“Unprofessional” website comment on Motown tribute band can be fair comment
The Supreme Court has overturned the Court of Appeal to unanimously hold that the defence of fair comment should be open to a booking agent which said on its website that a Motown tribute band, the Gillettes, were "unprofessional". The court has also renamed the defence "honest comment". The decision will be a relief to those who consider that Britain's libel laws are too tough and that the fair comment defence - an important element of free speech rights - has become too difficult to deploy. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court recommended in its judgment that the whole issue of fair comment should be reviewed by the Law Commission or an expert committee. Presumably, this will be on the agenda for Lord Neuberger's upcoming review of libel law. The Guardian has commented on the judgment here.
The Supreme Court has overturned the Court of Appeal to unanimously hold that the defence of fair comment should be open to a booking agent which said on its website that a Motown tribute band, the Gillettes, were “unprofessional”. The court has also renamed the defence “honest comment”.
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