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Archive for September 18th, 2009

Insite Law Free resource project – Evidence

Insite Law Free resource project – Evidence

Solomon Solako’s detailed book on Evidence is now available free for all to use. News and the latest cases will start to be published from 1st October. The book is up to date as at 31st August 2009. It is a substantial work of 15 chapters.

Have a look?

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OUT-LAW reported yesterday: Government may shield websites from libel claims with ‘single publication’ rule

The Government could scrap a part of defamation law that makes newspapers liable many times for material in a single article. The Government may prevent people suing every time a web page ‘publishes’ an article.Defamation law currently states that someone has the right to sue every time defamatory material is published. This means that publishers could be liable many times over for the online publication of an article if a court agrees that the mere delivery of a web page to a reader counts as publication.

Part of the law on defamation originates from the 1840s, long before the internet arrived and changed the way that opinions and comment are often communicated,” said a statement from the Ministry of Justice, which has launched a consultation on the proposal.

Existing defamation law needs to be updated so it is fit for the modern age, and it is important we listen to views on the best way to achieve this,” said Justice Secretary Jack Straw.

The problem with the present law is that each ‘hit’ on a page containing defamatory material is a ‘publication’ and may give rise to a separate cause of action with its own limitation period. The internet, as you know, stores everything placed onto it – and there are applications allowing one to go back in time and see what was written many years ago when the net first started – even if the original material has been removed from the website or server.  It may still be out there on an archived page.    The government proposal to limit action to the first publication – time running from the date of publication seems, to me, to be entirely sensible – particularly as the original publisher may have no control over subsequent publication in blogs, websites, forums, and archive applications.


The Independent reports: Killer finally unmasked after 30 years

DNA evidence solves mystery of who killed Teresa De Simone – and shows an innocent man could have been freed 10 years earlier

No legal system is perfect but this case highlights the frailty of the system and, possibly, the blinkered approach of those responsible for detecting and prosecuting crime. The case involved a  murder which took place in 1979 and saw an innocent man jailed for 27 years was finally solved yesterday when police announced that the real killer was a 17-year-old boy who confessed to the crime in the 1980s, but committed suicide after officers refused to believe him.

Perhaps we should hold those responsible, including the prosecuting lawyers to account personally for such miscarriages of justice?  it would certainly focus the prosecuting lawyer’s minds and those of police officers.

Carry on Bingedrinking … for your country!  OFFICIAL

I am pleased to be able to report, after reading a Times article,  that binge drinkers, especially those with less disposable income, will be able to continue with their weekly Friday night hobby.  Lord Mandelson has backed down from a proposal to ‘deal with binge drinkers’ by putting the prices up because it may impact on the economy of Britain and, indeed, the entire Western world.  We rely on our binge drinkers to keep the economy and the tax coffers ticking over.  Binge drinkers, far from being penalised with ever rising prices,  should be given grants and, possibly, even the odd MBE – for those who lead from the front.

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