Democracy vs Ochlochracy

Simpsons Angry Mob

The Government’s hideous Rwanda asylum plan has been ruled unlawful by the Supreme Court.

Under the plan, people who applied for asylum in the Uk after arriving via an irregular route would be deported to Rwanda, and have their claim processed there. Not everyone realised that successful applicants would be granted asylum in Rwanda.

My view is that the policy was wrong on the most fundamental level. We take far fewer refugees than we should, if they were dispersed proportionally throughout the world. And there are reasons why people choose particular countries for their asylum claim and it’s often to do with prior links to that country. It’s absurd that a person who already has family living in the UK, and who applies to the UK government for asylum, should be sent elsewhere.

Continue reading “Democracy vs Ochlochracy”

Quoted in the Guardian and the Bookseller discussing the 'Lachaux' case at the Supreme Court

I was at the UK Supreme Court yesterday to hear the judgment in Lachaux v. Independent Print Ltd and another. It was a significant challenge to section 1 of the Defamation Act 2013, which long-term readers of this blog will recall was the (successful) end result of English PEN’s Libel Reform Campaign.
Section 1 of the law introduced a test of ‘serious harm’ before a claimant could sue. It was designed to expand the space for free speech by weeding out trivial claims.

A statement is not defamatory unless its publication has caused or is likely to cause serious harm to the reputation of the claimant.

The Lachaux case hinged on the semantics of that section of the law.  Do the words “has caused or is likely to cause” refer to real world effects, past or future? Or do they just mean that the words have a tendency to cause serious harm to reputation.
As Bishop Berkeley might have asked: If I call you a domestic abuser in a forest, and no-one hears, have I caused serious harm to your reputation? Continue reading “Quoted in the Guardian and the Bookseller discussing the 'Lachaux' case at the Supreme Court”