14 October 2009

Carter-Ruck: The firm that aims to 'nip in the bud' hostile press coverage

Trafigura's lawyers have been seeking to carve out a niche in the field of corporate 'reputation management'

Carter-Ruck is, according to its own boasts, among the most aggressive firms of lawyers that can be hired by a corporation anxious to head off hostile media coverage. Recently, the firm has been seeking to carve out for itself a niche in the field of corporate "reputation management". This involves making use of the restrictive nature of British laws on libel and breach of confidence, and working in close concert with firms of public relations lobbyists.

The firm does not come cheap, with partners believed to charge more than £450 an hour for its services. Carter-Ruck has also been prominent, however, among firms developing the much-criticised "conditional fee agreements" as a libel weapon. Under these no-win, no-fee rules, critics allege that a client with no money can hold media organisations to ransom. If it wins a court case, the firm can charge up to double fees to the newspaper or broadcaster. But if the media organisation successfully defends itself, it will find it hard to recover its own legal costs.

The firm has successfully acted for victims of media unfairness, winning unprecedented damages for the McCann family, for example, when tabloids printed stories falsely implying that they were to blame for their daughter Madeleine's disappearance in Portugal.

In the case of Trafigura, the Carter-Ruck partner Adam Tudor has been co-ordinating legal moves with Neil Cameron of Bell Pottinger, the firm of lobbyists founded by Tim Bell, once Margaret Thatcher's favourite PR man. They have brought legal actions, complaints or threats against foreign media organisations, including the Dutch paper Volkskrant and the Norwegian state TV channel NRK. They also launched a libel suit against Martyn Day, the senior partner of the law firm which brought a class action for compensation on behalf of 30,000 Africans who say they have been made ill by Trafigura's toxic waste. Another libel case, which is still live, was launched against the BBC after a Newsnight programme on the toxic waste disaster in Ivory Coast in 2006.

On its website, Carter-Ruck promises that it can often "nip in the bud" the prospect of adverse media coverage by going over the heads of reporters to newspaper lawyers and making threats. It boasts of being able to obtain injunctions prohibiting publication of information "often in a matter of hours". It claims wide experience of working alongside PR agencies on behalf of blue-chip corporations "facing sustained and hostile media interest".


source: The Guardian, 13.10.2009

52 comments:

  1. CHULOS!!! E o adjectivo que melhor caracteriza esta equipa...

    A maior parte destes FIGUROES que sao criticados pelo publico ou pelos jornais, nao passam disso... FIGUROES que se poem a jeito e que querem publicidade, vedetismo e estatuto de celebridade a qualquer preco. Nessa cegueira pelo esterlato, esquecem-se que ha duas faces para a moeda da fama- a da GLORIA e a da CRITICA. Adoram a Gloria mas lidam mal com a Critica.

    No caso dos FIGUROES MCCANN, jamais seria escrita uma palavra ma, feito um comntario feio, se eles nao se tivessem posto a geito e feito o possivel e o impossivel por se tornarem celebridades numa historia feita de obscurantismo e manipulacao. TIVESSEM ELES, DEIXADO TRABALHAR A POLICIA, como o fazem outros pais nas mesmas circunstancias, TIVESSEM ESCLARECIDO A POLICIA SOBRE AS DUVIDAS QUE ESTA TEVE ao inves de convocar TVs e jornais para conferencias de imprensa a apelarem a donativos, a publicitarem um Fundo fraudulento e as viagens VIP que faziam... e NENHUMA CRITICA LHES SERIA FEITA, NENHUM JORNAL PUBLICARIA UMA PALAVRA ANTES DO CASO ESTAR RESOLVIDO. Foram eles que criaram o MONSTRO e INSULTARAM TODOS OS PAIS RESPONSAVEIS QUE SE VIRAM FORCADOS A ACALMAR AS SUAS CRIANCAS, de repente assaltadas por monstros e ladroes que surgiam na noite como desapareciam- sem rasto!
    Sempre que o caso esfria e os reduz ao anonimato, la veem eles... cheios de historias ridiculas, de fantasias, de tentativas de "lavagem cerebral" fazendo de todos nos, publico, potenciais sub-dotados, BURROS DE FORMACAO. Tudo para se manterem a TONA, para animarem o circo onde tudo se resume a FAMA e DINHEIRO.
    Portanto quando esta CARTER RUCK, envia cartas a Blogs, a Jornais, a Cidadaos anonimos que se indignam com a "CHICO-ESPERTEZA" e o "OPORTUNISMO" de alguns dos seus clientes, julgando-se uma empresa de TOPO, viaja centenas de anos no tempo e volta a IDADE MEDIA, a INQUISICAO, ao periodo negro da historia mundial, onde as pessoas eram perseguidas pelo que diziam independentemente de se saber o motivo porque o diziam. ESTES METODOS NAO SAO PROPRIOS DE UMA EMPRESA DE TOPO, sao o espelho de QUEM SE JULGA INTOCAVEL, ACIMA DA LEI e que LA porque GANHOU ALGUMAS CAUSAS ( e ate acredito e aceito que algumas causas ganhas tenham sido correcta e justamente ganhas), PENSA E AGE COMO DONO DA RAZAO ABSOLUTA E FOMENTA O MEDO E A VINGANCA SOCIAL. ESTES ADVOGADOS PRECISAM DE SER CHAMADOS A RAZAO, PELO POVO, por quem se revolta e diz NAO!!! PRECISAM DE RESPONDER EM TRIBUNAL E NO PARLAMENTO, por muito do que fomentam. (Continua)

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  2. ( CONTINUACAO)

    Quando compro um jornal ou ligo a Tv a espera de saber o que se passa no meu pais e pelo mundo, vou a procura de noticias. DE NOTICIAS!!! ouviram srs. Carter Ruck... Nao compro o jornal ou ligo a TV para ler ou ouvir onde os Mccann fazem jogging, quem os apoia ou deixa de apoiar, quem visitam ou deixam de visitar, qual e a teoria em que eles acreditam e que "banha da cobra" querem vender. Isso nao e noticia, e PUBLICIDADE e numa sociedade consumista como a actual, QUEM DESEJA PUBLICIDADE TEM DE PAGAR POR ELA. Portanto os Mccann deveriam pagar aos jornais e as Tvs cada minuto de publicidade que estes lhes dedicam. NOTICIA e outra coisa... NOTICIA, e eles irem a PORTUGAL PARA RE-ABRIREM O PROCESSO, ESCLARECEREM A POLICIA, PARTICIPAREM NA RE-CONSTITUICAO DO CRIME e MANDAREM DE FERIAS PORTA-VOZES E DETECTIVES PRIVADOS. NOTICIA, e madeleine aparecer viva ou morta. O resto e o uso abusivo do publico, por parte dos Mccann numa publicidade enganosa que em mais de dois anos, acrescentou ZERO a desgraca da filha e MILHARES DE ZEROS a sua conta bancaria.
    Advogados como estes, deviam ter vergonha em vez de se regozijarem, por acrescentarem tao pouco a JUSTICA, a DEMOCRACIA e A LIBERDADE DE EXPRESSAO!!

    QUEREMOS SER CIDADAOS DO SEC.XXI DE PLENOS DIREITOS e nao cidadaos EMPAREDADOS NO MEDO, AMORDACADOS.
    A LiBeRdADe e os DiReItOs dos Mccann morreram no dia em que eles invadiram a minha, fazendo do meu pais, um pais de raptores, pedofilos sem escrupulos, SEM A MAIS PEQUENA EVIDENCIA. DEVEM-NOS UM PEDIDO DE DESCULPAS....Ate la, aguentem-se porque a INDIGNACAO, Como disse um nosso ex-PR, e um DIREITO e nao vamos deixar de usa-lo ate que Madeleine tenha justica e deixemos de ter todos a etiqueta de BURROS, INCULTOS, FEIOS e MAUS

    Os Mccann marcarao o FIM da GLORIA da CARTER-RUCK. Defender um cantor vitima da inveja mal-dissente ou um empresario, vitima da estrategia agressiva dos seus concorrentes... nao e o mesmo que DEFENDER 2 PAIS NEGLIGENTES SUSPEITOS NO CRIME DA PROPRIA FILHA. Nenhum tribunal os acusou mas tambem nenhum os ilibou. O caso foi arquivado sem investigacao, o que nao lhes retirou o "label" de "SUSPECTS".

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  3. Quote 'The firm has successfully acted for victims of media unfairness, winning unprecedented damages for the McCann family, for example, when tabloids printed stories falsely implying that they were to blame for their daughter Madeleine's disappearance in Portugal.'

    This is not true. The tabloids in question printed wild stories of swinging parties. It was not the inferences of responsibility for the parents being reponsible for the disappearance of their child which enabled the McCanns lawyers (these lawyers, tellingly, obtained incredibly quickly after they lost their daughter) to silence the papers.

    Had the papers stuck to the facts, that McCann himself checked his child only once (he has claimed) and McCann's wife checked not at all until 10 pm on the night in question, they couldnt have been silenced. In short, they went too far and prevented the facts from being aired publically.

    Its slipping a blatent lie like this that get the McCanns story into the public mind as if it were fact. This is similar to the claim that they were cleared by the Portuguese police and judiciary. They were not 'cleared' as no charges had been raised in any case. Also nothing has actually been proven either way and that is the whole point.

    There is, of course, no doubt that the Portuguese police suspected that the McCanns knew more than they have told, and this remains the case in many peoples minds.

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  4. This is slightly off topic but a question related to the McCann's.
    Some time back it was reported that the McCann's made Maddie a ward of court. If that is still in force, isn't it up to the court to apply for the investigation to be re-opened or could the McCann's instruct the court to do so?

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  5. The Guardian was banned from reporting MP's questions concerning this http://tinyurl.com/ykuyb45

    I'm so pleased that Cartier-Rucksack lost because this surely sets a precedent on any media reporting and possibly the media can now voice the publics discontent regarding the McCann's?

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  6. Not sure if what you say Anonymous is correct. I don’t see how CRs withdrawal of their opposition to a challenge due to be brought by The Guardian at the High Court affects any injunctions or super-injunctions that are already in place.

    As for future injunctions to, say, prevent reportage of matters in connection with MBM , GM or KH whether or not they will be granted will depend on the specific matters in question and perhaps, more importantly whether alleged defamers (TB and TMF for instance) have the financial wherewithal to defend an action.

    The commonly held belief why CR withdrew their action was because the Minton report, as a result of Bloggers and Tweeter’s actions, was out in the public domain and attempting to suppress it was therefore meaningless. Although CR insist that curb on reporting Farrelly's question was an unexpected consequence of the original 11 September injunction (you can see CR’s press release here http://www.carter-ruck.com/Documents//Trafigura-Press_Release-13.10.2009.pdf).

    What I think TMF’s objective was (and I do not presume to speak on their behalf) was to bring certain issues into the wider public domain so that further suppression was meaningless. Because of financial constraints only it seems we will never know if CR would have been successful in achieving an injunction or making a successful claim for deformation/libel.

    Mr B

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  7. Nao tem nada a ver com isto, mas nao deixo de me surpreender: O VIDEO DA MAITE PROENCA, de pessimo gosto e demonstrando total ignorancia pela historia e a cultura portuguesa, incendiou a opiniao publica portuguesa, desde o topo ate a base. Os sites dos jornais que reportam a noticia estao cheios de comentadores indignados exigindo desculpas diplomaticas. NAO POSSO DEIXAR DE ME LEMBRAR DOS PAPAS MCCANN... que nao so fizeram videos, como deram entrevistas e promoveram uma campanha de UM PORTUGAL INCULTO, INSEGURO E PEDOFILO. GOSTAVA DE TER VISTO OS PORTUGUESES TAO INDIGNADOS COM ESTES FIGURANTES COMO COM A MAITE. GOSTAVA DE OS VER INUNDAR SITES DE EMBAIXADAS, DE POLITICOS, DE TVS E PORQUE NAO DOS PROPRIOS MCCANN E SEUS ADVOGADOS, COM IMPROPERIOS, "Chamando os bois pelos nomes" ate tornarem esses sites tao pesados que o trafego se tornasse impossivel.
    Reagiram pouco perante o insulto dos Mccann, ou melhor... ate reagiram muito, mas os jornais e TVs, obrigados a censurar o protesto, nao lhe deram nem dao a visibilidade que merece. Se dessem, o PGR ha muito tinha sido obrigado a re-abrir o caso e trazer os Mccann de volta para uma investigacao profunda, mandando PORTA-Vozes e advogados " meterem a viola no saco". SE OS JORNAIS SE VENDEM E INTIMIDAM PERANTE UM GRUPO DE PREPOTENTES, NAO NOS INTIMIDEMOS NOS... USEMOS A INTERNET COMO ARMA para fazermos ouvir a voz da indignacao que e tambem a de uma crianca que continua abandonada por quem a deveria amar e proteger.

    Quanto a Maite... que pena... Como a BURRICE pode apagar a imagem da gloria e dar lugar a vulgaridade devidamente brindada por um enorme calice de IGNORANCIA!!!

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  8. This is being treated as a victory for free speech: http://uk.news.yahoo.com/blog/talking_politics/article/72341/6/#top-comments-nav

    Hopefully we will celebrate this re the McCanns, soon.

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  9. Off topic - but IMPORTANT -
    Another commentary by Dr. Martin Roberts "Chapter and Verse" on www.mccannfiles.com. This highly interesting article deals with the suspicion of "electronic pruning" by McCanns of earlier inappropriate contacts.

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  10. Annother interessant article on MCCANNFILES: "CHAPTER AND VERSE".

    SLOWLY MADELEINE AND AMARAL are talking trough other voices. Nobody can silent doubts, questions...inconsistences, the TRUTH!!!

    PGR, Pinto Monteiro will be forced to re-open the case one day, by the public. It is our time to write to the portuguese deputys, asking them to make questions, to answer doubts, to force the government into a situation that they cannot anymore step back and fool the people. The socialiste Party won the elections without majoritie, that mean's... they need the help of other partys to pass their programe. Socrates and the minister of justice, they have a lot of questions to answer about the way Madeleine investigation was shelved.

    A book written by a boy victim of paedophilie in Casa Pia ( PORQUE A MIM? transl. WHY ME?) was out now and is getting a lot of highlight on TV programes, showing that some crimes cannot only be ignored and washed away. We can't stay aside and let guilt people go away from courts and live a normal life when they were responsable of a complete anormal and painful life of some childs.

    Portuguese and British people must use the power of the portuguese parliament to re-open Madeleine investigation

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  11. If judges are making unacceptable injunctions like this which are not in the public interest of freedom of speech, or of the rights of media to comment and question, then Parliament needs to decide to limit them by the highest legal authority.

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  12. As a matter of interest, have these so called 'super injunctions' received royal ascent?

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  13. Concerned people are invited to join a quiet, silent 'freedom of speech' gathering tomorrow at 1pm, on 15th Oct. outside Carter Ruck offices in London. For details and to comment go to:

    http://twvt.us/gagcarterruck

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  14. It's about time Carter Ruck was nipped in the bud. Parliament runs this country not law firms.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Please sign the petition for freedom of expression on the Mccann case

    http://www.thepetitionsite.com/7/freedom-of-expression

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  16. There will be one Carter-Ruck before Internet and the Mccann's and another carter-Ruck after the Mccann's and the Internet.

    Some of us stated long ago that everybody touched by the Mccann's will fall in disgrace. The time is prouving, we are true. Carter-Ruck start they way into a ruin and not even all the money from sued newspaper or Madeleine Fund, can save them. It is a common sense that "Money wrongly earned will be wrongly spended and money it's not synonim of hapiness".

    It is impossible to impose silence on trillions of people in the world and one of this days, most of this newspapers will wake-up and realise how damage was for them, having editors which stick on Mccann's circus. The serious newspaper don't gave anymore any time to the Mccann's spinnerie. Only few tabloids still showing the charade.

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  17. Speaking of the Gutter Press ,they were quick to demonise an Asian women in the disappearance of a missing two year old in NZ. The Mccanns quickly also jumped on the band waggon...Now the truth is emerging that this was nothing more than a tragic accident.Will the british press report this is the case. or would they like us to keep thinking it was "The Swarthy" one.
    It also just goes to show what can happen even when you are looking after your tiny tots. The Mccanns left theirs to their own devices. How do they know maddie did not go out and look for them..Good question ,answer ,beacuse they know what happened.

    xxxxxx

    ABC Premium News (Australia)

    October 14, 2009 Wednesday 10:49 AM AEST

    147 words


    Council faces prosecution over drain death

    New Zealand correspondent Kerri Ritchie


    A local council in New Zealand is facing prosecution for not fixing a faulty stormwater drain, where the body of a missing two-year-old girl was found.

    Locals say the council ignored at least four of their complaints about the drain.

    Aisling Symes was missing in Auckland for more than a week.

    Police thought she had been kidnapped, but she had wandered off when her mum turned her back to fix a washing machine.

    The toddler's body was found next door, in a drain with a loose manhole cover.

    The girls' father and police had earlier searched the drain but did not see her.

    Neighbour Stacey Baker says the Waitakere Council knew the drain was blocked and unsafe.

    "I had complained quite a number of times because the house I own was flooding practically every day," she said.

    The council had inspected the drain but were in discussions with the property owner over who should pay the repair bill.

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  18. Quickly followed by the cover up...

    xxx



    October 14, 2009 Wednesday
    2 Edition

    NEWS; NEWS; Pg. A.1

    625 words

    ‘It’s quite unbelievable that we weren’t alerted’; Council ‘knew’ about drain problem

    FOX Michael; GADD David, FOX Michael GADD David

    As the family of Aisling Symes prepare for her funeral, the Waitakere City Council could face prosecution over her death.

    The body of the two-year-old was removed early yesterday morning from a stormwater drain just metres from the property in Henderson, West Auckland, where she was last seen.

    An autopsy found her death was “consistent with drowning” and police believe she had been in the drain since the day she went missing, a week before her body was found.

    Neighbours of the home from which Aisling wandered away said yesterday that they had repeatedly warned the council about problems with the drain and a manhole cover that Aisling probably crawled through, saying it blew off under water pressure when it rained.

    Waitakere Mayor Bob Harvey began an inquiry yesterday into those allegations, while a spokesman said the council had received four complaints about the manhole cover since 2004, most recently on September 11 and September 25.

    Aisling disappeared about 5.15pm on October 5.

    Tim Rainey, a lawyer who specialises in construction negligence, said it was “very much a live possibility” that the council could be prosecuted under the Health and Safety in Employment Act.

    “If they were aware of a risk which could harm somebody then they would have been obliged to take all practicable steps to ensure that risk was either eliminated or minimised.”

    Council staff visited the Longburn Rd property and inspected the drain on September 16 - five days after one complaint. They found it was blocked by tree roots, and were in discussions with the property owner about who would pay to clear the blockage.

    “We were in the process of deciding how best to remove those when the tragedy occurred,” council spokes- man Wally Thomas said.

    “There was a matter of days between us receiving the last complaint and acting on it, and before we could clear the problem this tragedy occurred.”

    Harvey said he and other councillors were unaware of any problems with the drain, and wished residents and staff at the council-owned Eco Water company had told police about the problems during the search for Aisling.

    “I’m bewildered that I am being told this after all the walking and searching, that a drain next to the house has been the subject of complaints,” he said.

    “It’s quite unbelievable that we weren’t alerted to that.”

    Police said yesterday the drain was searched at least five times, including twice by one of the first officers on the scene, not long after Alan and Angela Symes reported Aisling missing.

    It was also checked by a search and rescue team, Symes himself, and council staff using special cameras. The full length of the drain could not be seen because of a blockage.

    Police returned to the drain on Monday afternoon after failing to find any leads in the case, which was by then being treated as an abduction.

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  19. cont....

    The drain was dug up, and Aisling’s body was found.

    Inspector Gary Davey was “convinced police did everything they could that (first) night to find her,” he said.

    “I’m sure we would not have been able to save her on the night.”

    Stacey Baker, a landlord in Longburn Rd, said she had complained about the manhole cover several times.

    “In the last few weeks I’ve complained heaps. When I rang the council last time they knew there was a problem.”

    Neighbour Janet Neho said the drain “has always scared us”.

    “They (the council) have been notified about it for a little while now.”

    A spokesman for the Labour Department, which administers health and safety laws, said it had not been contacted by police.

    “If they had any information that they want to pass on, we would be happy to consider it,” he said.

    Waitemata police spokesman Kevin Loughlin would not comment on whether the council’s role in the tragedy would be investigated.

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  20. In 24 Horas Newspaper- on-line edition: "Mccann's were not wellcomed to PDL".

    Nobody want them there, not even Murat which cash in with this disgraceful pair.

    At this time, they will face street protests because their shameless went too far.

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  21. About Mccann's coming back to PDL: It is common sense in criminology- Guilt people always came back to the place where the crime hapenned.

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  22. Perhaps the question ought to be asked as to how a tragic accident in New Zealand managed to turn into a media-managed abduction story complete with ethnic suspect and message of support from the parents of Madeleine McCann within the space of 4 days.

    So every time an infant goes missing is it to be assumed that a 'stranger abduction' has taken place? Is a news release from the notorious pair expressing their sympathy and telling us that they are praying now standard procedure? Is it also going to be standard procedure for whoever's child it is to set up a website for donations and appear in TV interviews with a 'cuddly' toy?

    Perhaps these questions are not allowed to be asked by the British media. Perhaps an injuction has been put in place by Carter Ruck which forbids any reporting involving the McCanns which could show them in a negative light.

    It's only a matter of time before a child goes missing which could have been saved if only the parents together with the media and with the support of the McCanns' statements and prayers had not cried abduction and sent the police and public on a wild goose chase.

    Will the media then be allowed to criticise the McCanns for latching onto every story about a missing child and giving their tuppence worth or will they remain securely protected by Carter Ruck?

    It's one thing to protect someone's reputation aginst malicious gossip or libel; it's something completely different to protect them from the consequences of sticking two fingers up at the law, the media and the public and possibly endangering the lives of innocent third parties.

    T4two

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  23. T42

    Joshua Rosenberg, BBC reporter, said yesterday people in the media were aware of several super-injunctions that were not known to the general public - and he wasn't about to mention them.

    Given there were secret court orders making Madeleine McCann a ward of court and instructing all official agencies to co-operate with the McCanns (even while they were still criminal suspects, amazingly) - that only became known because Leics Police resisted the McCanns efforts to get their hands on police files - makes it highly likely there are a whole raft of such "super injunctions" protecting the McCanns without our knowledge.

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  24. T42 another good post!

    Do you have a blog, if you do I'll follow it!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Jaycee Dugard, her first picture after being found, at "The People" front cover.

    How long will take the Mccann's Team to stick at her story again?

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  26. Why are the police alwaqys blamed when a child goes missing?

    Surely the parents are always responsible?

    Yes it is a tragedy for them, but its still their responsibility.

    How do we know how careful a parent was in looking after the child?

    Except in the McCanns case, of course, where we KNOW they only checked adequately once. Listening at a door and not looking in is a ludicrous and incredibly weak child care method!

    ReplyDelete
  27. todays DM reports that arnie s. has signed a law to bring california into line with other u.s cities in forbidding anyone to go to london to settle libel claims

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  28. -**It's one thing to protect someone's reputation aginst malicious gossip or libel; it's something completely different to protect them from the consequences of sticking two fingers up at the law, the media and the public and possibly endangering the lives of innocent third parties.

    T4two-**

    Absolutely right but I guess their time is up now with carter ruck"s gag.
    Enough is enough and it is great time the british journalists grow balls again and feel free to report and analyse what has been happening over the last years.

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  29. The focus needs to be on the McCanns story.Building on this basic outline...

    Gerald and Kate left Madeleine and the twins alone in the apartment with the patio door left unlocked so that the people (with whom they had made a prior agreement?) could go in and 'listen' to make sure the children were still asleep.

    Gerald went into the apartment (via the patio door?) at 9:05 pm.

    He saw Madeleine and had his 'proud father' moment. He left at 9:10 pm.

    Jane Tanner saw a man carrying Madeleine away at 9:10 pm (9:15 pm?).

    No one else actually viewed the children again. No one saw Madeleine again.

    Kate checked at 10:00 pm, but only listened. She was 'tempted' to leave, but noticed the door open in a different position (or just 'open' when it ought to have been shut?). She went to close the door (not to check the children, but to close the door). At this point the door slammed against her. Presumably she then re-opened the door to make sure Madeleine or the twins hadn't wakened (she doesnt actually say that was the reason). She then realised Madeleine was gone.

    So this all needs to be 'filled out' with further detail, such as who else went in and what did they see.

    Once this is completed, one fact will remain. No one saw Madeleine after Gerald, he was the last person to see her, presumably alive (he doesnt actually tell us if she was alive, one presumes she was).

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  30. http://retiredrambler.typepad.com/tonys_ramblings/2009/10/-trafiguracarterrucked.html

    Tonys ramblings on Carter Rucked...

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  31. Banned Madeleine Foundation book now on Wikileaks

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  32. Peter Bottomley has stated with regard to the attempted gagging of the Guardian by Carter-Ruck:

    "It is the job of the press to make aware to all what is known by a few. Any court action which inhibits that should be approved at a very high level, with full justifications, and in normal circumstances, should not be made in secret."

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/oc ... aw-society


    Well I think that should extend to all news. I find it strange that the UK public are not privy via the UK Press/Media to the contents of the publicly available official Portuguese investigation regarding missing Madeleine McCann. The content of the case is reported in Europe and is available on the Internet. I wonder if Carter-Ruck have issued injunctions or super-injunctions on the UK Press/Media regarding reporting of the McCanns? How would the public know if these injunctions were in place? I think we should know especially as this missing child's parents have a family Company, not a Charity, set up by money donated by the public and they still expect and encourage the public to donate money to this Company. If it is the case that injunctions or super-injunctions have been used to stop the UK Press/Media reporting. Is it right that the public are not aware of all the information regarding this case? Is it right for these people to privately stop information being made available to the public whilst at the same time asking that public for their money?

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  33. I have to question whether the libel laws in England are really the reason why these crazy articles are written about the McCanns. In September 2007, I started reading the British Press and unsuccessfully attempted to post my comments. My comments did not incriminate the parents, they simply stated that the Portuguese police had to be thorough and that no one was immune from being investigated. I don't see how commentary of this nature could be considered as libel. Are injunctions forcing the British media to write these silly articles? If I was an owner of a newspaper and I knew that I could not write objective articles about the McCanns then I wouldn't write about the McCanns at all. I certainly wouldn't write inflammatory articles about the Portuguese police and Portugal.

    The pattern of associating themselves and lending their support to families who have lost their child was established from the beginning. When I heard about the girl, now a woman, that was found in the USA, 18 years after being abducted, the first thing that came into my mind was that this occurrence was like winning the lottery for the McCanns. In the aforementioned case the incompetence by the American police was clearly evident. In the case of Casey Anthony, it has been revealed that an FBI lab has contaminated evidence rendering it useless. Yet these authorities will never experience the onslaught that was launched by the McCanns on the Portuguese police. There is also the pattern of employing actions to counteract or detract from what they perceive to be bad news. A common tactic employed has been to immediately announce another sighting. When they knew Mr. Amaral was about to release a documentary reconstructing the crime, Gerry McCann immediately showed up in Portugal to create his version of a similar documentary. When Portuguese detectives showed up in England to question their colleagues, they take off to the European parliament with their British political friends. When an article showed up in the Portuguese press that DNA markers matched Madeleine's DNA, this was counteracted in the British Press with reports that cigarette ash belonging to detectives was found in the samples and that they were useless. The examples are numerous.

    I have no faith that British authorities will do anything to actually find out what happened to Madeleine. My only hope is that there are still some honest people in the Portuguese justice system that will prevent the injustices that are happening to Mr. Amaral and Portuguese citizens.

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  34. http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/stopblair.html

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  35. At half past 8 the McCann’s left their apartment, leaving the children sleeping. It is not clear if they left by the unlocked patio door or through the front door. At 9:05 Gerald McCann returned to the apartment to check on the children. He was the last person to see Madeleine. At 9:30 a friend of the McCann’s, Mathew Oldfield, checked the children but did not see Madeleine. He did see the twins.

    When did Gerald and Kate arrange for Mathew to do his checks?

    Isnt it obvious that these additional checks did not in fact happen?

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  36. So here's the thing, wouldn't you, if you were a parent who's small child had gone missing, be searching the local streets - asking questions about culverts, drains, roadworks?

    Why have they not sent investigators to the local council in PDL to scour the maps of the routes taken by the services provided by the utilities?

    Isn't it more likely that Madeleine wandered out of the apartment than the fantastic stories being invented to 'prove' an abductor?

    So the question is, why arent the mcCann's reacting in this way? Why are they focussed completely on abduction?

    I think we know why, do we not?

    From blog.anorakian.com

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  37. For a bit of satire - www.thedailymash.co.uk - "Carter-Ruck to sue everyone".

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  38. In UK 'Prime Minister's Questions' in Parliament on Wed 14th Oct. Peter Bottomley, Conservative MP said that secret injuctions (Super injuctions) of the kind asked for my Carter Ruck should not be issued by any court. He asked that if a court issues such an injunction, a copy of it should be placed in the House of Commons Library, and the Press Gallery, with the exception of sensitive issues sush as a child's name or of national security, and the matter reviewed by the Court of Appeal the next day. The Prime Minister stated that the Justice Secretary was dealing with this and hoped that progess towards this would be made.

    Peter Bottomley website can be emailed about how much 'progress' is being made on these freedom of the press issues, by those concerned about freedom of speech.

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  39. guerra wrote:

    "I have no faith that British authorities will do anything to actually find out what happened to Madeleine. My only hope is that there are still some honest people in the Portuguese justice system that will prevent the injustices that are happening to Mr. Amaral and Portuguese citizens."

    I hope so to guerra.

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  40. the DM today reports that arnie s. in california has signed a bill to bring them into line with other u.s cities or states which forbids anyone from taking out libel actions by going through london...

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  41. Yes, an absolutely excellent article by Dr Martin Roberts on McCannfiles. Everyone should read it. But why oh why oh why couldn't the police get to the bottom of those text messages and deleted call lists??

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  42. Did we ever see Gerry's answers to the 48 questions? And did we ever see the rogatory interviews of Clarence Mitchell, John McCann and Jon Corner (if they did any, that is.)?

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  43. Does anyone know anything about the demonstration outside Carter-Ruck's office? I had read it was scheduled to take place at 1:00 pm on Thursday. Demonstrators were asked to wear a "gag". I was hoping the demonstration would get media coverage but so far I haven't been able to find any mention of it on the web.

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  44. Alison over at Madeleine Foundation has a very good post about Carter Ruck (yes, wake up - that means you - we know you are listening in...).

    She has been in contact with Carter Ruck asking what the general public can or cannot say about the McCanns.

    Of course Carter Ruck have not responded.

    But this seems a very fair inquiry to me. The average member of the public cannot expected to be able to afford expensive legal advice. They have an honestly held, non-malicious opinion, say that Madeleine is dead and has been since at least the 3rd May. Isn't it entirely reasonable, though, given that Carter Ruck are threatening to sue all sorts of people for Carter *uck to give the general public some guidance as to what they can say - for instance whether they will sue if someone says "Madeleine is dead".

    I think we should wholly commend Alison. Carter Ruck have set themselves up as censors of public discourse. They at least have an implied duty to warn the public what it is they deem acceptable and what they deem unacceptable. Otherwise, this is a form of entrapment.

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  45. Wikileaks has Tonny Bennet book and leaflet.

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  46. A very good "read" in Gazeta Digital, of Mr. Paulo Reis:

    "... and this is my reply to Bindmans LLP"

    When will the british realize they no longer own the world? Wake up and smell the coffee, your empire is no more!

    Bravo to Paulo Reis!
    Como se costuma dizer em bom português: ORA TOMA LÁ, QUE JÁ ALMOÇASTE!

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  47. It's interesting to note that Carter Ruck is still trying to stifle Parliamentary debate on the Trafigura scandal.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/oct/15/carter-ruck-trafigura-parliament-injunction

    I applaud them for their brazenness.

    They have succeeded in uniting democrats on all sides of the political spectrum in a way that nobody else could have done quite so effectively but then, attacking and trying to gag the British Parliament was guaranteed to do just that.

    Typical of lawyers they see the situation only in terms of legal arguments and press on regardless of the consequences.

    Bravo! Now let's close the loopholes in the libel laws and put an end to this unholy alliance of judges and opportunistic law firms which threatens our ancient rights of free speech and the existence of every person in the land who wishes to express his/her opinion.

    Thank God for bloggers such as Joana who provide a platform for those of us without a blog to discuss these matters freely.

    T4two

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  48. Some comments on Twitter reported around 20 gagged good-natured people outside the Carter Ruck offices on Thursday, a successful gathering for 'freedom of speech', four police and around 18 media people, but no apparent news coverage. They say there could be a repeat.

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  49. I am totally confused now.. I thought the super-injunction had been lifted, so why is the BBC not allowed to talk about it? I was dismayed last night to see that Question Time didn't even mention a word about it! Even Andrew Neil made a joke in his 'This Week' program saying that he wasn't allowed to talk about super injunctions.. So why did Channel 4 talk about it in the news the day before?

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  50. Thanks for the up-date on the demonstration at Carter-Ruck offices on Thursday. About 20 demonstrators and 18 media people covering the event and yet nothing in the press. I was hoping for at least some mention of it. Look at the coverage the McCanns get every time they have something to say.

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  51. If Carter-Ruck want the majoritie of the public to say that Madeleine was abducted and still out there alive and well... JUST DO ONE THING: ADVISE OR FORCE YOUR CLIENTS, THE MCCANN'S TO GO BACK TO PORTUGAL FOR....

    -RE-OPENNING THE INVESTIGATION
    =ANSWERING THE POLICE QUESTIONS WHICH REMAIN UNANSWERED
    - DOING THE RECONSTRUCTION

    SHOW US THAT THE ABDUCTION WAS POSSIBLE UNDER ALL THE EVIDENCES AND STATEMENTS WHICH ARE ALREADY ON POLICE FILES.
    SHOW US A SINGLE AND TRUTHFUL EVIDENCE OF AN ABDUCTION. NOT JANNE TANNER STATEMENT...NOT MADELEINE SIGHTS AROUND THE WORLD. SHOW US SOMETHING LOGIC and not all that ridiculous stories which change everyday to fit new police evidences. THE PUBLIC WAS NOT STUPID... THEN TRYING TO GAGG THE PUBLIC BY FORCE, BY TERROR, IT IS A HUGE MISTAKE. After that, we strongly believe that Madeleine was serious harmed on May 3 or before and somebody close to her, knows everything and want's to hide the truth. If she was only abducted... their will be no reason for all the behaviour which afected so many powerful people like a contagious disease.

    It is so easy to change public opinion... JUST DO THE LOGIC!!! The Public is intelligent and informed... and don't want to be treated as a public from the 15 Century.

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  52. This story made The Economist:

    Press freedom and the internet
    Barbra Streisand strikes again

    Oct 15th 2009
    From The Economist print edition
    A gagging order backfires

    THIS week a national newspaper ran a fascinating story about absolutely nothing. The Guardian reported on its front page on October 13th that a question had been tabled by an MP in Parliament, but that the newspaper could not reveal “who has asked the question, what the question is, which minister might answer it, or where the question is to be found”. The reason, it explained no less cryptically, was that “legal obstacles, which cannot be identified, involve proceedings, which cannot be mentioned, on behalf of a client who must remain secret”.

    The contorted language was the result of a “super-injunction”, an increasingly common form of gagging order that forbids the media not only from reporting certain information, but also from reporting that they have been forbidden from reporting it. The gag in question was granted last month at the request of Trafigura, an oil firm, to prevent publication of the details of a report related to the dumping of toxic waste in Côte d’Ivoire. Trafigura’s lawyers at Carter-Ruck, a firm that specialises in shutting up newspapers, warned the Guardian that mentioning the injunction would place it in contempt of court, even after it was referred to on October 12th in Parliament. Yet proceedings in both Houses have long been reported under privilege—that is, without fear of prosecution for contempt.

    Minutes after the Guardian’s bowdlerised article was published online, internet sleuths found the censored material on the Parliament website and published it on their blogs and in their tweets. By lunchtime, shortly before several newspapers were due to challenge its position in a High Court hearing, Carter-Ruck lifted its opposition. The firm and its client were left to observe an example of what bloggers call the “Streisand effect”, a phenomenon named after the unfortunate singer whose efforts to block publication of an embarrassing photograph served to spread it around the internet at once.

    The web is creating awkward leaks in the gagging orders issued by English courts. Bloggers are too numerous and too poor to be sued, and many of the servers that host their libellous musings are based outside England and Wales, and are therefore beyond the reach of English courts. The same applies to foreign media. The internet means that “trying to prevent things being said in one country is like the little Dutch boy holding his finger in the dyke while water is pouring over the top,” says Mark Stephens, a media specialist at Finer Stephens Innocent, a law firm.

    [...]

    link requires online subscription:

    http://www.economist.com/world/britain/displayStory.cfm?story_id=14660495

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