Abusing judicial systems

I’d always rather blithely assumed that British law, as the original common law, was close to American law. This naive assumption got knocked out of me in law school when I did a senior thesis on the Freedom of Information Act in England, which, at least then (more than 20 years ago), could better be called the Freedom to Hide Information Act.

It turns out that libel laws in England are different too, something I would have known if I’d paid more attention to Leon Uris’s classic (and out of print) book QBVII. That books tells of a libel trial in the British courts against a respected doctor accused of having practiced Mengele-style experiments on Jewish prisoners in Nazi concentration camps. Uris makes it clear that, in England, freedom of speech ranks very low on the scale, with libel trials heavily slanted in the plaintiff’s favor.

QBVII, though, is fiction, so how seriously should one take it? Very seriously, it turns out, as is explained in great and clear detail in this video about Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld’s travails with a Saudi terrorist financier who uses the British legal system to stifle any investigation into his financial activities:

Hat tip: Hot Air


3 Responses

  1. I can’t hear the sound.

    Data point: In the Philippines we were told at in-processing that defamation of character was a big issue and that the truth was not a defense. ie., she may *be* a prostitute, but other people may not have been aware of that fact before you told them and, thus, defamed her character.

  2. Note all the newspapers cited to have been successfully sued by Mahfouz. Too bad Ophi (“Reporters without Frontiers”) could see this.

  3. 8 minute documentary with Rachel Ehrenfeld

    In a special short documentary recording called The Libel Tourist from the Motion Picture Institute (via Hot Air), she talks about her fight against libel tourism.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: