Saturday, 24 May 2014

Guilty Until Proven Innocent: The Tort of Defamation

Defamation laws are an historical relic of the age of nobility and reflect an exact inversion of the core tenet of western jurisprudence, that a defendant is innocent until proven guilty. They retain their historical roots by remaining almost exclusively the tool of the rich and powerful to squelch criticism by the poor and powerless.

The recent defamation ruling in Canada against a website that briefly hosted a particular comment is very revealing. Reactionary actions to make sure free speech, and legitimate criticism, can be maintained will surely follow.

We do not want to slide into a world where only 'approved' comments and discourse is allowed. By using existing Laws aggressively we are all face a truly Orwellian future.

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[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, May 24th, 2014.]

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