Libel lawyers Carter-Ruck have responded to English PEN and Index on Censorship’s libel reform report. By Padraig Reidy
Nigel Tait, senior partner at defamation specialists Carer-Ruck, has defended the Duke of Brunswick rule, which establishes the multiple publication precedent in English libel law.
In an interview with The Lawyer magazine Tait said: “There are good reasons why it should be preserved, with some minor adjustments. We know of cases where a damaging libel hasn’t come to a client’s attention for over a year since first publication, or where the defendant behind the first publication was not worth suing.”
However, Tait welcomed the report’s recommendation of a low-cost libel tribunal: “I think the idea of libel tribunals for some cases, particularly involving the internet, is a good one,” he says. “I doubt, however, that the Government would be prepared to fund the cost.”