Tag Archives: CrowdJustice

Riley libel: will Vox Political’s Mike get a fair hearing at the trial?

Good news/bad news:

It seems I’m likely to be able to agree directions for the trial of Rachel Riley’s libel claims against me. Just about the only bone of contention is the length of time it is likely to take.

Her legal team says two days; I reckon three. It’s better to plan in too much time than to have too little and go to the expense of coming back at another date, with all the lawyers involved, including the judge, having to ‘read in’ again in order to remember what’s going on.

It might be a last gasp for Riley’s old plan to spend all the crowdfunded money you’ve provided on time-wasting side-issues. Hopefully it will be dismissed as a bad idea.

More worrying is the choice of the judge. What if Mrs Justice Collins Rice – who got the strike-out application wrong – is chosen to hear the trial?

I would have serious concerns about that.

I am told that, as defamation cases are usually heard by full-time High Court judges, I will end up with one who has already dealt with it in some way – Mr Justice Nicklin, Mr Justice Saini or Mrs Justice Collins Rice – although there are some other judges who deal with defamation.

My concern is obvious and logical: after her performance at the strike-out hearing – when her decision was wrong – I do not believe I would get a fair hearing.

Let’s face it – I didn’t get one last December.

I have passed my concerns to my own solicitor and am awaiting a response.

In the meantime, please keep your contributions coming, as and when you are able to make them. It is only with your help that I can fight this case at all. By the end, it is likely to have cost around a quarter of a million pounds to defend – and the total raised so far is still a long way from that!

Here are the instructions:

Consider making a donation yourself, via the CrowdJustice page.

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.

Hopefully the trial will happen in the not-too-distant future, although obviously I won’t object if it is delayed while the claimant has her baby.

I’ll keep you informed of developments.

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Riley libel latest: she insults anybody who has supported Mike. Does that include you?

That’s right – Rachel Riley’s latest tactic is to insult you, saying no reasonable person would come to the conclusion I reached about her.

So, if you’re among the thousands of people who have helped fund my defence against her libel claim, she’s saying you are not a reasonable person because not only did you come to that conclusion, but you have funded my defence on the basis of it.

The new revelations come in her reply to my amended defence against her.

She says a reasonable person reading the source material I say that I read (we’ll come to that shortly) would not have reached the same conclusion – but neglects to provide any explanation for the claim.

She then says that, if my research had been as thorough as I have said, I would have taken account of other tweets that should have changed my mind. What other tweets? She doesn’t say. Do such tweets exist? Well, it’s debatable.

The case is based on exchanges on Twitter, and one aspect of that platform is that conversations begin to resemble trees, branching off in different directions. I concentrated on tweets by Riley and her teenage victim – about each other and the original subject of their dialogue.

That’s the reason I didn’t pick up Riley’s admission that she believes it is possible for ‘blue-tick’ Twitter users to whip up their supporters to attack and abuse other people until this year, that she contradicted in her failed bid to strike out my defences last year; it was in a response to Owen Jones.

And those tweets support me, not her.

If she produces tweets that support her claim, she’ll have to place them in context to show their relevance, and explain why I should have been able to find them. I look forward to that evidence.

She’s also claiming that I’m lying about the tweets I did read – that I didn’t actually read them all before writing my article – on the grounds that I haven’t produced them all previously.

The reason is simple: I didn’t have to.

I did read those tweets – around 200 of them. But none of the material provided to the court so far has been evidence; it has been what’s known as pleading. A pleading is not supposed to produce all of the material that will come out in disclosure and witness evidence.

And Riley knows this – or at least, her solicitor Mark Lewis knows this, and as he is the one who signed and dated this reply (with the wrong date, I notice), perhaps we should conclude that he is the one making all these claims. Why? Is she running away?

To sum up: Riley (and/or her lawyer) is claiming that I lied and misled you – with a false claim that I did not read all the tweets I’m saying I did – before writing my article accusing her of hypocrisy.

And she’s saying that, having read the evidence I have produced, you have to be unreasonable to agree with me.

There is only one way for you to counter this insult effectively – and that is to make sure I can defeat her claim in court.

That is by no means certain at the moment. The CrowdJustice fund has just covered the cost of creating the amended defence and hefty new costs are going to start mounting up now.

So if you are as angry at Riley’s insulting attack on you as I think you should be, then please do at least one of the following:

Consider making a donation yourself, via the CrowdJustice page.

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.

I know this case has been going on for a long time now, but it seems to me that Riley – and her lawyer – is getting desperate.

On the basis of this reply, I think that she will lose her case in court.

But the case has to get to court first.

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Defence against Rachel Riley’s libel claim could fail for lack of funds. Don’t let it!

Time is running out and donations to Mike’s CrowdJustice find have dwindled to a trickle. Can you help?

My defence against Rachel Riley’s claim that I libelled her is in danger of failing – not because I cannot beat hear legal arguments but because I don’t have the funds for the next court hearing.

At the time of writing, despite heroic efforts by hundreds of supporters that have brought in more than £11,000 of the £20,000 that my legal team told me (two weeks ago) that I needed… well, I’m sure you can do the mathematics. We still need nearly £9,000.

I know that some funders are getting tired of putting money into a campaign that seems to be going on forever. I’ve seen messages attached to donations from people saying this contribution will be their last – and I understand. Everybody has their own life to live and I’m grateful for the difference they have made.

But it will all come to nothing if Riley is allowed to buy justice, simply by having forced me into a situation where I couldn’t raise enough cash to get back into court. All the cash raised so far – more than £138,000 in total – will have been for nothing.

I can’t let that happen uncontested.

I don’t want to let down everybody who has funded my case so far. Indeed, if we hit the target, I’m positive that I will be able to win my appeal against Riley’s ridiculous strike-out of my defence.

Then I’ll be able to take the case back to the High Court and win.

But we need to hit that target. Please help. Here’s how:

Consider making a donation yourself, via the CrowdJustice page.

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.

The last three of these requests – asking you to encourage friends and other contacts to donate – is just as important as the request for you to donate cash yourself. The more people know about this case, the more likely I am to succeed.

We have come a very long way together – it is now more than two years since Riley’s legal team initially contacted me with a threat of court action unless I paid her a ridiculous amount of money that I didn’t have (and still don’t).

Help me see this through to victory.

Riley libel case: The clock is ticking again. Can we raise enough to get Mike’s appeal heard in court?

The clock is ticking: Rachel Riley seems to be forcing a court hearing next month because she thinks Mike will run out of money. Only you can stop that from happening.

What a great response! After my appeal last week, supporters like you have donated nearly £8,000 to the CrowdJustice fund. But it’s still less than half of what I need.

I reported last week that the Court of Appeal has listed my appeal against the High Court’s decision to strike out my defence against Rachel Riley’s libel claim against me – to take place over just two hours on April 27.

After the court announced the tight schedule, Riley’s legal team submitted their skeleton argument against my appeal, totalling 80 paragraphs, mostly consisting of new pleadings that were not in the original strike-out application – which was shorter.

It is this new document that is forcing my own team to do much more work – and that, in turn is why I need so much money.

Riley’s people could have asked the court to re-list the hearing to allow more time but they didn’t. It seems clear that they hope the extra work they have created – and the short timescale in which it needs to be done – will cost more than I can raise.

In other words, Riley is still trying to make justice too expensive.

I think everybody on her side knows that, if my case gets into court, hers is finished. Despite having initiated the litigation, they have done everything they could since Day One to prevent me from getting into a witness box and saying my piece.

That is how we got to be here, with £12,000 left to raise and little more than a month to go.

It can be done.

We managed it before, when I needed cash simply to be able to launch an appeal.

But I can never take your support for granted.

That’s why I have to beg, yet again, for your kindness.

If you haven’t donated to the current drive yet, or if you are able to donate more, then please:

Consider making a donation yourself, via the CrowdJustice page.

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.

A month can seem like a long time. But time has a habit of slipping away from us.

Please help foil this dreadful bid to price me out of justice.

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Mike’s appeal against Riley libel action is in danger due to court SCHEDULING

I have to raise around £20,000 within a month or my lawyers will not be able to prepare my appeal properly before it goes before the court on April 27.

That was the stark fact my solicitor put before me in a lengthy email yesterday evening.

The sudden push for funding has happened because the Court of Appeal has scheduled my case on an “expedited” basis, meaning the hearing will take place at its convenience rather than that of either party.

It has allowed only two hours for the appeal to be heard – one hour for me, one for Riley – but the arguments she has submitted amount to a completely new case against me.

My solicitor tells me he initially thought that two hours was “tight but workable” – until he saw Riley’s skeleton argument.

She is really running a whole new strike out application deploying legal arguments that she did not deploy before.

She is entitled to raise new arguments that support the High Court’s decision to strike out my defence, it seems – but normally this would involve putting the case she had already made in a new way rather than presenting the course with a completely new case.

And because it is a new argument, her legal team at Patron Law would be expected to challenge the Court of Appeal’s time estimate. But they have not.

As matters stand, this means my own team now – suddenly – need to an enormous amount of work in a very short time. Indeed, the court ordered yesterday (March 18) that my legal team had to submit its legal paperwork and any revision of our own skeleton argument by March 16 – two days previously. As this is impossible it means my team has had to scramble to try to obtain a revised timetable.

On top of all this (or rather, underlying it – because this was what we expected to have to do), because my case relies on a defence that is not extensively defined, the Court of Appeal may wish to refine or restate the law on the “public interest” defence and my legal team needs to be prepared to guide it.

Given the lack of time provided by the court, it is possible that I will be faced with one of several unwelcome decisions. It could decide that Riley is running a new case and if so, it could grant my appeal but send the matter back to the High Court and I would have to try to raise even more funds to fight the new allegations. It could dismiss my appeal, simply to draw a line under the matter (although this would be an unusual and, in my opinion, unjust outcome). It could say it wants more time and adjourn for a further hearing, possibly far in the future, meaning I would have to try to raise more funds because my legal team would have to carry out their preparation work again. Or it might make do with the current time estimate and either tell the lawyers to pick their best points or cut them off after an hour each, no matter what they were saying.

Given the above, my point of view is that I’m being asked to beg you – my funders – for £20,000 in very short order, to fund a hearing that is unlikely to have adequate time for all the issues to be aired and may either be cut short (which seems to me to be against the interests of justice) or either adjourned or postponed to what may be a much later date, incurring equal or greater costs.

Given those options, I have told my solicitor that I think it would be reasonable to remind the court that my resources are extremely limited in comparison to those of a Claimant who has effectively put an entirely new case before us all but has failed to request extra time for it to be discussed, and that I believe it would be in the interests of justice to vacate the hearing to a date when all the issues can be given the proper weight.

Whatever happens, you can see that the underlying tactic by Riley’s legal team is still to drain my funds, so I won’t have enough to defend myself.

If the appeal happens with a short, two-hour hearing, then I will have been forced to try to raise a large amount of money in a tiny period of time, which is unfair on my funders (meaning you).

If I manage that, but the case is sent back to the High Court because it involves new arguments, or is adjourned to a later date to allow more time, then I will have to ask you for even more money – which is again unfair on you.

It seems clear to me that Mark Lewis and his team at Patron Law know perfectly well what they are doing. They could have requested an adjournment to allow the longer hearing that they know their new case deserves, but they deliberately chose not to. I think that was to put pressure on you – my funders – to put you off helping me.

So I find myself in the awful position of having to ask you to support me with anything you can, as soon as you can – and to urge anybody you know, who might still by sympathetic to justice, to do the same – knowing that I am asking a lot and you may run out of patience.

And I have to do this, knowing that I may have to ask you for even more, possibly very soon after the April 27 hearing.

By now you are probably tired of reading the instruction, but I have to repeat them. Please:

Consider making a donation yourself, if you can afford it, via the CrowdJustice page.

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 CrowdJustice site.

It is a diabolical situation and I am sure that Patron Law – and Rachel Riley – intended it.

Riley has tried to use her huge wealth to buy justice in this case, ever since she started her case against me nearly two years ago.

With your help, I have come a long way. My public interest defence has a very high chance of success, if I can bring it to a trial.

I think that is why Riley and her people are trying so hard to make this appeal unaffordable for me.

As I say, I have asked my own lawyers to request a postponement that will allow all the necessary work to happen, provide enough court time for all the arguments to be properly aired, and allow me to raise the funds necessary for all of it.

But I must proceed on the basis that this will not happen and a very short, two-hour appeal will happen on April 27.

Please help me ensure that, if that is what must happen, I can not only bring my case to the court, but also bring my best case.

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


Vox Political needs your help!
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but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
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And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

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Libel victory shows it IS possible for a social media journalist to beat a celebrity

Well-deserved victory: Ash Sarkar (left) has won libel damages from Julie Burchill.

No, I haven’t (yet) won my case against Rachel Riley, sadly. But Ash Sarkar’s victory against Julie Burchill shows that it is possible for writers and broadcasters on the social media, like her and myself, to beat much better-funded celebrities if the evidence supports us.

Of course, Ms Sarkar was the claimant in her own case, while I am the defendant. I do wonder how much difference that may have made to a judge’s assumptions.

And her case hasn’t lasted very long – only a little more than three months, which suggests that the facts were more clear-cut, certainly, than those of my own case have been made out to be.

Here’s Ms Burchill’s statement:

On 13th December 2020 I made statements concerning Ash Sarkar in response to her comment on an article by my friend Rod Liddle. I alleged that Ms Sarkar worshipped the Prophet Muhammad, that she worshipped a paedophile (referring to the Prophet Muhammad), that she was an Islamist, and that she was a hypocrite (the allegations).

Although it was not my intention, I accept that my statements were defamatory of Ms Sarkar and caused her very substantial distress. I wish to make clear on the record that I do not believe, have never believed and never intended to make any allegation that Ms Sarkar is a promoter, supporter and/or sympathiser of Islamists or fundamentalist terrorism or to suggest that Ms Sarkar condones paedophilia in any way. I also now understand that it is blasphemy for a Muslim to worship Prophet Muhammad and I had no basis for stating that Ms Sarkar does so. I accept that there is no truth in any of these allegations, and I recognise that such comment play into Islamophobic tropes and did so in this case.

I also accept that I was wrong to continue to tweet to and about her after that date. I should not have sent these tweets, some of which included racist and misogynist comments regarding Ms Sarkar’s appearance and her sex life. I was also wrong to have “liked” other posts on Facebook and Twitter about her which were offensive, including one which called for her to kill herself, and another which speculated whether she had been a victim of FGM. I regret that I did not pay much attention to them at the time. On reflection, I accept that these “liked” posts included callous and degrading comments about Ms Sarkar and I should not have liked them. I can confirm that I have deleted all my posts and tweets and likes about Ms Sarkar.

I have also now seen messages that were sent to Ms Sarkar following my posts about her which are abhorrent, and I wish to make clear that I do not condone any such messages. I did not know when I published my posts that Ms Sarkar had previously received death threats and other violent threats and abuse, some of which emanated from a far-right conspiracy theory circulated about Ms Sarkar during summer 2020, of which I had not been aware.

I deeply regret having reacted in the way I did. I accept that I should have behaved better. On reflection, I accept that I misjudged the situation, and made statements that simply are not true, which I now want to put right. I also wish to make clear that I accept that Ms Sarkar did not call for my publisher to break ties with me and bears no responsibility for this.

I unreservedly and unconditionally apologise for the hurtful and unacceptable statements I made to and about Ms Sarkar, particularly those concerning her religion and Prophet Muhammad. I have undertaken not to repeat the allegations or any similar allegations about her, undertaken not to engage in any course of conduct amounting to harassment of Ms Sarkar, and undertaken not to contact her directly other than for legal reasons.

I have also agreed to pay substantial damages to Ms Sarkar for the distress I caused and her legal costs.

Ms Sarkar’s victory has received support on Twitter:

She commented on it herself, as follows:

She also published an article in The Guardian, part of which states:

Some of the worst abuse I’ve received is either from journalists or the direct consequence of their actions in spreading misinformation about me.

The parallels with my own case, in which Rachel Riley has portrayed herself as the victim of an unreasonable libel perpetrated by me, should be clear to anybody familiar with it.

In fact, the teenage girl Riley exposed to abuse could very easily have written similar words to Ms Sarkar: “Some of the worst abuse I’ve received is either from celebrities or the direct consequence of their actions in spreading misinformation about me.”

Riley responded to a girl’s criticism of her for mischaracterising Owen Jones (and Jeremy Corbyn) as anti-Semitic by presenting the girl as a supporter of anti-Semitism (by being a supporter of Corbyn and his Labour Party).

While she did not directly call on her followers to dogpile the girl (nor did I suggest that she did in the article for which she is suing me), several dogpiles resulted from the series of Twitter threads she wrote about that girl, and this abuse was a direct result of Riley’s decision to publish them.

This can be proved with the answer to a simple question: would this girl have received this abuse if Riley had not published tweets about her? The answer can only be a resounding no.

I published my article, back in 2019, on the basis that it is in the public interest for people to understand the patterns of abuse on the social media; how they happen and who should take responsibility.

Julie Burchill has taken responsibility for the vile abuse that she caused, either directly or indirectly.

Rachel Riley seeks to take huge amounts of money from me by denying having done so, even though many of her actions were exactly the same.

I am not rich. It has always seemed to me that the intention has been to financially ruin me by forcing me to participate in a costly court exercise that I could not afford.

I have been fortunate enough to be able to fend her off for nearly two years with support from thousands of members of the public who have seen the evidence (it is still on Twitter) and drawn their own conclusions.

I am currently being forced to appeal against a High Court decision to strike out my defences against her accusation, because the decision to strike out my defence of publication in the public interest was clearly unsafe – as you can see from the information I have provided, above.

This means I am being forced to spend more money that would be better spent on a trial. Riley doesn’t care. It means I have less money for that purpose and makes her more likely to win by default.

If, having read the details of the abuse Ash Sarkar suffered and the comparison with my own case, you are willing to help me, you are heartily invited to join the thousands who have already supported my case by contributing to my CrowdJustice fund. Please:

Consider making a donation yourself, if you can afford it, via the CrowdJustice page.

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 CrowdJustice site.

As I understand it, the Court of Appeal is planning to hear mine on an expedited basis – that is, at a time that suits the court rather than one that is convenient to either or both of the parties involved. This could take place at any time between April 15 and the end of May.

That means there is very little time to raise the thousands more that are needed.

Source: A lesson to right wing journalists as Julie Burchill forced to pay damages to Ash Sarkar – Dorset Eye

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


Vox Political needs your help!
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1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

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Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

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And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
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HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
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SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook

This book will cheer you up immensely – and buying it will support Vox Political!

If ever we all needed cheering up, it’s now – and This Site has just the thing!

Many years ago, This Writer created a comic strip called Hard-Boiled Hitler to ridicule totalitarian politicians, their ideologies and behaviour – while also warning of the dangers they pose when a gullible public gives them any power.

It ran in Violent! that enfant terrible of the small-press comics world, and was an instant success (in the limited way afforded to all small-press comics).

Sadly, the first storyline was never completed. The artist passed away and the comic ceased publication.

But now – just when it’s needed! – Hard-Boiled Hitler is back in a new, high-quality book format that re-presents every episode published, plus the scripts of the remaining episodes that were never completed, so readers can see how the first volume of the story would have ended.

FAIR WARNING: the humour in this book is of the lowest possible kind. It is coarse; it is vulgar; it is also very, very funny. It is most definitely not for kids!

Sadly, HBH has been tarnished in recent years by lunatics who have tried to use it in support of their crazed accusations of anti-Semitism against me. They claimed that I had glorified the Nazis, even though – having read it – they must have known that the story does the exact opposite.

For this reason, the book also includes an article from This Site that explains the controversy surrounding the story, the accusations against it, their falsehood, and the reasons they were made.

It is a bit pricey. For reasons known only to the printers it will set you back £30. This has something to do with the fact that I’m offering it for distribution to bookstores around the world and apparently the cost of distribution has to be taken into account. I will be producing an e-book version as well, which is likely to be more appealing to those of you with limited means.

One reason I have decided to publish the book is to help fund my ongoing court case against Rachel Riley. I do find it upsetting that I’ve had to ask readers and supporters for donations without being able to give anything back.

So until such time as the court case ends, all my profits from sales of Hard-Boiled Hitler will go to my CrowdJustice site and will help finance the defence against Riley’s libel accusation. You can order your copy by clicking on the image of the cover (above) or by clicking on this link.

If you don’t want to buy the book, you are still invited to continue donating in the normal way. Please:

Consider making a donation yourself, if you can afford it, via the CrowdJustice page.

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 CrowdJustice site.

This is a new direction for me – and one that is potentially risky.

Please help make it a success. It will give you a giggle.

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Riley libel case: court suggests mediation but both sides reject it

I must find a new image to use with these updates.

The Court of Appeal has been in touch to ask whether it would be possible for Rachel Riley and I to solve our differences via mediation.

I heard about it shortly after reading a comment on the social media that the justice system is creaking under the weight of its caseload, so my immediate thought was that this was an attempt to clear the books.

My second thought was to check how much it would cost: something like £950 plus VAT. Is that a reasonable use of the money that you have sent me?

Finally, I considered the facts of the matter:

As a reporter, I am always open to the idea of mediation at the appropriate time. Everybody in my profession knows that we can get stories wrong – because we don’t have a particular piece of information or because an act was presented to us in a particular light, or for any other reason.

That’s why we listen to complaints about stories, investigate them if necessary, and make alterations. It’s why newspapers have a “corrections and clarifications” column.

Rachel Riley had the opportunity to make a complaint about my article after it was published in January 2019 but she did not. Her solicitor, Mark Lewis, contacted me publicly on Twitter with a threat of litigation that I refused to take seriously because it was made inappropriately. He did not provide any details of factual inaccuracies. Without such details, either from Riley or Lewis, I could not go back and check. I had been given no reason to.

When Lewis’s law firm Patron Law sent me notice that it was to pursue legal action on behalf of both Riley and Tracy-Ann Oberman in March 2019, the letters included copies of the pre-action protocol on defamation which mentions mediation. As this had been sent by Riley’s solicitor, I expected to be contacted with a request for mediation to take place but, again, I heard nothing.

I would have been happy to discuss Riley’s issues with her at any of those times. It seems extremely late to do it now. What would it achieve? We’re at a point where she has forced me to raise and spend an eighth of a million pounds fighting what I very much consider to be a false claim against me – is she likely to pay that money back? I don’t think so. My name has been smeared left, right and centre across the national news media and the social media as well. Even if she offered to make reparations for that, how could she possibly achieve it? Mud always sticks.

For those reasons – and I’m sure you could think of more – I think mediation this far along the process is a waste of time. If the other side has something worthwhile to say, though, I will still be happy to consider it.

I understand the other side has communicated with my legal team to say that, while we may not agree on much, they feel sure we agree that there is no point in mediation. So it seems that is settled.

In the meantime, it seems that we are still in this for the long haul – and that means I need funds. Please:

Consider making a donation yourself, if you can afford it, via the CrowdJustice page.

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 CrowdJustice site.

Remember: I have no idea when my appeal is likely to be brought before the court.

Please help me ensure I am ready for it.

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Riley’s lawyers attack Mike’s crowdfunding site

Before anyone comments, I know that UK courts don’t use the gavel. This is for illustrative purposes.

What are they afraid of?

Well, there’s a simple answer to that: Rachel Riley’s legal team knows that a judge’s decision to strike out my defence against her libel claims is not safe and wants to ensure that I don’t have the financial ability to challenge it.

Initially, according to my own solicitor (I don’t have any direct contact), Patron Law took a very strong line that many of the assertions in my updates on CrowdJustice had been proved to be defamatory by Mrs Justice Collins Rice’s judgment of January 20 and that my fundraising web pages should be taken down completely.

That has now been moderated. The firm now says it has written to CrowdJustice asking only for defamatory comments and updates to be removed. But Patron Law has not provided any information on what its members believe those comments and updates to be.

The demand would only be reasonable if I were not appealing against the judgment – and we all know that I am.

Already I have looked at the judgment in relation to the evidence I provided and have identified significant issues, in terms of both fact and law, where her judgment may be challenged. So my representatives will definitely be lodging an appeal.

This makes it entirely possible for the judgment to be cancelled (annulled?) and for my defence to be reinstated. If that happens, then it would be premature to remove any of the information from the CrowdJustice site.

I have to take a balanced view of this and have said to CrowdJustice that it is right to abide by the law and I will remove any words that offend against it at the appropriate time. Now is not the appropriate time.

Meanwhile – here’s the good news: since I made my desperate appeal for more funding, you have donated more than £9,000 to the CrowdJustice site – or to me personally. That’s in just three days! And most of it came in on the first day – around £7-8,000.

Because of this, I reached 90 per cent of my stated target and CrowdJustice asked me if I wanted to extend it. Considering the new financial demands – the appeal, costs of continuing the case in the High Court, the possibility of having to pay the costs of Riley’s application – I have raised it to £200,000.

I consider this to be a monstrous amount to have to pay for justice.

It really reinforces what I have said all along – that this case is not about the facts. It is an attempt to hijack the justice system and use it to bully somebody with fewer funds out of what little they have.

That is deplorable in itself.

The attempt to stop me from crowdfunding makes it very much worse.

My appeal is continuing and it is possible to contribute in these ways:

Consider making a donation yourself, if you can afford it, via the CrowdJustice page.

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.

You have given a lot in the last few days. Most significantly, you have given me hope.

There is more to do, though.

Let’s keep going. We can win.

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Newspapers distort libel case to make it seem that Rachel Riley is winning. She isn’t

How sad to see that the London Evening Standard (oh, and Mail Online, although this is less surprising) is incapable of reporting a simple judgment in an ongoing libel case properly!

The High Court, in the case of Rachel Riley and Tracy-Ann Oberman v Jane Heybroek, has reached a judgment with regard to the meaning of the words that are at issue, and whether they are statements of fact or expressions of opinion.

And the Standard‘s interpretation of this judgment is arse-backwards.

“Rachel Riley and Tracy-Ann Oberman win first round of libel battle” trumpets the headline – wrongly. The judgment was neutral. Nobody has won or lost anything.

But if any advantage were gained, This Writer would say it had to have gone to Ms Heybroek.

Here are her own comments:

Note her words [italics mine]: “This was a hearing we asked for in order to narrow down the claimants’ claims and, in my opinion, we have successfully done so.”

“Significantly, the Judge has found that the first meaning… and the italicised words in the second meaning… were statements of opinion. This is a potentially crucial development because statements of opinion are afforded a defence where the basis of the opinion is indicated, and an honest person could have held the opinion on the basis of facts existing at the time.”

Reference to the judgment on the court website Bailii shows that Ms Heybroek’s representative, Mr Helme, won more points than the claimants’. Consider the Judge’s agreement with him at paragraphs 61, 63, 72, 75, 77, 79, 81 and 83; and the Judge’s disagreement with the claimants’ representative, Mr Stables, at paragraphs 58, 59, and 65.

In brief, Ms Heybroek won her arguments that the words at issue were expressions of opinion rather than statements of fact. Whether they were defamatory was never likely to be in doubt – but of course that doesn’t mean that they were libellous. If they were statements of honest opinion, and the facts on which they were based were accurate to the best of her knowledge at the time, then they were not.

And it is to be noted that these are all secondary considerations; Ms Riley and Ms Oberman’s complaint is not about an article by a third party (the matter on which this judgment is made) but about whether Ms Heybroek libelled them by retweeting a link to it. Ms Heybroek states: “Note that this ruling on meanings is without prejudice to my contention that I am not liable for publication of the article by virtue of my re-tweeting a tweet containing a hyperlink to it. That issue remains to be determined, either at trial or before.”

So it seems clear that Ms Heybroek won far more than Ms Riley or Ms Oberman. But that information seems to have zoomed right over the head of whoever reported the case to the Standard and the Mail.

Far be it from me to attribute malign intentions, but this failure of accurate reporting can have a serious harmful effect on justice.

Libel cases are hugely expensive and people like Ms Heybroek and myself – This Writer is fighting an ongoing case brought by Ms Riley, remember – cannot afford to defend against the accusations without help.

We ask sympathetic members of the public to support us with donations – but they may be discouraged from doing so, if they read or hear a report claiming that Ms Riley (and Ms Oberman, in Ms Heybroek’s case) is somehow winning.

Conversely, if they discover that such claims are false, I would hope members of the public would find their determination to support the defendants redoubled.

The expense of the hearing has put Ms Heybroek out-of-pocket. She is crowdfunding to pay for her case and if you can afford to help, her CrowdJustice site may be found here.

As for my own case – the request is the same as usual. Please:

Consider making a donation yourself, if you can afford it, via my own CrowdJustice page.

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.

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

It would be nice to see Ms Riley and/or Ms Oberman distancing themselves from the inaccurate media reports.

But, considering my own belief that they would be as happy to win their cases by starving us of funds as they would in a courtroom, I fear I may have to wait a long time for that.

Source: Rachel Riley and Tracy-Ann Oberman win first round of High Court libel battle | London Evening Standard

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
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but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
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1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

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Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

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And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

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is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook