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  1. #1
    Newcastle_Brown's Avatar

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    Default European Convention on Human Rights

    Article 10 ..
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Convention_on_Human_Rights#Article_10_.E2 .80.93_expression

    Question: When does a right to freedom of expression become defamation?

  2. #2
    EXC's Avatar

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    Default Re: European Convention on Human Rights

    That's too general a question to answer without knowing the circumstances but it does say:

    Article 10 provides the right to freedom of expression, subject to certain restrictions that are "in accordance with law" and "necessary in a democratic society". This right includes the freedom to hold opinions, and to receive and impart information and ideas, but allows restrictions for......protection of the reputation or the rights of others
    Generally in UK law a defamatory statement would need to be false and to be at least capable of causing serious reputational harm.

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    Default Re: European Convention on Human Rights

    Hi

    Quote Originally Posted by Newcastle_Brown View Post
    Article 10 ..
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Convention_on_Human_Rights#Article_10_.E2 .80.93_expression

    Question: When does a right to freedom of expression become defamation?
    When it causes serious harm & no defence is available?
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/...ntents/enacted
    CAVEAT LECTOR

    This is only my opinion - "
    Opinions are made to be changed --or how is truth to be got at?" (Byron)

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  4. #4
    Newcastle_Brown's Avatar

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    Default Re: European Convention on Human Rights

    Ok. I was a victim of a pension scam in 2015. I have done considerable research. I have a detailed report of the scam I got involved in (I did offer it here a while ago but got nowhere with it - water under the bridge and now immaterial, I have moved on). I have documented exactly ( I mean exactly) the events that took place; the letters and emails; the "false promises" by the scammers; all actors in the scam etc. etc.

    It is clear to every IFA I have shared this with. It is clear to every "legit" trustee I have shared this with.

    It was even clear to the FCA that I have been a victim of a scam (and yes I have it all in writing).

    However whenever I publicly express the events and my allegation it's a scam I get threatened by their lawyers for defamation.

    Blogs on forums get removed (I had a thread on Citywire forum last year that was forcibly removed by the scammers because citywiire didn't have the resources to oppose the threat). Angie Brooks ( http://www.pension-life.com ) is currently in litigation by Slater & Gordon who are acting on behalf of one of the perpetrators of the scam I was conned by. Btw Angie Brooks is the only person I have yet come across that is actively fighting for victims of pension scams! - Alone! as it happens. A star that I feel is on a huge crusade with insufficient support! Heart in the right place but resources insufficient.

    I report only the facts, but I also make conclusions, considered "opinions" by the perps, which the scammers are taking as "libel" and "untrue" and so set their lawyers onto me (or Angie). But I feel I have a right to "freedom of expression". The issue is they threaten litigation to frighten me off. This seems like a breach of my "human rights" under the convention of Human Rights Article 10. It seems those with the greater "purse" can deny me my rights and silence me.

    The idea of "causes serious harm" is ironic and unhelpful. What the scammers are doing is causing serious harm to innocent victims who are facing financial ruin. What I am doing is just trying to alert victims to their situation or warn potential victims.

    How should I proceed?

  5. #5
    EXC's Avatar

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    Default Re: European Convention on Human Rights

    Without knowing the details of what happened, what you said, where you've said it and what specifically that they're complaining of it's difficult to say.

    But you just need to be smart when voicing your issues on the internet. For example calling them 'scammers' might make you feel better but does it really advance your cause of warning others in a meaningful way?

    I like your pin shot
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  6. #6
    Newcastle_Brown's Avatar

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    Default Re: European Convention on Human Rights

    Quote Originally Posted by EXC View Post
    ... example calling them 'scammers' might make you feel better but does it really advance your cause of warning others in a meaningful way?...
    What they're complaining about is "serious reputational harm" - but no matter.

    What you say above is interesting. Calling them "scammers" is not intended to make me feel better. It is an accurate description. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck ....

    The FCA, in writing to me when I reported it said: "I’m sorry to inform you that the situation you’ve described does have some characteristics of a pension transfer scam." Guy Opperman on 21st Aug announced tough new measures to deal with pension scams saying "...£43 million has also been unlawfully obtained by scammers since April 2014" ( https://www.gov.uk/government/news/t...-pension-scams ). It's the name for them.

    The issue I raised is not about me or how I feel and I am not giving details here - been there done that already and got me nowhere. No one was interested.

    I was simply trying to get an idea where the line gets drawn between my right to freedom of expression and defamation. The answers unfortunately are vague. Using terms like "cause serious reputational harm" - seems a bit vague - when does something go from "not serious" to "serious". Like I said earlier, the person with the bigger wallet has the greater "freedom" it seems.

    I guess there is no answer. But I have since come across this https://www.lawteacher.net/free-law-...-law-essay.php

    which is helping more than this forum.

    Thanks, but I am not continuing the thread. It was a long shot to think I'd get an answer but no matter.

  7. #7
    EXC's Avatar

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    Default Re: European Convention on Human Rights

    Quote Originally Posted by Newcastle_Brown View Post
    What they're complaining about is "serious reputational harm" - but no matter.
    I guessed that but what I really meant was the details. Under the Defamation Act 2013 if they had complained to the Citywire forum they would been required to issue a section 5 notice where they would have been required to set out what the statement says and explain why it is defamatory of the complainant, and explain what meaning the complainant attributes to the statement and what aspects he or she believes are factually inaccurate or are opinions not supported by fact.

    I'm not suggesting you post it up but was saying that without the above it's tough to advise.

    I'm not sure if it's an individual or company who you say you ''get threatened by their lawyers for defamation'' as it does make a difference in terms of "serious reputational harm". If it's a company it would also have to prove that the reputational harm caused or is likely to have caused serious financial loss, but not for an individual.

    What you say above is interesting. Calling them "scammers" is not intended to make me feel better. It is an accurate description. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck ....

    The FCA, in writing to me when I reported it said: "I’m sorry to inform you that the situation you’ve described does have some characteristics of a pension transfer scam." Guy Opperman on 21st Aug announced tough new measures to deal with pension scams saying "...£43 million has also been unlawfully obtained by scammers since April 2014" ( https://www.gov.uk/government/news/t...-pension-scams ). It's the name for them.
    I'm not disputing that you are right but it's really important to understand that in UK defamation law the burden of proof lays with the defendant to prove that what they said is true and not the claimant to disprove it. Therefore the leg work in proceedings would be down to you and which is why it is sensible to avoid litigation if at all possible. Playing devil's advocate, although FCA told you what you described ''does have some characteristics of a pension transfer scam'' you would still be required to prove to a court that what you described is true.

    I was simply trying to get an idea where the line gets drawn between my right to freedom of expression and defamation. The answers unfortunately are vague. Using terms like "cause serious reputational harm" - seems a bit vague - when does something go from "not serious" to "serious".
    It's almost impossible to say as it's difficult to apply written law to a specific case. As a consumer forum we get a LOT of defamation complaints/threats mainly about what members (rather than ourselves) have written on our website. In dealing with them it's always a fine line between upholding the right of free speech & exposing bad commercial conduct and not being crippled with the huge expense of losing a libel claim and not being able to continue with the bigger picture. All I'm saying is that in my view that consideration should apply to you too.

    I like your pin shot
    I keep it with your letter
    Done up in blueprint blue
    It sure looks good on you
    And when you smile for the camera
    I know I'll love you better

    Then the shutter falls
    You see it all in 3-D
    It's your favorite foreign movie

    'Peg'

    Donald Jay Fagen


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