Riley libel appeal: her statement to the court – and what I think of it

Rachel Riley has submitted her brief statement to the Court of Appeal on whether I should have permission to appeal against the judgment in her libel case against me.

You won’t be surprised to learn that, in my opinion, it is utterly ridiculous.

Part of it – possibly deliberately – misrepresents the way Twitter works, the way people are expected to use it, and how some people misuse it in contravention of Acts of Parliament regarding harassment.

And much of it attempts to dismiss my appeal as challenging factual findings that I don’t like – which is another misrepresentation.

It seems to be based on guidance to the court which states: “In the absence of some other identifiable error, such as (without attempting an exhaustive account) a material error of law, or the making of a critical finding of fact which has no basis in the evidence, or a demonstrable misunderstanding of relevant evidence, or a demonstrable failure to consider relevant evidence, an appellate court will interfere with the findings of fact made by a trial judge only if it is satisfied that his decision cannot reasonably be explained or justified.

There’s just one problem with that: my appeal is about showing the presence of material errors of law, the making of critical findings of fact which have no basis in the evidence, demonstrable misunderstandings of relevant evidence, and/or demonstrable failures to consider relevant evidence.

It follows that, in the light of these errors, the judge’s decisions cannot reasonably be explained or justified.

There is certainly some arguing to be done on the day of the hearing (January 31, remember, and it will be broadcast from the judiciary website – – and available on YouTube).

But I think I can win this. I certainly think I’ve got Ms Riley “bang to rights”, as the saying goes, on at least one aspect.

But I need to be able to pay my representative to make those arguments. As I mentioned in a previous update, my people are doing great work and I really want to be able to pay them for it. But I’m still (currently) thousands of pounds short of funding this hearing.

There are vital points of justice here, involving the protection of vulnerable youngsters online – and that’s quite a topical issue at the moment.

So please, if you can, do one or more of the following:

Make a donation via the CrowdJustice page. Keep donating regularly until you see the total pass the amount I need.

Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

On Twitter, tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

Use other social media in the same way.

And don’t forget that if you’re having trouble, or simply don’t like donating via CrowdJustice, you can always donate direct to me via the Vox Political PayPal button, where it appears on that website. But please remember to include a message telling me it’s for the crowdfund!

I’ve got a good feeling about this. It is definitely winnable.

Let’s make that happen.​​​​

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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3 thoughts on “Riley libel appeal: her statement to the court – and what I think of it

  1. Michael

    Maybe you should accept that you were wrong and use some of that money donated to your defense to just pay the 50k. Much cheaper than whatever you’re trying to accomplish.

    1. Julia

      In my opinion, and I am certainly not alone in thinking this, it is a very important case. It is as good an example you will find of the appalling situation in England now with ‘lawfare’ and where it is so easy for money, and in this case so called ‘celebrity’, to take precedence over justice.

      As for your ‘much cheaper than whatever you’re trying to accomplish’ what on earth do you think he is trying to accomplish? Do you honestly think someone in Mike Sivier’s position – self employed journalist and carer for his disabled partner – would risk all on a whim? I for one am more than happy to chip in what I can to help his defence.

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