanston Carbon,” UWP’s political leader, Lennox Linton announced at the meeting.Mr Carbon, 68, died at the Princess Margaret Hospital on Sunday, August 31, 2014.Mr Linton said, news of the Mr Carbon’s tragic passing, “came as a complete shock and has left Dominica with a great sense of loss”. He expressed the Party’s “deepest condolences” to Mr Carbon’s wife, children, other members of his family and the members of the Dominica Freedom Party with whom he served for more than thirty years. He added that as a political analyst and social commentator, the clarity of Mr Carbon’s “‘solutions oriented’ thinking in public discussions on the Constitutional rule of law and the economy of Dominica in particularly, was exemplary”. “In the continuing national conversation for better public understanding of important national development issues, the citizens of Dominica will miss senator Carbon’s balanced voice of understanding, reason and wisdom,” Mr Linton noted. He also noted that a loved one’s passing is never easy and the Party’s thoughts and prayers are with the relatives, friends and close associates of Mr Carbon in this time of sorrow. “May those who mourn his loss across the land find comfort in loving memories of his life and times. We trust that members of his immediate family will be forever mindful of the fact that they are surrounded by the love of many”. “We ask them to let patience be upon them and to allow the abiding love for this true champion of freedom and democracy to lift them up in this time of grief. Swanston Carbon has found eternal rest. His soul is now at peace,” the statement said.Dominica Vibes News News UWP saddened by former senator’s death by: – September 2, 2014 Tweetcenter_img Sharing is caring! Share Sharelast_img read more

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CORECA donates ‎$70,000€ to Education Ministry

first_img Share A Guadeloupe-based organization, CORECA has presented seventy thousand euros to the Ministry of Education.The presentation which made to Minister for Education and Human Resource Development, Petter Saint-Jean at the Fort Young Hotel on Friday 23 October 2015.Twenty thousand euros was collected from a relief concert hosted for Dominica which one thousand people attended, while fifty thousand euros was collected from St Barts. The funds are to assist with renovations of the Delices and Soufriere Primary Schools which were damaged by Tropical Storm Erika.Project coordinator of CORECA, Delia Debois said they were moved to help the education sector because after a natural disaster children are the ones most affected.“They lose relatives, friends and their environment is completely destroyed so these were the things that were keeping them deeply rooted in their world and so we decided that they needed to have something to rely on and this thing was school”.“Plus we are teachers, most of us are teachers in CORECA, and this is something that we could do for Dominica, helping the government and pupils to go back to their school to avoid having a long drive to school. So I think that is something good for them and for after a time of grief and sorrow to have something to rely on,” Dubois added.CORECA, which was established in 1991, said it will now focus on helping Dominica to repair or rebuild schools that were affected.“The second step now is to focus on rehabilitation, it is for us to identify today the priority needs for these schools and channel the solution necessary to respond to them,” Dubois added. “The students in Guadeloupe also wanted to help Dominica so I can already say that a school will be able to supply part of the furniture for one of the schools,” she indicated.Minister for Education Petter Saint Jean said the donation will be of significant benefit to his Ministry as two schools; the Delices Primary and the Soufriere Primary, while not completely destroyed, “have been seriously affected and in both cases will require considerable amounts to return operations to normal”.“Access to the Delices Primary School has been seriously compromised and the roof requires repairs and that, as of now, makes it impossible for class to resume at the school plant. In fact, the Delices Primary School, is now housed at the Delices youth centre,” Minister Saint Jean said.The Education Minister expressed gratitude to CORECA for the donation which will help to bring a state of normalcy back to the Delices and Soufriere Primary Schools.“At the Soufriere Primary School, the heavy rains of Tropical Storm Erika caused silting of the classrooms and eroded the school’s retaining wall, also inflicted serious damage to the fencing. In fact, I’ve been advised that the new retaining wall will have to be looked at and that will increase security and decrease the school’s vulnerability in the event of inclement weather,” he said. Minister Saint Jean said his Dominica Labour Party government “remains committed to providing our children with top quality education that prepares them for successful lives”.“Tropical Storm Erika dealt us a major blow but it has not shaken our resolve to ensuring that our vision for the children of Dominica is fulfilled. I believe that despite the many challenges we have already made significant strides as we were able to reopen all of our seventy-five schools one month following the passage of Tropical Storm Erika,” Minister Saint Jean indicated.– / 19 Tweet EducationLocalNewsPrimaryRegional CORECA donates ‎$70,000€ to Education Ministry by: Dominica Vibes News – October 24, 2015 Sharecenter_img Share 300 Views   no discussions Sharing is caring!last_img read more

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CEO Corner: Milk and SportsCenter in a similar position

first_imgWalt CooleyEditor-in-chiefProgressive DairymanEmail Walt Cooleywalt.cooley@progressivepublish.com According to the article “Got any ideas?” young people aren’t consuming this company’s product like they once did; its customer base is on the decline; and some are calling the company a “failing, sinking ship.” Sounds like some opinions about the dairy industry. These are just a few of the comments published in Bloomberg Businessweek’s article about ESPN, the self-proclaimed worldwide leader in sports.And just how is ESPN like the dairy industry? Consider these two ways:First, due to digital broadcasting and social media, the company is losing younger viewers, according to the Businessweek article. They’ve lost more than 12 million viewers since 2011, which is when the Disney-owned media giant’s viewership reached a peak of 100 million viewers, according to Nielsen data. Does that sound familiar to the decline in fluid milk consumption seen in the dairy industry? It should. While the dairy industry’s decline hasn’t been as fast as ESPN’s 12 percent decline in just six years, the overall decline is still somewhat similar.According to USDA Agricultural Marketing Service data, volume of fluid milk sales peaked in 1991 at more than 55 million pounds of milk per year. Since then milk sales have declined 9 percent, with consumers buying just under 50 million pounds of milk in 2015, the most recent year of data available.How is ESPN responding to the loss of customers? Doubling down. According to the article, ESPN’s strategy is “to defend the cable TV bundle at all costs.” In other words, keep charging for a product even when consumers are actively turning to other alternatives. This sounds like the dairy industry’s approach to competition in the fluid milk aisle from “milk” alternatives. The industry just recently pushed support for the Dairy Pride Act, which would prohibit non-dairy products, such as almond milk or hemp milk, to be labeled as milk. While there is some competition in the dairy-cow fluid milk space, the dairy industry’s current strategy seems similar to ESPN’s: Expect that most consumers will still be willing to pay for a product they’ve loved in the past.advertisementRead the original article here.Will more Americans be buying their milk from Amazon?Amazon made the news this week with an announcement it would continue attempts to disrupt supermarket retailers by launching Amazon Fresh Pickup in select cities. The service would allow customers to shop for food online and then pull up to an Amazon brick-and-mortar store for pick up, according to a March 29 Wall Street Journal article. Pickup is a twist on the company’s Fresh service, which allows customers to shop for food online and have items delivered, which is also available only in select markets.I was curious if Amazon Fresh, the delivery service, sold milk as one of its “fresh” offerings. They do in fact sell milk by the gallon – $4.78 per gallon of 2 percent conventional milk as of April 4, 2017. I guess you pay for the convenience at that price.An organic gallon of milk was listed on the site at $7.89. The site definitely promotes organic labels and alternative milks heavily. The opening page of the dairy section had a large banner ad for almond milk.Fresh beef is finally happening at McDonald’sMcDonald’s announced this week that it would begin serving fresh beef patties on its iconic quarter pounders. The story was published in the Wall Street Journal on March 31; the decision had been rumored for some time. The burger chain is making the move to compete with other burger chains that have stolen sales from the Golden Arches with similar offerings of fresh beef patties.advertisementSome dairy beef does go into McDonald’s hamburgers. Pinning down just how much is a question I’m still looking into. This article claims that meat for McDonald’s burgers comes from more than 400,000 cattle farms.I do know McDonald’s is interested in the dairy industry as a supplier because I’ve had representatives of slaughterhouses that provide beef for the McDonald’s supply chain in my office. The meat processors said McDonald’s was encouraging them to tell their suppliers – dairy farmers – to tell more stories about farmer stewardship and sustainability.   Editor’s note: CEO Corners are editors’ compilations of business news from top publications, which they have tailored for the dairy industry.The cover story of this week’s Bloomberg Businessweek (April 3, 2017, issue) tells the story of a company with an unlikely parallel to the dairy industry.advertisementadvertisementcenter_img PHOTO 1: Photo by Walt Cooley.PHOTO 2: Screenshot taken April 4, 2017, at amazon.com.last_img read more

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Further changes to UWF Baseball scheduling at North Alabama

first_imgBaseball: LIVE STATS | LIVE VIDEO (Monday only)STORY UPDATE (Feb. 25): UWF Baseball will now take on North Alabama at 3:00 p.m. Sunday in a single game and then close the series with a doubleheader starting at 1:00 p.m. on Monday. PENSACOLA, Fla. – The threat of inclement weather has caused a schedule change for both UWF softball and UWF baseball at North Alabama this weekend.The softball team will now take on take on the Lions in Florence starting with a doubleheader Sunday beginning at 2:00 p.m. The teams will close the series with a single game Monday at 1:00 p.m.UWF baseball will also now play at North Alabama Sunday and Monday. The Argos and Lions will meet in a doubleheader beginning Sunday at 3:00 p.m. and conclude play with a single game Monday at 2:00 p.m.The original schedules called for the Argos and Lions to meet in both baseball and softball Saturday and Sunday.UWF baseball next returns to action tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. The Argos host the Spring Hill Badgers (2-7) at Jim Spooner Field in non-GSC action. The Argos (3-6) are coming off an 8-3 win vs. Spring Hill to wrap the Argo Invitational on Sunday.#ARGOS# Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

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Lady Bee’s Topple Cardinals For Big Road Victory

first_img Related TopicsMedinaMentor Medina (2-2, 1-2) trekked to Mentor and came home with their first GCC win of the season, 47-37.Emma Bobey (11 pts/8rbs) and Sarah McKee (11pts) led the way while Alexa Nau tallied a career-high 7 steals and added 4 pts.Abby McMullen & Madison Luthy were great on defense and Lindsey Linard & Klara Bergholtz came off the bench to post 5 pts apiece.The Bees will travel to Euclid on Saturday for their next contest. Vince McKeelast_img

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