Kaschke Libel Case Update

Back in December I blogged on political activist Johanna Kaschke’s libel threat against Alex Hilton, John Gray, and Dave Osler. Back in Janaury Osler reported that we could look forward to a four-day trial later this year, and that

Many of the ‘words complained of’ – to use the legal expression – were not even written by me, but consists of comments from the comments box. While I am confident that all of them fall within the realm of fair comment, the outcome of the case could have considerable implications for the freedom of the blogosphere.

However, it seems that Kaschke has run into some difficulties: unfortunately, she has forbidden anyone to quote her blog without permission, but , to summarize, she has made the unwelcome discovery that Legal Aid is not available for libel action, and she is asking for support – apparently, emails to lawyers have proven fruitless. She also implies that the judge is biased in favour of the defendents, and that if she does not win her case it will mean that men will be able use the threat of an internet smear campaign to make demands of women (although she stresses this is not a factor in her own case). It’s all in her “libel diary“.

Swinton Note

With regret, I’ve decided to remove several comments in which anonymous members of the two Swinton Circles and of the Springbok Club attack one another. Although I like to have the comments open for all and there was some interesting extra information, the two sides are making increasingly serious allegations about one another, and now the authorship of particular comments is coming under dispute. It’s telling that no-one on either side wants to put their real name to anything they write, and I can do without it.