• First published in 2004 as Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion (BNOR).

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More Libel News

The website of Craig Murray – which was pulled after an Uzbek-Russian billionaire paid a firm of lawyers to write a nasty letter to his webhost – is back online.

Meanwhile, Oliver Kamm has promised to give us new details on his legal spat with Neil Clark, a rival blogger and journalist who issued a writ against against him after he pointed out some deficiencies in Clark’s work. Says Kamm:

I merely record how I have gone about defending myself – and, not to overstate the case, the principles of free speech and fair comment on matters of public interest – against admittedly unintimidating and worthless threats of legal action, in the hope that the account may prove interesting to other bloggers. Libel threats against bloggers are highly likely to be an issue that will arise in some other, less farcical, form in future.

Indeed.

I disagree with Kamm’s positions on a number of subjects, but his method of arguing is a model of careful reasoning and close attention to detail, and one occasionally gets introduced to a new word. He is also someone who understands the seriousness of what is at stake when legal threats are used to suppress free speech, and he is willing to take a stand.

Incidentally, Neil Clark is not the only British blogger to have attempted to silence a fellow writer through threatening legal action: another example is Paul Staines, who blogs as “Guido Fawkes“. Staines threatened an action against blogger Sunny Hundal after Hundal quoted an old newspaper report about him found on Lexis-Nexis; the story can be read here. Staines, it is worth noting, is a member of the supposedly “libertarian Right”.

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