The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – Enhancing the Freedom of Democratic Expression II

Last week we concluded with the argument that one of the principal reasons that some may think Barbados’ defamation law to be “archaic “ is that we have here no equivalent to the “public figure defence”, as it is known in some US states, that would preclude a public official figure such as a politician, a union leader or an aspiring politician from suing for an imputation alleged to be defamatory of him or her unless he or she proves that the statement was made with ‘actual malice’, that is with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard as to whether it was false or not.

While it may be true that the public figure defence does not exist, at least eo nomine (by that name) in local law, the common law creation of the responsible journalism defence in Reynolds v The Times Newspaper Ltd., premised on the identical principle that debate on public issues should be “uninhibited robust and wide open”, subject only to the appropriate responsibility being exercised by the publisher of the defamatory imputation, is very much a part of our law. And even though to my best knowledge, no defendant in a local case has sought to avail himself or herself of it, this phenomenon might rather speak volumes as to the deference and self-censorship paid by media houses and others to those who might be considered public figures than to its inapplicability.

Indeed, a variant of the defence has now assumed a statutory guise in Antigua & Barbuda, the regional jurisdiction that has most recently amended its Defamation Act. Section 22 of the Antigua & Barbuda Defamation Act 2015 provides as follows:

(1) It is a defence to an action for defamation for the defendant to show that—

  1. The statement complained of was, or formed part of, a statement on a matter of public interest; and
  2. The defendant reasonably believed that publishing the statement complained of was in the public interest.

(2) Subject to subsection (3) and (4), in determining whether the defendant has shown the matters mentioned in subsection (1), the court must have regard to all the circumstances of the case.

(3) If the statement complained of was, or formed part of, an accurate and impartial account of a dispute to which the claimant was a party, the court must in determining whether it was reasonable for the defendant to believe that publishing the statement was in the public interest, disregard any omission of the defendant to take steps to verify the truth of the imputation conveyed on it.

(4) In determining whether it was reasonable for the defendant to believe that publishing the statement complained of was in the public interest, the court must make such allowance for editorial judgment as it considers appropriate.

(d) may be accepted in writing by or on behalf of the aggrieved person. (7) The voluntary declaration referred to in subsection (6)(c) shall be made-

(5) For the avoidance of doubt, the defence under this section may be relied upon irrespective of whether the statement complained of is a statement of fact or a statement of opinion.

While the defence is in statutory mode in that jurisdiction, it would have to be judicially countenanced in Barbados after the appropriate pleading by the defendant to a libel action. In the absence of such an event, it would seem a tad unfair to suggest that the local law is simply archaic because it does not permit the responsible discussion of matters of public interest. It should, and does.

Not that the situation could not be improved. In Jamaica, whether wittingly or unwittingly, the extent of free expression without liability for defamation has been arguably widened by the provision in section 13(2) of its Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms 2011 to the effect that “Subject to sections 18 and 49, and to subsections (9) and (12) of this section, and save only as may be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society

(a) this Chapter guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in subsections (3) and (6) of this section and in sections 14, 15, 16 and 17; and

Parliament shall pass no law and no organ of the State shall take any action which abrogates, abridges or infringes those rights.

Included among the rights referred to is (c) the right to freedom of expression…”

The argument is here advanced that since neither section 18, that deals with the status of marriage nor section 49, that treats the procedure for amendment of the Constitution impinges on the right to free expression; and since subsections (9) and (12) of section 13 are also irrelevant in this context, the sole restrictions on freedom of expression in Jamaica are such as may demonstrably be justified in a free and democratic society. The questions next beg asking, “Does political expression in a free and democratic society require that public officials and figures be treated as are private citizens for the purposes of defamation? Or would requiring those individuals to prove a malicious or at least reckless disregard for the truth on the part of the publisher be more consonant with such a society? Can this apparent discrimination be justified?

While the argument made here applies exclusively to Jamaica, it may prove instructive for the rest of those regional jurisdictions that are solicitous of enhancing the freedom of democratic expression. Alas, however, this does not appear to have been the case, and a perusal of a catalogue of the titles of regional defamation cases will reveal the names of many of the political leaders as claimants to actions against political adversaries or the press in their respective jurisdictions.

We may legitimately conclude therefore that an increased freedom of expression in this context is unlikely to come from a purposive act of a legislature comprising those who profit most from the current limits of freedom of expression. It must come from judicial activism.

Nonetheless, Barbados has indeed attempted some reforms that would serve further to belie the notion of an archaic defamation law. It is no longer automatically an unfair comment as elsewhere to have attributed dishonourable or corrupt motives to a claimant; there is also available the novel defence of triviality- that the circumstances of the publication of the matter complained of were such that the person defamed was not likely to suffer harm to his reputation

It is noteworthy that Jamaica in its 2013 reform of its Defamation statute expressly rejects this as a possible defence to defamation in section 19(2).

In the next segment I propose to deal with the concept of freedom of information, the other inextricable aspect to freedom of democratic expression.

37 comments

  • @Jeff C
    What relevance do these laws have in the age of the social network? Unless one is a very dogged individual he or she is unlikely to get any remedy from false or libelous info released on those platforms.

    This is the digital age and these laws are more relevant for the Model T

    Like

  • Jeff Cumberbatch

    @Jeff C
    What relevance do these laws have in the age of the social network? Unless one is a very dogged individual he or she is unlikely to get any remedy from false or libelous info released on those platforms.

    This is the digital age and these laws are more relevant for the Model T

    @ Sarge, Alas, you are sadly mistaken. The medium might have changed, entailing different procedural steps, but the law remains the same…for now.
    I have already done a paper on this for the OECS Bar Ass. in 2015. The following extract is apposite.

    Most people are aware of their rights to sue in defamation. That is, a person can bring proceedings where another person makes a statement about him/her which would lead ordinary decent folk to think less of them.

    If a person has been defamed, they can seek remedies such as an apology and/or damages (for harm to their reputation and other personal injuries such as depression or anxiety).

    However, with the rapid growth of the internet and other online applications such as Google, Facebook and Twitter (to name a few), the question remains can a person be defamed online?

    The simple answer is yes – a person has the same rights “online” as they do in the “real world”.

    This means that if a person posts in Facebook or Tweets a defamatory statement, an action could potentially be brought for defamation against the person who made that statement.

    There may also be a claim against the publisher of the defamatory statement. For example, in Trkulija v Google Inc LLC, Google was found liable for publishing images of Mr Trkulija next to persons involved in criminal activity in its search results. Mr Trkulija was awarded $200,000.00 in damages (payable by Google.)

    In Meggitt and Twitter, Mr Meggitt sued Twitter for defamatory statements posted by another account user. A settlement agreement was reached in this matter, but it leaves the question unanswered about whether Twitter would also have been liable for publication of the defamatory statements.

    Like

  • @Jeff

    You need to expand your point?

    The popular social media platforms are hosted in other domiciles read not Barbados, to initiate action is a very complicated and expensive affair for the average Joe (Barbadian to use an example).

    We have the theory then we have the practicality of executing the law as you described.

    Like

  • @JC
    Point taken, my emphasis was not about the laws per se but about the effectiveness of litigation of mostly unenforceable laws. Only the most determined and deep pocketed individuals are likely to pursue damages for any harmful statement made about them online. In most cases people elect not to respond because response draws more attention to the original comments and helps to spread them. Even if an individual wins they have to go after Google etc. (no easy task) to get them to scrub the original statement from their search engine.

    Public figures also face a double/triple whammy because some comments are picked and amplified by other outlets and they mushroom into an insurmountable burden for the person at the centre of the comments.

    Technology has outpaced the prevailing laws when it comes to these issues.

    Liked by 2 people

  • pieceuhderockyeahright

    @ the Honourable Blogmaster

    Lolololol

    Before I left this morning this post was not up and therefore I posted without its benefit

    I wonder how many reading your brief response understand what you have said?

    Your comments were “…The popular social media platforms are hosted in other domiciles read not Barbados, to initiate action is a very complicated and expensive affair for the average Joe (Barbadian to use an example).

    We have the theory then we have the practicality of executing the law as you described…”

    And therein lies the absolute rub of this matter.

    The Luminary Jeff is talking in the theoretical realm WITHOUT ANY KNOWLEDGE OF THE PRACTICUUM ASSOCIATED WITH WHAT OBTAINS @ TODAY and what your foresight anticipated.

    @ the Luminary Jeff Cumberbatch

    Some of us anticipated the coming of the Night of the Long Knives long before this day.

    It Is obvious from all of the machinations what they are seeking to do as they acclimatize people to 96 questions in Survey Monkey interfaces.

    But Some of us WILL NEVER LOG ONTO A BAJAN HOSTED WEBSITE WITH ASSOCIATIONS TO ANY BAJSN GOVERNMENT.

    The weakest link is the Honourable Blogmaster and it is under his ICT prowess that all of us rely at this time & HIS SELF DESTRUCT BUTTON

    I WILL NOT EXPLAIN TO YOU THE MORE COMPLICATED INNARDS OF THIS MECHANISM but I will tell you a simple scenario and then ask you a question.

    Suppose I host my WordPress blog in Romania and suppose Romania has a no share policy vis a vis its hosting regulations

    Then suppose any one of my bloggers IS NOT REQUIRED TO GIVE REAL NAMES AS PART OF THEIR ENROLMENT?

    Suppose said blogger says a well known politician IS A HOMOSEXUAL?

    Against whom will one bring a libel suit?

    Recently De grandson wanted to find out who the registrant of record for the White Oak facade was and he ran I to a problem at the ICANN HQ.

    How can you find the Blogmaster of record rather the virtual Blogmaster among these levels of distancing ?

    You might “feel” that a party is really Thomas X but you can’t ascertain such when the front end is so purposefully hazy.

    If I sign this post the Luminary or your name AM I YOU?

    Like

  • pieceuhderockyeahright

    @the Honourable Blogmaster your assistance please with an item for the Luminary and you

    Liked by 1 person

  • Dean Cumberbatch you have made a reasonable case that we have Free Speech but because people do not use the avenue given everyone practices Self Censorship. In Consequence all of this evolves Laws, Lawyers, court time, verdict, damages maybe and the wasting away of a mans means/life the simplest thing that all Bajan’s can understand without having to get advice from Lawyers is a Free Speech Area.

    Everybody can understand that from all levels of society that they could say whatever they want without the fear of being incarcerated (except in the advocating of violence and sedition etc.) The fear of being bankrupted because of a case being brought against you just in Lawyer fees alone will justify having a Free Speech Area that anybody can say what they want. The Lawyer fees alone will prohibit you speaking your mind.

    Please Dean you are the man to Push this Free Speech Area as you know all the in’s and out’s of the Law. This should not be an impossibility. You would go down in the History of Barbados as someone who carved out this Freedom of Expression Area for Bajan’s. Independence Square is a small area and should be doable and by its very name gives us not only our Political independence but the Independence of our ideas that may be spoken freely.

    Like

  • Free speech should not be a defence against defamation and lies.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Curious the subject matter addressed by Jeff has not generated more discussion. Must be a crop over thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Piece Uh De Rock Yeah rRight pretending to be another blogger to prove a point

    @ The Honourable Blogmaster

    De ole man was saying the same thing though my reason was a selfish one heheheheh

    The Luminary did not respond to my question(s) one of which was

    (i) Suppose said blogger says a well known politician IS A HOMOSEXUAL, against whom will said politician’s lawyers bring a libel suit?

    (ii) If I sign this (or any post) post Jeff Cumberbatch or any other name AM I YOU OR THAT PERSON?

    Liked by 1 person

  • Hants,

    Free speech is not a defence against libel, nor is the internet. Courts can, and do, order the removal of libellous information from websites. It is routine. In fact, in a remarkable twist, although most printed news reports in the UK all go on line, it is the online version that causes the most legal action.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Piece Uh De Rock Yeah Right

    @ Hal Austin

    Hal, a carefully constructed Internet Site is a “defence” against the procedure through which a libel suit can be brought against a party.

    How can a court ORDER THE REMOVAL of a darknet site?

    Liked by 1 person

  • @ Piece Uh De Rock Yeah Right,

    In Canada where I live.

    ” If someone publishes with malice, you may be also entitled to aggravated or even punitive damages.

    But going to Supreme Court is expensive and even if you win, you may spend more on legal fees than you get in damages. The court will not award you your full legal costs, even if you win.”

    https://www.cbabc.org/For-the-Public/Dial-A-Law/Scripts/Your-Rights/240

    Liked by 1 person

  • piece uh de rock yeah right

    @ The Luminary Jeff Cumberbatch

    NOW LET US GET REAL SERIOUS kind sir.

    You said and I quote “…Parliament shall pass no law and no organ of the State shall take any action which abrogates, abridges or infringes those rights.

    Included among the rights referred to is “(c) the right to freedom of expression…”

    I have noted, of late, that the timbre of your postings have taken a particular tangent that, for persons like me and my grandson and the BU Blogmaster, are of some “interest”.

    The Honourable Blogmaster spoke of the absence of “the brimlers” to this particular blog of yours, but de ole man has grown accustomed to knowing that while the hordes of the Assyrians are at the gates to the city, THE REVELLERS are always unaware, and deep in their stupor, euphemism for the never-ending Kadooment mentality that lives freely in the dufus Bajans heads.

    But I digress, oh Luminary, as per my usual.

    “… Download …”

    What does that code mean to you? NOTHING, i will assume that it means nothing AS IT WILL NOT MEAN TO 99% of the bloggers here.

    Charles Jong, …a communications consultant of 14 years experience, has worked on 16 general election campaigns in the English-speaking Caribbean…have had to interact with several sitting prime ministers and members of parliament on political strategy and political marketing strategy…obtaining industry intelligence, graphic design, using technology effectively, scripting, authoring”

    Charles Jong IS A SPY!!!

    rather de ole man meant to say that Charles JONG is Mia Amor Mottley’s “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU.”

    And the code that de ole man put above is just a sample of the type of code that he has been employed to deploy across the entire Barbados Government Information Services Network and every government office.

    In fact, every one of the Institutions of this Sovereign Nation of Barbados as we bajans sit quietly by concerned with ammmmmm libel and slander and all that stuff Jeff.

    This is the job of Enuff of Lorenzo duo to ensure that we remain ignorant of these machinations

    What is happening, AS WE SPEAK IS THAT WE ARE BEING INFILTRATED by a Prime Minister who is quite adept at infiltrating people’s minds and their inner virtual chambers.

    But the sad thing about this is that people like you (the generic “you” Jeff, this is not an ad hominem this is just a statement of fact) are incapable of seeing the end game.

    This is because your laws are theory and deal with things physical but YOU ARE NOT VERSED IN THE VIRTUAL and are understandably lost when it comes to this domain.

    This is why LIME can constantly screw the slow of mind Sandra Sealy’s of the FTC, because, when they say to bajans “you are entitled to 2 free directory calls a month, FREE OF CHARGE” and then give said called a wrong number, AND THEN CHARGE THE CALLER $1 for the ensuing 3rd number request, THE FTC has no mechanism to determine that theft.

    As is mandatory in the cosmopolitan cities from which they come, such reconcilliation software MUST BE AVAILABLE FOR THE FTC!!

    But INGRUNT SANDRA ent got a clue, and some who know her type might add, NOR DOES SHE CARE ABOUT THE RAPE OF BAJANS Some might even posture that she and her staff all got Samsung Galaxies S10 free for their families so they have no need to do their jobs!

    Are you with me Jeff?

    This is why the CEO of the FSC, nor Cleviston, really ent got a badword clue about how BittCoin is being used to bypass all their so called purview of Financial Transactions CAUSE DEM ENT KNOW, nor have the expertise resident, to know, what is going on Jeff.

    Forgive my protestations and attendant language kind sir, but I does get passionate about things like this while i see my brethren and sisters going into “constitutional purgatory” AND NOT A FELLER ENT SAYING A THING. (notwithstanding your own representations)

    It is my hope kind Luminary that in one of your future articles here you deal with the other side of “..Parliament shall pass no law and no organ of the State shall take any action which abrogates, abridges or infringes those rights…”

    BECAUSE RIGHT NOW oh Luminary, right before our very eyes “PARLIAMENT, while not passing any laws, is using the organs of the State to “abrogate, abridge and infringe on the very rights…” which you speak of, with your usual eloquence

    AND NOT A FELLER ENT OPENING DERE MOUTH TO SAY A PANG!!

    You dun know that de ole man is “BELOVED” by dese powers dat be, cause uh me mouf, but dem only got to wait a likkle bit for me to leave the DEPARTURE LOUNGE, permanently heheheheh

    Like

  • pieceuhderockyeahright

    @ The Luminary Jeff Cumberbatch

    NOW LET US GET REAL SERIOUS kind sir.

    You said and I quote “…Parliament shall pass no law and no organ of the State shall take any action which abrogates, abridges or infringes those rights.

    Included among the rights referred to is “(c) the right to freedom of expression…”

    I have noted, of late, that the timbre of your postings have taken a particular tangent that, for persons like me and my grandson and the BU Blogmaster, are of some “interest”.

    The Honourable Blogmaster spoke of the absence of “the brimlers” to this particular blog of yours, but de ole man has grown accustomed to knowing that while the hordes of the Assyrians are at the gates to the city, THE REVELLERS are always unaware, and deep in their stupor, euphemism for the never-ending Kadooment mentality that lives freely in the dufus Bajans heads.

    But I digress, oh Luminary, as per my usual.

    “… Download …”

    What does that code mean to you? NOTHING, i will assume that it means nothing AS IT WILL NOT MEAN TO 99% of the bloggers here.

    Charles Jong, …a communications consultant of 14 years experience, has worked on 16 general election campaigns in the English-speaking Caribbean…have had to interact with several sitting prime ministers and members of parliament on political strategy and political marketing strategy…obtaining industry intelligence, graphic design, using technology effectively, scripting, authoring”

    Charles Jong IS A SPY!!!

    rather de ole man meant to say that Charles JONG is Mia Amor Mottley’s “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU.”

    And the code that de ole man put above is just a sample of the type of code that he has been employed to deploy across the entire Barbados Government Information Services Network and every government office.

    In fact, every one of the Institutions of this Sovereign Nation of Barbados as we bajans sit quietly by concerned with ammmmmm libel and slander and all that stuff Jeff.

    This is the job of Enuff of Lorenzo duo to ensure that we remain ignorant of these machinations

    What is happening, AS WE SPEAK IS THAT WE ARE BEING INFILTRATED by a Prime Minister who is quite adept at infiltrating people’s minds and their inner virtual chambers.

    But the sad thing about this is that people like you (the generic “you” Jeff, this is not an ad hominem this is just a statement of fact) are incapable of seeing the end game.

    This is because your laws are theory and deal with things physical but YOU ARE NOT VERSED IN THE VIRTUAL and are understandably lost when it comes to this domain.

    This is why LIME can constantly screw the slow of mind Sandra Sealy’s of the FTC, because, when they say to bajans “you are entitled to 2 free directory calls a month, FREE OF CHARGE” and then give said called a wrong number, AND THEN CHARGE THE CALLER $1 for the ensuing 3rd number request, THE FTC has no mechanism to determine that theft.

    As is mandatory in the cosmopolitan cities from which they come, such reconcilliation software MUST BE AVAILABLE FOR THE FTC!!

    But INGRUNT SANDRA ent got a clue, and some who know her type might add, NOR DOES SHE CARE ABOUT THE RAPE OF BAJANS Some might even posture that she and her staff all got Samsung Galaxies S10 free for their families so they have no need to do their jobs!

    Are you with me Jeff?

    This is why the CEO of the FSC, nor Cleviston, really ent got a badword clue about how BittCoin is being used to bypass all their so called purview of Financial Transactions CAUSE DEM ENT KNOW, nor have the expertise resident, to know, what is going on Jeff.

    Forgive my protestations and attendant language kind sir, but I does get passionate about things like this while i see my brethren and sisters going into “constitutional purgatory” AND NOT A FELLER ENT SAYING A THING. (notwithstanding your own representations)

    It is my hope kind Luminary that in one of your future articles here you deal with the other side of “..Parliament shall pass no law and no organ of the State shall take any action which abrogates, abridges or infringes those rights…”

    BECAUSE RIGHT NOW oh Luminary, right before our very eyes “PARLIAMENT, while not passing any laws, is using the organs of the State to “abrogate, abridge and infringe on the very rights…” which you speak of, with your usual eloquence

    AND NOT A FELLER ENT OPENING DERE MOUTH TO SAY A PANG!!

    You dun know that de ole man is “BELOVED” by dese powers dat be, cause uh me mouf, but dem only got to wait a likkle bit for me to leave the DEPARTURE LOUNGE, permanently heheheheh

    Liked by 1 person

  • pieceuhderockyeahright

    @ brother Hants

    Why you all up in the supreme court business?

    You like you plan to sue Clinton for hugging up Glennis? heheheheh

    I say to meself you stalking dat lady all up in Germany and ting heheheheheh

    Sprechen sie deutch? heheheheheh

    Whuloss

    Liked by 1 person

  • Jeff Cumberbatch

    My apologies for not participating in the blog yesterday. I was otherwise engaged. I shall attempt to do so today, however. First, Piece-

    (i) Suppose said blogger says a well known politician IS A HOMOSEXUAL, against whom will said politician’s lawyers bring a libel suit

    (ii) If I sign this (or any post) post Jeff Cumberbatch or any other name AM I YOU OR THAT PERSON?

    @ Piece, (i) The action may be brought against the blogmaster especially if he or she is capable of deciding what material goes out on the blog. Of course, if the blogger is identifiable, then he or she may also be sued. That being said, there is at least some doubt that imputing homosexuality to an individual is ipso facto defamatory,… unless the sting of the accusation is that he or she is pretending to be something that they are not, a heterosexual.

    (ii) Of course not. But if I do become aware of it and do not remove it or disown thereafte within a reasonable time, I might be considered by a court of law to have published it.

    Like

  • Jeff Cumberbatch

    Curious the subject matter addressed by Jeff has not generated more discussion. Must be a crop over thing.

    @ David, The festival and the rival threads that are far more evocative of deeply held emotions among the populace!

    Like

  • Jeff Cumberbatch

    Please Dean you are the man to Push this Free Speech Area as you know all the in’s and out’s of the Law. This should not be an impossibility. You would go down in the History of Barbados as someone who carved out this Freedom of Expression Area for Bajan’s. Independence Square is a small area and should be doable and by its very name gives us not only our Political independence but the Independence of our ideas that may be spoken freely.

    @ FC, I am not so sure that I am the man for this job. It would require overturning centuries of established precedent in Defamation Law; the acquiescence of the Legislature and the creation of an area of lawlessness that I am not so sure will meet with popular acclaim. Se Hants’s comment below for example-

    Free speech should not be a defence against defamation and lies

    See?.

    Like

  • Jeff Cumberbatch

    Free speech is not a defence against libel, nor is the internet. Courts can, and do, order the removal of libellous information from websites. It is routine. In fact, in a remarkable twist, although most printed news reports in the UK all go on line, it is the online version that causes the most legal action

    @ Hal, this is because there is an almost irrebuttable presumption that the online version enjoyed greater readership,thus meriting a more substantial award of damages.

    Like

  • Jeff Cumberbatch

    BECAUSE RIGHT NOW oh Luminary, right before our very eyes “PARLIAMENT, while not passing any laws, is using the organs of the State to “abrogate, abridge and infringe on the very rights…” which you speak of, with your usual eloquence

    @ PUDRYR, If so, then you would have the locus stand to bring an action for infringement of your constitutional right. You do recognize, of course, that this is a Jamaican, and not a Barbadian provision?.

    Like

  • Jeff Cumberbatch

    The popular social media platforms are hosted in other domiciles read not Barbados, to initiate action is a very complicated and expensive affair for the average Joe (Barbadian to use an example).

    We have the theory then we have the practicality of executing the law as you described.

    @ David, Quite right. But a putative defendant being domiciled in another jurisdiction does not pose an insuperable difficulty for the local law. There are devices such as service out of the jurisdiction and judgment in the absence of a defence that might take care of that. Moreover, the proper law of the tort is where the defamation has its injurious effect and that is Barbados whose law will be applied, not the law of the foreign jurisdiction.

    Like

  • Jeff Cumberbatch

    Trust that I am fully caught up now!

    Like

  • @Jeff

    The blogmaster is aware, always a hazard of the trade. The price some of us have to pay to kick the establishment in the rear end.

    Like

  • Jeff Cumberbatch

    The blogmaster is aware, always a hazard of the trade. The price some of us have to pay to kick the establishment in the rear end.

    @ David, a democratic necessity!

    Like

  • Jeff 11.54

    The reason is that in the UK the online version is not only likely to be read, but its permanence is a constant reminder. After a day the print version goes to wrap fish and chips. There is always a demand to remove online stories or correct versions. As to damages, in the UK this rarely goes over £50000. The days of getting rich quick are over.
    I had a very good thesis written by one of the in-house lawyers at the FT, which he sent me to have a look at and give him my views. It was very good. But in clearing out all my rubbish I got rid of it. I was not surprised when he was head-hunted to join a social media organisation as an in-house lawyer. I am sure he is going to publish it eventually as a book.

    Like

  • Jeff Cumberbatch

    From our Electronic Transactions Act 199. section 24-

    Procedure for dealing with unlawful, defamatory information etc.
    24.(1) Where an intermediary has actual knowledge that the information in an electronic record gives rise to civil or criminal liability, or is aware of facts or circumstances from which the likelihood of civil or criminal liability in respect of the information in an electronic record ought reasonably to have been known, as soon as practicable the intermediary shall
    (a) remove the information from any information-processing system within the intermediary’s control and cease to provide or offer to provide services in respect of that information; and
    (b) notify the Minister or appropriate law enforcement agency of the relevant facts and of the identity of the person for whom the intermediary was supplying services in respect of the information, where the identity of that person is known to the intermediary.
    Where the Minister is notified in respect of any information under subsection (1), the Minister may direct the intermediary to
    (a) remove the electronic record from any information-processing system within the control of the intermediary;
    (b) cease to provide services to the person to whom the intermediary was supplying services in respect of that electronic record; and
    (c) cease to provide services in respect of that electronic record.
    (2)
    An intermediary is not liable, whether in contract, tort, under statute or pursuant to any other right, to any person, including any person on whose behalf the intermediary provides services in respect of information in an electronic record, for any action the intermediary takes in good faith in exercise of the powers conferred by, or as directed by the Minister under, this section.

    Like

  • @Dean Cumberbatch August 6, 2018 11:51 AM

    Most of our laws are based on English law and in England there is Hyde Park containing the Speakers Corner where anything goes except speaking against the queen, what are the precedents that set this apart under the law.

    I also understand that laws of the commonwealth can have an influence here, why do the laws of England not have an effect here in Bim?

    Thank you for the previous reply and I am still hoping you may find a way to see a path to a free speech area if you are so inclined.

    Like

  • pieceuhderockyeahright asked “Why you all up in the supreme court ( of Canada ) business? ”

    I live in Canada and have to try to understand Canadian Law…just in case. lol

    As for GG ( not the GG ) I check to see if see produced new songs in English and stumbled on her encounter with Bill.

    Google is my friend. lol

    Like

  • Freedom,

    There is a legal right of free speech at Speakers’ Corner. The question of slander is one of tradition. It is a good afternoon out, especially during the summer.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Hal I did enjoy my visit to Hyde Park there was a Jewish gentleman preaching Christ…There were Black Power folks…and there was a woman Declaring her spew on emigration…All in the Name of Free Speech!

    Like

  • Jeff Cumberbatch

    Most of our laws are based on English law and in England there is Hyde Park containing the Speakers Corner where anything goes except speaking against the queen, what are the precedents that set this apart under the law

    @ FC, I will have to research further the legal underpinnings of this phenomenon, but I suspect that it might be based on a cultural consensus of immunity from defamation actions, in much the same way that the Trinidadian calypsonian is permitted free rein to criticize the powers that be in the tents and on the stage at Carnival time.

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  • Dean Thank You… Where there is a Will there is a Way

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  • Freedom,

    You get all kinds there. Lord Soper, the Methodist preacher, had a regular Sunday ladder there which drew large crowds. I t is protected by the Parks Regulations Act. Remember Royal Parks have a different legal structure to ordinary parks.

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  • Jeff have you read this article?

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  • Case against pop star Jonathan King thrown out because of prosecution withholding evidence from defence.

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  • Piece Uh De Rock Yeah Right

    @ The Luminary Mr. Jeff Cumberbatch

    On August 6th at 12 pm you said and i quote in part

    “…you would have the locus stand to bring an action for infringement of your constitutional right…(notwithstanding the reminder that this was/is a Jamaican provision)

    De ole man wonders the following.

    Suppose there was a feller who thought that this merited advocacy.

    And suppose that said fellow was of the grounded opinion that such actions of abrogation were being conducted by the current Government of Barbados in contravention of our rights as citizens, what would such a fellow have to do?

    I mean just look at how just yesterday a state broadcast was made using the platform of a local political party!

    Could they, IN THE ABSENCE OF ANY LEGAL COUNSEL THUSLY DISPOSED TO CHAMPION SAID CAUSE, bring such action by themselves?

    I asked that question for two reasons.

    The first being that in Barbados, a black man without money IS ALWAYS TOLD “Get a lawyer!” but how can you get a lawyer EF YOU DONT HAVE MONEY?

    And the second reason is that, barring persons like yourself, and to a much lesser degree David Commissiong, whom some believe will not represent such a matter because he was bought out with an ambassadorial position, (I dont know nor does de ole man wish to comment on that view)
    but outside of the 1 1/2 of you, finding a feller who would fight a matter like this in Barbados, is like finding a needle in a haystack.

    De ole man awaits your response with my usual enthusiasm

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