Was the European Court of Human Right wrong to rule against the government in Monica Leech Trial

politics-ie-user

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The European court of human rights ruled the awarding of Monica Leech €1.9 million against Independent newspapers was a violation of freedom of expression.
https://www.rte.ie/news/courts/2017/0615/883090-monica-leech/
As always in the ECHR they never give any strong opinions as to what should have happened. I have very concerns about this ruling. The papers are unanimous in cheering from rooftops, which has to be a worry.

The following article from the Irish Examiner sums up how I feel about it all, most of all this paragraph
What price the truth? A jury decides | Irish Examiner
Ms Leech was also done a wrong. She had come to public prominence in 2004, when it was revealed that she had received contracts worth €300,000 from Cullen’s department. She had been a political supporter of Cullen’s in their hometown of Waterford. An inquiry conducted by a former chairman of the Revenue Commissioners found there was nothing wrong with Cullen’s department employing her, but it also found it difficult to determine the extent of the work she did for the money. Wherever the blame may lie for that, it wasn’t with her.

Will we end up in a situation where the press can say anything about anyone and not face any meaningful consequence. Such as other countries where a toothless press authority tell a paper they are very bold.
The paper alleged she had an affair with Martin Cullen, that would have put enormous pressure on her family. From what I have heard, her PR firm went out of business. That was obviously as a result of the article.

I feel that the amount paid out of 1.2 million was high, but could be justified in this circumstance. She had a business bringing in €300,000 a year, it was forced to close. If you multiply 4 years by 300K there is your 1.2 million. That is not taking into account the personal pressure put on her family by the allegations and the personal hurt to her. People could rightly argue whether she should have been receiving a fee as high as 300K a year for PR. On that score I don't know possibly not. But I feel that is something Martin Cullen should have to answer for and not Monica Leech. Even the ECHR agreed that the allegations were wrong.

I'd argue a few points on the libel ruling:
1. If there is no deterrent to libel, then the papers will print what they like.
2. The size of the payout had nothing to do with press freedom and more to do with the compo culture of Ireland. Which badly needs reform
3. If the ECHR feel that the award was excessive, why didn't they say how much should have been paid.

The media have huge powers and with those powers come responsibilities. When these responsibility are ignored there should be strong consequences.

What do other people think.
What compensation should there be in cases like this where the press is clearly at fault and the consequences and impact on the individual are high?
What sanctions should the press face in these cases?
I'd be interested to hear other views.
 


amist4

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She was awarded twice that paid to someone left a paraplegic. Absolutely sickening.
 

Sister Mercedes

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She had a business bringing in €300,000 a year, it was forced to close. If you multiply 4 years by 300K there is your 1.2 million.
Do you really think a business with an annual turnover of €300,000 a year has €1.2 million free of all tax in the bank at the end of 4 years?

You should be more concerned that the European Court of Human Rights found that the Irish Courts were in breach of fundamental rights of freedom of speech.
 

Sister Mercedes

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She's not out of business. Her business is here.

Monica Leech - Outside Thinking - Future Strategies

Under the direction of Communications Consultant Monica Leech "Outside Thinking" provides innovative communications consultancy to a range of private and public companies in Ireland and internationally. With a bias for action "Outside Thinking" is results driven and solution orientated with a particular expertise in the management of change projects.

Monica Leech has over twenty-seven years experience in the communications sector providing a highly personalised, pragmatic approach to each individual challenge presented by clients.
 

Sister Mercedes

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politics-ie-user

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Do you really think a business with an annual turnover of €300,000 a year has €1.2 million free of all tax in the bank at the end of 4 years?

You should be more concerned that the European Court of Human Rights found that the Irish Courts were in breach of fundamental rights of freedom of speech.
The European Court of Human are a decent bunch but who mean well. But sometimes they live in their ivory tower. I'm thinking of recently when they ruled that England broke the ECHR rules when it tried to deport a terrorist who was preaching hate. My point is I don't agree with them on this occasion. Especially as they haven't seemed to give any guidance as to what should have happened.

As regards her communications company going out of business, the link you sent appears to be and old site.: Please see the following article: Monica Leech libel award cut to
"The communications business she set up in 2004 never got off the ground because of the articles and her government public relations contract was not renewed, she said."
This is what I'm basing my statement on.

I agree with you that she shouldn't be still suing at this stage, she has made her point. But maybe that is a measure of how hurt she was by the paper articles.

As regarding the level of awards here, that is as much the compo culture that exists in Ireland. I also feel if there was no political connection here there would be a lot more sympathy for the victim here.

You don't have to agree with me, fair enough. But maybe you might give your opinions of the following:
What compensation should there be in cases like this where the press is clearly at fault and the consequences and impact on the individual are high?
What sanctions should the press face in these cases?
What compensation if any, do you think she should have received.
 
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If you are running a business where it is your name and rep at stake then media making false claims requirement them to compensate for lo of that business.

4 X Annual Turnover is not unrealistic of we could say 10 times profit assumming making 40%.

Freedom of to state what ever 5hite you like has a cost.
 
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What compensation should there be in cases like this where the press is clearly at fault and the consequences and impact on the individual are high?
What sanctions should the press face in these cases?
What compensation if any, do you think she should have received.
As shown by RTE when it libelled the priest who was a missionary and kept the claim even when it knew it was at fault there needs to be a redress that forces the media to be aware that get it wrong and then knowingly hide behind Press Freedom then you will pay.
 

Who is John Galt?

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As shown by RTE when it libelled the priest who was a missionary and kept the claim even when it knew it was at fault there needs to be a redress that forces the media to be aware that get it wrong and then knowingly hide behind Press Freedom then you will pay.
Ah yes ....but who will pay in the end really?
Usually the licence payer or the customer.
************************e usually flows down the hill to them!
 

hollandia

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As shown by RTE when it libelled the priest who was a missionary and kept the claim even when it knew it was at fault there needs to be a redress that forces the media to be aware that get it wrong and then knowingly hide behind Press Freedom then you will pay.
Well, one simple way to do this would be prominence of an apology. If it's the print media - a full front page fulsome apology, enforced by the court and/or a ban from sale for a particular period, a day, a week increasing with recidivism. If it's RTE, lead item on the 6:01 and a full prime time advertising slot across all it's media. Ditto any other commercial channel. In monetary terms, all profits earned on the newspaper for the edition at fault to go to the plaintiff. If it's broadcast, a reduction in license fee and/or a fine based on advertising revenue will do the job.

Oh yeah - and a media watchdog with some actual teeth.

These bástards need to learn they can no longer print/broadcast unfettered sh1te with impunity.
 
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There's a lot of open space between "no right of redress for slander" and "the highest defamation awards and legal costs in Europe."
There is even more open space between right of a good name and the actions of 5hite media in destroying it and then claiming fair comment.

Media bias and reporters with petty grudges are the issue. They somehow believe they up there with the likes of Murrow, Woodwrd and Bernstein. In reality they closer to the guy doing lost dog storys for the Waterford Bugle, difference is reporter with The Bugle is doing a public service.
 

politics-ie-user

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There's a lot of open space between "no right of redress for slander" and "the highest defamation awards and legal costs in Europe."
You seem very pro media rights and that is a good thing in some ways. But what about safeguards for the right of people to defend their good name. Lets take the case of the priest who was slandered by RTE Prime time show mission to prey. They made terrible untrue allegations, without even checking basic facts after been given an opportunity by the priest in question. His reputation was destroyed and he was removed from his parish.

According to the Evening Herald he received €1 million in compensation: ‘Mission to Prey’ journalist returns to the RTE airwaves - Herald.ie. Given the severity of the allegations, the fact that this program was seen by 500,000 and the poor journalistic standards in this case, I would argue that was about correct. Do you think that was an excessive payment? What do you think he should he have received for that.
 

Dimples 77

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The European court of human rights ruled the awarding of Monica Leech €1.9 million against Independent newspapers was a violation of freedom of expression.
https://www.rte.ie/news/courts/2017/0615/883090-monica-leech/
As always in the ECHR they never give any strong opinions as to what should have happened. I have very concerns about this ruling. The papers are unanimous in cheering from rooftops, which has to be a worry.

The following article from the Irish Examiner sums up how I feel about it all, most of all this paragraph
What price the truth? A jury decides | Irish Examiner
Ms Leech was also done a wrong. She had come to public prominence in 2004, when it was revealed that she had received contracts worth €300,000 from Cullen’s department. She had been a political supporter of Cullen’s in their hometown of Waterford. An inquiry conducted by a former chairman of the Revenue Commissioners found there was nothing wrong with Cullen’s department employing her, but it also found it difficult to determine the extent of the work she did for the money. Wherever the blame may lie for that, it wasn’t with her.

Will we end up in a situation where the press can say anything about anyone and not face any meaningful consequence. Such as other countries where a toothless press authority tell a paper they are very bold.
The paper alleged she had an affair with Martin Cullen, that would have put enormous pressure on her family. From what I have heard, her PR firm went out of business. That was obviously as a result of the article.

I feel that the amount paid out of 1.2 million was high, but could be justified in this circumstance. She had a business bringing in €300,000 a year, it was forced to close. If you multiply 4 years by 300K there is your 1.2 million. That is not taking into account the personal pressure put on her family by the allegations and the personal hurt to her. People could rightly argue whether she should have been receiving a fee as high as 300K a year for PR. On that score I don't know possibly not. But I feel that is something Martin Cullen should have to answer for and not Monica Leech. Even the ECHR agreed that the allegations were wrong.

I'd argue a few points on the libel ruling:
1. If there is no deterrent to libel, then the papers will print what they like.
2. The size of the payout had nothing to do with press freedom and more to do with the compo culture of Ireland. Which badly needs reform
3. If the ECHR feel that the award was excessive, why didn't they say how much should have been paid.

The media have huge powers and with those powers come responsibilities. When these responsibility are ignored there should be strong consequences.

What do other people think.
What compensation should there be in cases like this where the press is clearly at fault and the consequences and impact on the individual are high?
What sanctions should the press face in these cases?
I'd be interested to hear other views.


I agree that this decision is BS.

This is stated in the article:

"The Press Council of Ireland also welcomed the ruling. It said that the level of damages awarded to Ms Leech represented a "violation of freedom of expression".

It said: "When people are defamed they are entitled to court awards to compensate for their wrongful loss of reputation.

"But if the award is so large that publishers run the risk of going out of business there is a real risk that democracy will suffer through the suppression of the means of communicating facts and opinions."

Surely if publishers don't want to "run the risk of going out of business" they should be more careful about the claims that they make in their publications.

Surely a true "violation of freedom of expression" can only happen when a publisher is prevented from publishing some truth.

It isn't a true "violation of freedom of expression" when a publisher is prevented from publishing some unsubstantiated nonsense.
 
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I agree that this decision is BS.

This is stated in the article:

"The Press Council of Ireland also welcomed the ruling. It said that the level of damages awarded to Ms Leech represented a "violation of freedom of expression".

It said: "When people are defamed they are entitled to court awards to compensate for their wrongful loss of reputation.

"But if the award is so large that publishers run the risk of going out of business there is a real risk that democracy will suffer through the suppression of the means of communicating facts and opinions."

Surely if publishers don't want to "run the risk of going out of business" they should be more careful about the claims that they make in their publications.

Surely a true "violation of freedom of expression" can only happen when a publisher is prevented from publishing some truth.

It isn't a true "violation of freedom of expression" when a publisher is prevented from publishing some unsubstantiated nonsense.
Media interested in Democracy and Freedom of Expression..................... yeah F*****g right, one only has to look at the Media's refusal to accept the Democratic Will of the American People since Trump was elected.

Media are bought and paid whores.....
 

Orbit v2

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Messages
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You seem very pro media rights and that is a good thing in some ways. But what about safeguards for the right of people to defend their good name. Lets take the case of the priest who was slandered by RTE Prime time show mission to prey. They made terrible untrue allegations, without even checking basic facts after been given an opportunity by the priest in question. His reputation was destroyed and he was removed from his parish.

According to the Evening Herald he received €1 million in compensation: ‘Mission to Prey’ journalist returns to the RTE airwaves - Herald.ie. Given the severity of the allegations, the fact that this program was seen by 500,000 and the poor journalistic standards in this case, I would argue that was about correct. Do you think that was an excessive payment? What do you think he should he have received for that.
That's a reasonable example of defamation that needs to be redressed with a kick in the arse to RTE and a substantial financial award to the plaintiff.

Sorry, but I have a lot less sympathy for Monica Leech. Technically, she was libeled by some eejit on the Joe Duffy show, but an apology would have been sufficient there. As for the 1.9 million, this reminds me a bit of the personal injuries awards in our courts. I often apply a test that goes - would I be happy to accept the injury that occurred in return for half the award? In most cases, I certainly would with a big smile on my face.
 

The Herren

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Well, one simple way to do this would be prominence of an apology. If it's the print media - a full front page fulsome apology, enforced by the court and/or a ban from sale for a particular period, a day, a week increasing with recidivism. If it's RTE, lead item on the 6:01 and a full prime time advertising slot across all it's media. Ditto any other commercial channel. In monetary terms, all profits earned on the newspaper for the edition at fault to go to the plaintiff. If it's broadcast, a reduction in license fee and/or a fine based on advertising revenue will do the job.

Oh yeah - and a media watchdog with some actual teeth.

These bástards need to learn they can no longer print/broadcast unfettered sh1te with impunity.
 


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