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George Galloway and Libel Law in the US and UK

[ 56 ] October 2, 2012 |

George Galloway, former Labour (he was kicked out of the party in 2003) current “Respect Party” MP for Bradford West, and global lefty gadfly, is suing the National Union of Students for libel.  Yes, he fights what he and others consider to be “the good fight”, but his fight is one that I disagree with as often as I agree, his methods can be interpreted as inflammatory, and arguably he is a discredit to the progressive cause at least as often as he helps.

I have three thoughts on this.  First, suing the umbrella organisation for British university students is short sighted at best.  These people should be a source of support for his various causes for a variety of reasons (e.g. having come of university age under the Tory – Lib Dem coalition, English and Welsh students paying £9000 per year simply to hear people like me talk).  In one move, he is alienating an entire support base.  But then, alienating his support, or the population in general, has not been a barrier to action for Galloway.

At issue is the NUS has banned him for being a “rape denier”, a description that Galloway finds as a defamatory characterisation of his widely known critique that the Swedish allegations against Julian Assange ”don’t constitute rape” and were at worst “bad sexual etiquette.”  It’s not only the NUS who have a problem with this bizarre defense of Assange.  His party leader denounced them (and then was sacked or stepped down, I don’t recall), he lost his gig as a columnist for a Scottish publication devoted to politics, and Rape Crisis found them to be ”offensive and deeply concerning”.

Taking the NUS to court over libel is bonkers, especially after his office desperately attempted to convince the NUS to not take the step of banning him.  Defending Assange on rape allegations when all the facts of the two cases are not in the public domain is reactionary, short sighted, and ludicrous.  Taking the national body that represents seven million British university students to court is not politically adept, but again ludicrous.

My second thought concerns a comparison of libel law in both the United States and the United Kingdom.  I preface this with the obvious: I’m not a lawyer, although I’ve had the occasion to employ several on two continents in the recent past, the present, and into the future.  The key difference between the two is the default status of the allegedly libellous statement, and the onus of argument.  In the United Kingdom (technically here England and Wales), the statement is regarded as false unless those making the statement can prove it to be true.  In this case, the NUS as defendant would have to prove that George Galloway is a “rape denier”.

In England and Wales, a private individual need only establish negligence on the part of the defendant to be rewarded compensatory damages.  Galloway, one of the more unprivate of individuals, needs to show that the defendant knew that the statement was false, resulting from actual malice.  In order to be rewarded punitive damages, both private and public individuals need to demonstrate actual malice.

The United States is far more forgiving on defamation law, for which we in part have current interpretation of the First Amendment to thank.  The burden of proof is (largely) on the plaintiff, and both constitutional and state level statutory law allow for many “outs” for a defendant in a libel case.  By my understanding, this dates back to New York v Sullivan (1964).  To use an example, the infamous parody of Jerry Falwell published in Hustler magazine is not protected in the United Kingdom, and I’d guess damages would have been rewarded to the point where said publication ceased to exist.  In the United States, of course, this resulted in Hustler Magazine v Falwell (1988), which protects parody and the publication of the obviously ludicrous.

My third thought regards, well, me specifically and LGM in general.  Which law holds should, say, Mr. Galloway object to my referring to him as a gadfly and decide to take me to court for libel?  My guess is that English and Welsh law would hold, as I’m making this claim against a British subject, on my laptop located in my house in England.  This will be tweeted to the University of Plymouth’s feed (it was my dean’s idea to tweet my academic / comparative stuff to the university feed, not to refer to Galloway as a gadfly).  However, the “publication” of LGM is based in the United States.  I know that the SPEECH Act (2010) would protect me in American courts as referring to Galloway as a gadfly is protected speech, and British libel law is not consistent with the protections afforded under the First Amendment.

One might imagine that my amateur understanding of variance in libel law has a permanent address in the back of my mind considering that I work, and live most of the year, in Britain, though I would be stunned if anything published in LGM would be considered of a high enough profile to warrant action.  At least I feel pretty safe in my characterisation of Galloway as an “unprivate” individual, considering the clip above from Celebrity Big Brother in 2006.

Comments (56)

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  1. djw says:

    Does anyone actually attempt to defend UK libel law on the merits? I have a difficult time imagining what that would look like, although I presume it must have been tried at some point.

  2. Ginger Yellow says:

    A couple of clarifications:

    “In the United Kingdom (technically here England and Wales), the statement is regarded as false unless those making the statement can prove it to be true. ”

    This is not strictly accurate, though the effect more or less is. The point is that once a plaintiff has established that a passage is a defamatory statement (basically that it would lower the reputation of an identifiable person in the eyes of a reasonable member of the public), it’s up to the defendant to provide a defence. Truth is an absolute defence against libel, among other qualified and absolute defences.

    To use an example, the infamous parody of Jerry Falwell published in Hustler magazine is not protected in the United Kingdom, and I’d guess damages would have been rewarded to the point where said publication ceased to exist.

    Again, this may not be accurate, though I’m not familiar with the precise details of the Falwell situation. Parody isn’t directly protected, but in principal a purely parodic piece would not be capable of defamation in English law, as it’s not purporting to be a statement of fact. That said, it’s possible to defame someone by innuendo, and a parody could thereby support a claim of libel. It all depends on what a reasonable person would take the words to mean.
    My third thought regards, well, me specifically and LGM in general. Which law holds should, say, Mr. Galloway object to my referring to him as a gadfly and decide to take me to court for libel? My guess is that English and Welsh law would hold, as I’m making this claim against a British subject, on my laptop located in my house in England. This will be tweeted to the University of Plymouth’s feed (it was my dean’s idea to tweet my academic / comparative stuff to the university feed, not to refer to Galloway as a gadfly). However, the “publication” of LGM is based in the United States.

    For jurisdictional purposes, English law definitely holds. Broadly speaking, “publication” under English libel law simply means that the plaintiff can prove someone in the UK has read the published words. And publication is (again, broadly speaking) all you need to establish jurisdiction. For websites, except in very rare circumstances, literally everything on the net is deemed to have been published in the UK. That said, the courts have in the last year or two been kicking back a bit against libel tourism and rejecting some cases with only a tenuous connection to the UK, despite what the statute and previous case law clearly indicates.

    • Bexley says:

      Technicality on truth as an absolute defense.

      If you report that someone has a spent criminal conviction then you can be sued for libel if there is no good reason for reporting it.

      I’m not sure if there are any other areas where truth is not an absolute defense.

    • Ginger Yellow says:

      Slight correction to my point on jurisdiction. Publication is not all you need to establish. You also, in theory, need to establish that the plaintiff has a reputation to protect in England and Wales. Historically that’s been a very low bar indeed, but it’s been used in a handful of recent cases to dismiss libel claims.

  3. Ginger Yellow says:

    Apologies for the poor spelling and formatting. I was writing that while eating lunch. By the way, if you’re interested in the jurisdictional question, I can try to dig up the recent case law. It’s quite a big departure from the previous decade or two or jurisprudence.

    • dave brockington says:

      No worries for the spelling, and your clarifications are greatly appreciated. Feel free, but don’t go out of your way, to share current case law. I’m considering writing a lecture on this comparative point, and it would be helpful to understand just how underwater I am on the topic before I invest serious time.

      • Ginger Yellow says:

        I think you’ve got the general sense of it in broad strokes, but a lot of the details are off. And also case law has developed quite dramatically in the last 5-10 years since the so-called Reynolds defence was introduced (and later bolstered), so some of your understanding may be outdated. Plus there’s a libel reform bill that’s going through parliament right now that addresses some, though by no means all, of the problems with the current law and statutises some of the recent positive case law.

        I’m no expert on the US law, but my understanding is the main difference is that English law has no direct equivalent of the different treatement of plaintiffs “in the public eye”. Part of the Reynolds defence is that the defamation occurred as part of reporting in the public interest, but it’s a necessary rather than sufficient condition.

        I suspect that another key difference is that in the UK, pretty much all the high profile cases in recent years have been heard, at the first instance, by Justice Eady, who tended to take a particularly pro-plaintiff line. Justice Tugendhat is now hearing them and he’s tended to be more media-friendly on both libel and privacy. Combined with a statute that is very much principles based and not at all adequate to deal with the modern information era, these senior judges basically can and have to write the law themselves with each new case. I doubt the US system gives so much power to one person.

      • Ginger Yellow says:

        The biggest case was Jameel vs Dow Jones, which basically turned the Reynolds defence from a near-impossible checklist into a viable, if very demanding, public interest journalism defence.

        More recently the High Court’s dismissal of Dimitry Firtash’s suit against the Kyiv Post set some boundaries on web-based claims of jurisdiction.

        And of course Simon Singh’s victory at the the Court of Appeal. The judges slapped down Eady and were surprisingly (by English standards) outspoken on the need to prevent libel law from hindering legitimate scientific debate.

        Lots of good background in the CMS committee’s report

  4. Dave says:

    What finer sport can there be than to watch two supposed bastions of ‘radicalism’ clawing at each other through the medium of barrister-enriching, class-biased, authoritarian English Law?

  5. rea says:

    In the US, at lleast, calling soemone a “gadfly” would be a nonactionable statement of opinion–it’s not something that can be true or false. Other examples would be calling someone “ugly,” or “stupid, ” or “arrogant”. “Rape denier” arguable falls into this catagory, at least in this context.

    • Ginger Yellow says:

      I agree on “gadfly”, though it would as always depend on the context. On the NUS case, I think it’s an open question. Not having seen the claim form, I haven’t seen the precise words complained of in context, but based on the press reports, the NUS, or at the very least a spokesman for them, has effectively given a definition of “rape denier” that makes factual statements about people so labelled. There’s also a secondary question about whether the NUS has actually identified Galloway (necessary for a libel claim) as such. Conceivably a blanket motion against “rape deniers” would not meet the identification requirement, although as with defamation itself identification does not have to be literal or direct. Also I don’t know if there are other, more specific statements.

    • Snarki, child of Loki says:

      That’s assuming that there isn’t some obscure species of insect that is known as a “gadfly”.

      Considering how many insect species exist, and the puckish nature of entomologists, I wouldn’t be too sure.

      Now, calling Galloway “an insufferable git” would probably be safe.

      • Halloween Jack says:

        It’s still not something that would be plausibly libelous, unless there’s somebody in the world that would believe that George Galloway is literally a small, bothersome insect. Someone sane, I mean. (I’m reminded of the libel case in which former comics writer Michael Fleisher sued Harlan Ellison and The Comics Journal after an interview in which Ellison called Fleisher “bugfuck crazy” for some of his comics writing; Fleisher sued on the grounds that Ellison had ruined his reputation by portraying him as mentally ill, not on the grounds that Ellison meant that Fleisher had literally had sex with insects.)

  6. DivGuy says:

    Even granting the ridiculousness of the law, isn’t it inarguably true that George Galloway is a rape denier?

    NUS believes, in good faith and rightly, that the accusations against Assange are accusations of rape. Galloway denies that the alleged acts are even criminal, and completely denies that they’re rape. That’s rape denial!

    I mean, if that’s libel, than pretty much all political speech is libel.

    • ajay says:

      I suppose you could argue that “rape denier” implies that he denies its existence completely, not just in this case, which would be libellous.

      If there was a case of, say, a white bloke punching a black bloke, and I said “they were drunk and arguing about football, anyway the other bloke took a swing first and missed, this wasn’t a racist attack” would that make me a racism denier?

    • Warren Terra says:

      I agree with you, and rather despise George Galloway, but for the sake of argument I could accept all your facts and still argue that “rape denier” is an inaccurate and inflammatory way to characterize them, that it really should have been something more like “rape definitional quibbler”.

    • Jameson Quinn says:

      I don’t know what Assange is accused of and what he admits. I know that he and a woman had sex and she insisted on a condom, and that later that same night he … well there’s no neutral verb … without a condom. I don’t know her state of consciousness, knowledge, and consent at that later time. Whatever the answer, he’s at the least a giant and negligent asshole. But when this becomes a legal case between two third parties, I’d like to know more about what she says.

      • Anonymous says:

        Just look it up, dude.

        Also, you’re basically parroting Galloway there, who is very, very scared that men might have to ask permission and gain enthusiastic consent before sticking their dicks in women. (Spoiler: he thinks having to do that–the asking–is sad and bad, or summat. If he were younger and American-er, he’d use terms like “surprise sex” unironically. Were you going there, bro?)

  7. Lee says:

    What the Sullivan line of cases did, and there were two or three cases after Sullivan that clarified the issue further, is defanged libel law in light of the First Amendment. If the alleged libel victim is a person of public interest and the matter is of public interest than First Amendment fully applies. There can be no libel suit. If its a person of public interest but the matter is of private interest than the plainitiff must show that the matter is false to get relief. But basically the Sullivan line of cases made libel and defamation laws practially impossible in the United States.

    Galloway would be a public person because he is a politician. Basically any politician, governmetn official, celebrity, or I think, anybody who is rich enough is considered a public person. This matter would be of public interest, politicians should expect criticism on their positions. Therefore, Galloway would not have the right to sue under the Sullivan line of cases.

    I don’t really like Galloway as a politican. His views on certain international subjects, which won’t be mentioned to avoid flame wars, are very different from my own. I don’t like that he appears on PressTV, which is to the Iranian government what RT is to the Russian government. He is a bit of a useful idiot.

    • Lee says:

      And yes, I realize that one person’s useful idiot is another person’s brave truth teller.

      • Timothy says:

        Just wanted to say that the very idea of a psroin newspaper run by inmates for inmates is kind of the coolest thing I’ve heard of in awhile. Obviously your situations aren’t ideal but to see this sort of effort to turn things around and to utilize this time for better is seriously dope.You’ve inspired me to look into volunteering at my local woman’s correctional facility!Good luck and God bless.

  8. Bloix says:

    Note that the NUS did not merely make a statement about Galloway that appeared once and then is forgotten. They have applied their “No Platform” policy, which bars any officer of a student union from appearing on a stage with him. As I understand it, the ban makes it effectively impossible for him to speak at universities – you can see why he could not let it go by unchallenged.

    This is the NUS statement that Galloway claims is libelous:

    ““NUS believes that there is a culture of undermining rape victims and rejects attempts to glorify, joke about or dismiss rape. The motion passed yesterday confirms that NUS shall not offer a platform to speakers who are rape deniers or apologists, or support events where such individuals speak.”

    Read fairly, this seems to imply that Galloway is a “rape denier or apologist” who seeks to “glorify, joke about or dismiss rape.”

    I had never heard the phrase “rape denier.” Google returns only about 3,000 hits, many of them referring to the Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin, who said that in cases of “legitimate rape” women can’t get pregnant.

    “Rape denial” gets many more hits, but most of them refer to men who deny having raped or (as in the case of Galloway) arguing that a specific incident was not rape.

    I would think that there’s a reasonably strong argument that “rape denier or apologist” is a allegation that a person publically advocates a view that rape either does not take place very often and that most allegations are false, or that it rape not a serious offense and should not be punished. And there’s an argument that it is an allegation of fact, not merely opinion or “fair comment” based on Galloway’s public statements.

    And I would think that Galloway is correctg in saying that allegation is defamatory – that is, that it is damaging to his reputation. The “No Platform” policy has previously been applied only to fascists and racists, and putting Galloway in that category is obviously damaging to his reputation. (Whether it’s true or not is a different question.)

    It’s hard to imagine a similar situation in the US. In the US, it would be unconstitutional for a student organization to enact a ban like this at public universities, and no private university would put up with it.

    • ajay says:

      As I understand it, the ban makes it effectively impossible for him to speak at universities

      I suspect you misunderstand it. If any university student society wants to invite Galloway, they can – it’s just that the student union won’t do so. But the (for example) Labour Club or the Zoology Club or whatever can go ahead.

      • Ginger Yellow says:

        I suspect you misunderstand it. If any university student society wants to invite Galloway, they can – it’s just that the student union won’t do so.

        Also note that the supposedly prestigious student debating societies, the Oxford and Cambridge Unions, aren’t actually affiliated with the NUS and thus aren’t covered by the ban.

    • Ginger Yellow says:

      I would think that there’s a reasonably strong argument that “rape denier or apologist” is a allegation that a person publically advocates a view that rape either does not take place very often and that most allegations are false, or that it rape not a serious offense and should not be punished. And there’s an argument that it is an allegation of fact, not merely opinion or “fair comment” based on Galloway’s public statements.

      In the absence of a commonly understood meaning, the court is likely to infer it from the preceding sentence, namely “a culture of undermining rape victims and rejects attempts to glorify, joke about or dismiss rape”.

      It’s hard to imagine a similar situation in the US. In the US, it would be unconstitutional for a student organization to enact a ban like this at public universities, and no private university would put up with it.

      Really? Are student unions, even ones at public universities, quasi-governmental bodies? I wouldn’t have thought so – certainly not as they are constituted in the UK. And surely student bodies have the right to decide who they want to invite to speak/debate at their events (within the law/reason etc) even at private universities. Are you saying that if a student group at, say, Harvard declined to invite Todd Akin to speak to them, the university would have forced them to? How would that even work?

      • Bloix says:

        Generally, student activities in the US are funded by mandatory fees charged to all students, and then parceled out to student groups by the student government. Student groups are also provided space for offices and activities. Because fees are mandatory and activities are in university-owned faciliities, the First Amendment applies to student groups at public universities.

        This doesn’t mean that student groups have to operate as public forums. No student group has any obligation to invite any particular person to speak. But if the student government at a public university attempted to instruct the groups that funds that they could not invite certain individuals to speak, that instruction would be in violation of the First Amendment.

        • Bloix says:

          PS- see this article, in which the dean of the UC-Irvine law school (a public university) and the president of Brandeis (a private university) discuss the First Amendment. UC-Irvine has a Muslim students union that annually sponsors allegedly anti-Semitic speakers, and the school cannot vet or bar the speakers. Brandeis is permitted to bar anyone for any reason, or none at all.

          http://thedailycougar.com/2011/11/22/discussion-centers-on-first-amendment-rights-at-universities/

          • Ginger Yellow says:

            That’s a different argument though – the public university can’t stop the union hosting the talks, but the article doesn’t touch on the union itself imposing a particular policy on speakers.

        • ajay says:

          if the student government at a public university attempted to instruct the groups that funds that they could not invite certain individuals to speak, that instruction would be in violation of the First Amendment.

          That isn’t what’s happened here, though. The student union has decided that it, itself, is not going to invite Galloway – which it’s perfectly entitled to do, and would be even in the US. No bar has been placed on any other student group inviting him.

          • Bloix says:

            No, that’s not what has happened. The NUS is an umbrella organization made of up of student unions at individual universities. The NUS has passed a resolution that if an officer of a member union shares a platform with Galloway, that member union will be expelled from the NUS. It’s a coercive measure whose goal is to remove the decision from the individual unions and enforce a nationwide ban.

            There’s nothing like the NUS in the US and I apparently don’t quite understand how it works (see ajay and Ginger Yellow above).

            There might be an analogy in the US whereby, say, if a Catholic student group invited a pro-choice speaker, it would be expelled from a national organization of Catholic student groups. That could happen, even at a public university.

            But I really don’t understand how student unions in the UK operate so I’ll stop making comparisons. My main point, which I appear to have stepped on by making overbroad generalizations, is that this dispute is not merely about defamation: the NUS appears to be powerful enough to cut into Galloway’s access to students, and he seems to feel the need to fight back.

            • Ginger Yellow says:

              I don’t think he’s fighting back against being cut off from access to students. I think he’s fighting back against (allegedly) being called a rape denier.

              I think your Catholic organisation analogy is pretty apt. Basically student unions at individual universities choose whether or not to affiliate with the NUS.

    • ajay says:

      I would think that there’s a reasonably strong argument that “rape denier or apologist” is a allegation that a person publicly advocates a view that rape either does not take place very often and that most allegations are false, or that it rape not a serious offense and should not be punished. And there’s an argument that it is an allegation of fact, not merely opinion or “fair comment” based on Galloway’s public statements.

      And I would think that Galloway is correct in saying that allegation is defamatory – that is, that it is damaging to his reputation.

      This, however, is spot on.

    • Njorl says:

      “Rape denial” gets many more hits, but most of them refer to men who deny having raped or (as in the case of Galloway) arguing that a specific incident was not rape.

      You have your facts wrong. Galloway is not saying that the allegations against Assange are wrong in this specific case. He is saying that the activity which is being alleged is not rape. Galloway is saying that if a woman gives consent to have sex, completes that sex act, then later falls unconscious, that consent is still in force so that the man may have sex with her while she is unconscious.

      • Bloix says:

        I don’t think I have my facts wrong. Galloway did say that “the specific incident [involving Assange] was not rape.”

        There could be two reasons that any specific allegation of a crime is not a crime: (1) the event didn’t happen the way it is alleged, or (2) the allegation even if true doesn’t constitute the crime. Galloway made the second argument. In Galloway’s view, Assange would have had a reasonable belief that the complaints had given implied consent,and their contention now that they did not give express consent would not constitute rape.

        As I understand it, his argument that there is such a thing as implied consent is what gave rise to the outrage against him and the subsequent NUS action.

        I would think it’s not merely what he said, but how crudely he said it:

        “I mean not everybody needs to be asked prior to each insertion. Some people believe that when you go to bed with somebody, take off your clothes, and have sex with them and then fall asleep, you’re already in the sex game with them.”

        I apologize for being pedantic but in my experience comment threads about rape tend to become very heated and I think it’s important to be accurate no matter how high tempers may rise.

        • Njorl says:

          This passage:

          “I mean not everybody needs to be asked prior to each insertion. Some people believe that when you go to bed with somebody, take off your clothes, and have sex with them and then fall asleep, you’re already in the sex game with them.”

          is what got him in trouble. This is a general statement. It goes beyond the specifics of the Assange case.

          According to Galloway, if a woman has sex with a man, then falls unconscious for any reason, the man can perform any sex acts he wants on her unconscious body.

          • Ed says:

            , then falls unconscious for any reason,

            Well…he said “falls asleep,” which is not the same as, say, plying a woman with drugs and/or drink after sex to render her unconscious or otherwise incapable of resistance (or taking advantage of a woman in such condition without any premeditated action on the man’s part to get her that way).”For any reason” seems a bit of a stretch and I think it unlikely he meant that, whatever you think of the gist of his statement.

          • rea says:

            I mean not everybody needs to be asked prior to each insertion. Some people believe that when you go to bed with somebody, take off your clothes, and have sex with them and then fall asleep, you’re already in the sex game with them

            I haven’t taken a poll on other people’s sex lives, but I can’t imagine initiating sexual contact with a sleeping person, even the person I’ve been sleeping with for the last 20 years. If he’s not conscious, he’s not consenting. Consent to sex is something that ordinarily has to be manifested, not imferred from circumstances

            • Anonymous says:

              Does one see a sexual relationship (however new or old)as a series of discrete encounters each requiring its own separate consent, independently manifested, or does one see it as an ongoing consent with an always-extant right to revoke that consent at any time and in any context? I think that Galloway, in his rather confrontational way, was arguing for the latter.

            • Anonymous says:

              “Consent to sex is something that ordinarily has to be manifested, not inferred from circumstances.”

              Agreed, but the consent may need not be manifested each time. I can’t speak for others but my ladylove has an implied ongoing consent to start anything at any (non-public) time, and vice-versa. I’ve had short-termers and one-nighters, and the two-way consent was understood to be “for the night” or “for the term”, as it were.

          • Warren Terra says:

            the man can perform any sex acts he wants on her unconscious body.

            Notably in this case including acts for which he was specifically denied permission – and acts that, to the best of her knowledge, could possibly be risky for her.

            • Sebastian H says:

              I’ve never understood this argument. It is perfectly clear that if a man asks to fuck a woman in the ass and she says no, but consents to missionary position fucking, that if she falls asleep and wakes to find him fucking her in the ass that there is some very serious form of sexual assault/rape happening, right?

              This is exactly the same thing that Assange is charged with, except substitute “fucking in the ass” with “fucking without a condom”.

  9. spud says:

    The David Irving trial would never have occurred in the US. Said case came about because the Holocaust denying POS was trying to spend critic Deborah Lipstadt into the ground with malicious litigation.

    The upside is Irving’s exaggerations, misquotes and fabrications were laid bare for the world to see. It gravely wounded Holocaust denial discussion online. In response all one has to say is, “Irving made the same remarks and was found to be a liar”

    • Cody says:

      So what you’re saying is, you want the Republican party to try to bring a libel lawsuit against someone else?

    • Warren Terra says:

      Somehow I think Lipstadt might well have preferred not to have undergone the tremendous effort and expense involved in defending herself from that malicious presecution, even had she known the eventual outcome was the destruction of Irving.

      See also Simon Singh.

  10. Manta says:

    I think the following post at popehat is relevant about “libel law in USA & UK”
    SPEECH Act A Bulwark Against Buffoonish Brits

  11. wengler says:

    This tiff with the NUS screams of inside political point scoring, but when I think of Galloway I think of the debate he had with Christopher Hitchens.

    Galloway wasn’t intimidated by Hitchens, unlike most American talkers, and really went after him from the first moment to the last. Galloway also got nailed by a massive Murdoch smear job that said he was on Saddam’s payroll, whose publications he later sued and won in court under these same libel laws.

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