NEWS
Verdict in blogger versus blogger libel case
13 May 2010
BY INDEX ON CENSORSHIP

Blogger and political activist Johanna Kaschke has had her libel case against fellow blogger David Osler struck out in the High Court today

Osler was one of several bloggers and publications sued by Kaschke over allegations about her past (for more details, see ruling).

Solicitor Robert Dougans, who represented Osler pro bono, said in court that Kaschke had issued libel writs “like confetti”.

Mr Justice Eady ruled that Kaschke’s lawsuit constituted an “abuse of process” as established in the Jameel case.

He also ruled that there was no evidence that Osler’s blog post had been “published” within the 12 months prior to Kaschke bringing the suit. Kaschke had waited over a year from the original publication of Osler’s blog post to sue.

Robert Dougans commented:

This is a rare occasion where the Jameel argument has actually succeeded in striking out a claim. This argument is often run, but rarely succeeds. Mr. Justice Eady’s decision today ought to clarify exactly when it is appropriate to run this argument, and give clarity to both claimant and defendant lawyers as to the type of dispute, which should be allowed to proceed by the courts.

He added:

This is not just my victory. My thanks go to the excellent William McCormick QC, of Ely Place Chambers, and David Allen Green, Of Counsel at Preiskel & Co; both played a key role in assisting me in this case, particularly in the development and expression of the key arguments, which were successful on the day. Further thanks are also due to Tooks Chambers’ Joel Bennathan QC and Martin Huseyin, who offered their time to represent Mr. Osler at trial, should it have been necessary, on a pro bono basis. It is a privilege to have been able to work with such a team.

Read the full judgment here

See David Osler interview
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_aay4c4pKU

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