So I got involved in UK politics, spoke out eloquently and persuasively on an injustice and as a result the other side has began to personally attack the messenger (that would be me). Therefore I'd like some guidance on 1) UK Libel / Slander, and 2) obtaining a
Ok, about one year ago I got involved in UK politics
. We've created a very effective web site documenting how atrocious this landlord is, and have mounted a full on meet and greet campaign targeting Local Councillors and our MP (George Galloway) where we follow up emails and phone calls by attending their surgeries, raising issues to their attention. We've also got a fairly effective media campaign targeting local media (print, radio and TV), and have been getting one, sometimes as many as two stories a week for the past six weeks. Even though I've somehow ended up as the cause's public face (I'd seriously rather not), this is all good stuff.
To date I've spoken at two meetings of the full council (Tower Hamlets). Its been an uphill slog, but my last public speech, timed to coordinate with radio and TV coverage of the issue, generated significant momentum to the point of a press release by George Galloway and public statements by Lead Members of the Council denouncing the landlord.
This didn't go over well with the landlord, and their "puppet board" lashed out with some rather slanderous and defamatory comments about myself. These comments were read aloud at a public meeting attended by roughly 30 of my neighbours (slander). I was inclined to ignore this outburst, even though the statements incensed many of the people I represent (and who are rather defensive of me). However about one month later the same comments were posted on a high traffic web site maintained by my landlord which all residents are encouraged to reference for information (libel).
Now to some specifics. The person that made these statements is mid 60's and not a bad guy. Excitable, emotional, uneducated, and I was inclined to overlook the verbal assault - even through I received harassing flyers stuck through my door calling me a "liar" (these four incidents were reported via my landlord's ASB procedure).
But posting on the internet is a different kettle of fish.
I am taking a sabattical from my banking job but am tentatively planning to re-enter the field Q4 2009. In banking I run large, globally distributed teams and big budgets (last post had headcount of 161, with budget in excess of 30M Euros). I can't have this crap on the internet as banks will conduct a background check. If this crap is revealed I may lose a potential position, and I seriously doubt the reasons why would be shared.
I've been interviewing Solicitors and would like some advise before I put someone on retainer - has anyone ever taken UK Libel and Slander proceedings forward?
The published statements clearly identify me by name. They state that I purposely withhold and misstate information. They are a combination of clear, explicit statements, as well as what under UK libel law is called "false innuendo".
They published statements also take several comments from my two speeches partially and out of context, and in doing so make me look imbecilic.
I had the URL leading to, as well as the statements themselves notarised about three weeks ago, so I could prove when they were posted to the internet. The Solicitor who performed the notary service stated in his opinion the comments were defamatory. I declined to progress with him as I feel I need a top legal firm, and have been discussing this matter with Solicitors from the UK's Legal 500
listings, with a goal of retaining one this week.
I can't publish any of the statements here as I don't want to be accused of spreading this information myself (one factor used in calculating damages is dispersion of the defamatory material), but I'd like to get some insight from anyone who has been on either side of a Libel / Slander action in the UK.
FWIW, I don't need money nor do I want money, and in fact will not be asking for money. But I do need the offending material removed and I want it made clear to this guy that while I could progress to a cash settlement, I won't at this time as long as he doesn't repeat the offence. As I said, he's not a bad guy, but what I'm doing rubs him the wrong way and he can't control himself. So no sense ruining him.
In terms of the Non Molestation Injunction
(not as bad as it sounds, one of four basic types of injunctions available here in the UK); has anyone presented such an action on their own in a UK court? I'm inclined to give it a go simply to save money, as I've already got to pay for the Libel action.
I'm very comfortable speaking in public, if that's important, but I get the feeling much of this is accomplished by filing forms, having this written material reviewed by a judge and then the injunction is either passed or refused.
The recipient of this injunction is the same individual who has defamed me; in addition to his spoken and written comments above, while attending at least two of our resident association's meetings he's shouted out "you are misleading people", and other highly derogatory statements.
Additionally, he's told several of our ushers that he was there "to disrupt these meetings".
I have six affidavits attesting to these statements and his behaviour at our meetings.
Its clearly in his own and my organisation's interests this guy not attend any further meetings. I've found information about filing for an injunction, have the Form N16A
, as well as a Statement of Claim
, and understand there are court fees involved.
Has anyone successfully filed for an injunction themselves? If it makes any difference, I'm in Tower Hamlets.
MeMail is fine if you'd like to discuss off the public record.