Law of Tort - Essay Example

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Law of Tort Defamation is defined as a tort that prevents an individual from undergoing loss of reputation. It achieves this by disallowing the publishing of information that could result in undesirable attention from others. Defamation has also been described as the publication of a statement that could harm a person’s status or cause harm to one’s sense of worth (Caldwell, 2008, p…
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Law of Tort
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Download file to see previous pages 369).It is the considered opinion of some scholars that these conflicting interests do not admit of any balancing. Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights deals with the right to privacy. The right to freedom of expression is dealt with under article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Human Rights Act 1998 requires a fair balance between these two contesting needs. The presence of a serious social requirement is essential for limiting freedom of speech. All the same, UK privacy case law has been seen to favour the right to privacy. This causes substantial commercial and practical difficulties. Thus, book publishers and photo journalists face considerable difficulty in their work. Thus, in Cream Holdings Ltd and others v Banerjee and others the lower court granted an injunction. This was aimed at suppressing information regarding the corrupt practices in vogue in the Cream Holding Ltd. On appeal to the House of Lords, this decision was reversed. However, considerable difficulty had to be undergone by the defendant, in order to bring these corrupt practices to the notice of the public. ...
These drawbacks to the English legal system have resulted in several cases being filed against the UK in the European Court of Human Rights (Harlow, 2005, p. 128). In defamation cases, public funding is not provided. This makes it difficult for an individual, with limited means, to defend an action initiated by a multinational corporation. This was the unfortunate situation in McDonalds v Steel and Morris. This unfavourable situation has been rectified to some extent by the introduction of conditional fee arrangements. Due to this arrangement, a much greater number of people have been enabled to make defamation claims (Harpwood, 2008, p. 397). Thus, in Dering v Uris, the jury awarded a nominal amount as damages to the claimant. Dering had been a physician at the infamous Auschwitz during the Nazi regime. It had been proved that Dering was guilty of serious war crimes. However, he successfully established that some of the accusations made against him by Leon Uris, were defamatory and false. Similarly, in Plato Films v Spiedel a trifling amount was awarded as damages for similar reasons (Harpwood, 2008, p. 397). Thus, in Hamilton v Al Fayed, the Court of Appeal upheld the ruling of the trial court judge. The latter had not awarded costs orders against them, as per the provisions of section 51 of the Supreme Court Act 1981. An instance where a very high cost was incurred, related to that of Taylforth v Metropolitan Police Comr and The Sun Newspaper. In this litigation, the claimant had to pay around ?500, 000 as costs, for a hearing that lasted 11 days. Furthermore, a libel claim initiated by the Body Shop’s Anita Roddick, resulted in a cost of ?1 million to the claimant (Harpwood, 2008, p. 370). In Reynolds v Times ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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