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Much has been made of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Kier Starmer’s new guidelines on social networking prosecutions and how this will affect individual tweeters, tweeting on various subjects. Some things have been classified, with others being left to subjective tests, such as what is to be considered grossly offensive, how many followers are considered substantial followers etc.

At midnight, Kier Starmer’s long awaited guidelines on social media offences were published. Guidelines long awaited by the legal profession, the police and no doubt the millions of users of social media.

So, are we any the wiser?

Simple answer, No.

Rupinder Bains speaks to BBC Radio - Wales regarding Social Media laws.

Listen here: BBC Radio Wales

Pinder Reaux & Associates

 

Rupinder Bains spoke to BBC Radio 5 Live regarding the laws surrounding Social Media and provides her expert opinion and comments.

Listen here Radio - BBC Radio 5 live

Pinder Reaux & Associates

 

Yesterday marked the publication date of the 2000 page report into the moral, ethics and standards of the Press, by Lord Justice Leveson. We at Pinder Reaux, along with other specialist media lawyers have read and analysed the report with interest, and have translated and extracted the key points that are pertinent to parties defamed, harassed or those that have had their privacy breached by the Press. 12 months later and £4million of tax payer’s money used, we can tell you that we were definitely expecting big things.

Rupinder Bains was asked to give her verdict on the new proposals handed down by Lord Justice Leveson. Read what she said to The Telegraph regarding the new proposed press guidelines on sources.

Mark Clattenburg has now been cleared of using racist comments by the FA. As such, he is now free to return to the top echelons of officialdom after 3 weeks in the mire. Mr Clattenburg expressed relief at being cleared of the charges, however, he has maintained all along that he was innocent of these charges, and as such he readily admits that he was scared for his career. The question now, which is on every defamation lawyers lips, is, should he now take action against Chelsea Football Club for defamation of character?

Lord McAlpine has no doubt had a stressful week. This may be considered an understatement given the damage that his reputation has suffered. The settlement monies paid by the BBC for damages to his reputation are unlikely to provide much recompense for this.

Following on from my previous article about Frankie Boyle’s libel case against the Daily Mirror, the recent judgment pronounced by Mr Justice Eady at the High Court is exactly what we at Pinder Reaux, thought it would be. The Daily Mirror failed to convince the Court that Mr Boyle was a racist comedian, among other claims.

It has recently been reported that comedian Frankie Boyle will take libel action over an article published on 19 July 2011,which he claims made a number of defamatory accusations about him, the most serious in his opinion being a, description of him as a “racist”. His specialist defamation solicitors claim that this is obviously defamatory.

The recent case of Azher Ahmed, sentenced to 240 hours of community service at Huddersfield Magistrates Court for grossly offensive comments he posted on Facebook, has once again split lawyers and divided people.

Free speech advocates have called Mr Ahmed’s conviction an attack on basic human rights; some lawyers have called it a just and appropriate use of the law. However in my opinion, the true repercussions go deeper and require further examination.

 
The recent decision by Justice Eady in the case of Tamiz v Google Inc [2012] EWHC 449 (QB) indicated that for the purpose of defamation law in this country, websites, and in particular search engines such as Google and Yahoo, cannot be considered publishers. If they are not publishers then they cannot be held liable for the publication of defamatory material, and therefore cannot be held liable for online defamation. A relatively straightforward way of thinking, correct? A gentlemen by the name of Michael Trkulja in Australia may beg to differ.

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