Index on Censorship – Councils abusing rights to silence critics!

Thought readers would like to see this from Index on Censorship about law breaking local government bullies trying to silence criticism. Outrageous!

Local authorities use libel laws to silence criticism

01 Sep 2011
Local authorities in the UK use the uncertainty around England’s archaic libel law to silence criticism of their actions. Michael Harris reports

The government’s draft defamation bill — presently under scrutiny from Parliament’s Joint Select Committee — contains measures to exclude such bodies from bringing defamation actions.

This springs from a 1993 court decision now referred to as the Derbyshire judgement. This ruling established the principle that public bodies such as councils, local authorities and government departments may not sue for libel. Read on……and weep!

3 thoughts on “Index on Censorship – Councils abusing rights to silence critics!

  1. So you might think that this would prevent employees of Rotherham Council providing legal opinion, at considerable public expense, about the illegal actions of Cllr Grald Smith during his personal election campaign.
    But then, any non-obsequious and grovelling employee wouldn’t have done that anyway – yeah, like as if you could ascribe those qualities to the management tier of Rotherham MBC. Hrrmph


    • Or mount cover-ups to conceal wrongdoing, such as in the case of the ‘Blue Badge‘ abuser being protected by officers and Labour Group! Most would say this is an outrageous situation, as is the inaction over Gerald Smith’s behaviours over many years.

      Tim Mumford, it is claimed, could probably have set up in private practice with the work generated by Council Members and the ‘scrapes’ they have got themselves in to.

      My offer to ‘ghost write’ Tim Mumford’s memoirs still stands! How about it Tim?


  2. I can remember when threatening letters used to appear from Bradford & Sons, Steve Smith or Steel & Shamash.

    I found then, and still find, the best defence to libel actions is to be able to claim the defence of justification, literally, what I have said is true, and most important of all, can prove it!

    Forgotten about those cases, maybe instructive to post about those cases in future postings. Must fish out the files and refresh my memory. I seem to remember that Private Eye was involved on one occasion?


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