To read my LLM dissertation, Click Here.
TITLE: “An Awkward Debate About Defamation: Is libel law compatible with the internet?”
Submitted in September 2014, this paper argues that complaints about internet defamation should be approached in the same way as complaints about slander, not libel. Thus, persons who claim to have been defamed online ought to be made to prove their losses. This would leave no doubt as to whether a tweet or forum post (etc) can be said to have reduced a claimant’s position.
Such a reform is desirable because libel law was intended to regulate the printing press, not the internet. Yet, today, 17th century jurisprudence is regulating a technology that was barely foreseeable two decades ago, let alone during the reign of King Charles II.
My grade for this paper was “Distinction.”
I feel that my work benefited from a week spent shadowing Mr Justice Bean (as he then was) at the High Court in London. This presented a rare chance for me to ask questions and delve deeper into the reasoning behind many of the cases I discuss. That said, the views expressed are my own, and I doubt His Lordship shares any of them!
- Richard Murtagh, LLB, LLM.