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Stand up to Trafigura abuse of outdated libel laws

Category : Internet, Journalism · by Dec 16th, 2009

In October, there was outrage when UK libel lawyers Carter-Ruck prevented a newspaper from repeating questions asked in Parliament. The issue was regarding the lawyers’ client, Trafigura, which several media outlets including The Guardian and the BBC reported had dumped toxic waste in the Ivory Coast, leading to many deaths and other health issues.

Trafigura took a very aggressive stance, using the UK’s outdated libel laws to gag the media, and questions in Parliament. When the Guardian reported that it had been served with a “super-injunction” that didn’t allow it to name Trafigura, or Carter-Ruck, *or* the fact that they had taken out an injunction on them, the Internet took up the case and plastered the details everywhere. Twitter in particular came into play.

That moment was hailed as a victory of the Internet over efforts to clamp down on free speech and comment, but Trafigura and Carter-Ruck simply bided their time and have again launched into an aggressive clampdown, this time removing an article from the BBC website that covered its Newsnight investigation.

And so, people on the Internet are again picking up the baton and posting the information online, including a video of the Newsnight programme that covered Trafigura and its toxic waste dumping scandal. It is posted above. Presumably, Trafigura will now direct Carter-Ruck to take action against YouTube, at which point I am sure this will take another turn around the roundabout. Hopefully until Trafigura’s learns a valuable lesson.

I would encourage any bloggers or twitterers out there to disseminate this information.

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(2) comments

[...] Stand up to Trafigura abuse of outdated libel laws Trafigura took a very aggressive stance, using the UK’s outdated libel laws to gag the media, and questions in Parliament. When the Guardian reported that it had been served with a “super-injunction” that didn’t allow it to name Trafigura, or Carter-Ruck, *or* the fact that they had taken out an injunction on them, the Internet took up the case and plastered the details everywhere. [...]

The Mad Hatter
5 years ago ·

Well said. Well said indeed.

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