0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

no document containing hyperlinks is an island

20 August 2010

When establishing the meaning of words that are claimed to be defamatory, one must look at the context in which they appear.

In 2008, The Spectator published an article on its website which said:

“As Harry’s Place points out:-Demos sponsored and participated in a debate at IslamExpo and a seminar on ‘Political Islam’. That’s right: a left of centre think tank worked with a clerical fascist party to organise a conference about its racist, genocidal, theocratic political programme.”

Islam Expo Ltd, the organisers of the event, sued for libel. The Spectator argued that the court should look at the source of the quotation which was linked to the article. From this, it argued, it was clear that ‘party’ must be a reference to the British Muslim Initiative or the Muslim Brotherhood.

However, as the words ‘IslamExpo’ appeared in the short quotation in the Spectator’s article, and the original article also said that the British Muslim Initiative, Muslim Brotherhood and Islam Expo “are one and the same”, Tugendhat J held that the words were capable of referring to the organisers.

The judge emphasised that he did not intend to rule whether looking at hyperlinked documents was right in law – but in cases like this, where one internet posting comments on another, it must be sensible to look at the original posting to ascertain the meaning of the second post.

related opinions

Cyber risks – are businesses really ready?

The Hiscox Cyber Readiness report, a review of 3300 organisations, will be a stark warning for CEO’s of SME’s in the UK and in Europe.

View blog

Wearable security

How secure is your fitness tracker? (Not to mention your smartwatch, sleep tracker, smart shoe insoles and wearable Bluetooth keyboard). It’s something that many of us give little thought to, but perhaps we should be more concerned.

View blog

Trade mark owners must reimburse internet service providers for the cost of implementing internet blocking orders

The Supreme Court handed down judgment in the long-running Cartier dispute of 13 June 2018, overruling the Court of Appeal

View blog

CJEU shapes up nicely for Louboutin red sole trade mark

The Court of Justice of the European Union has today given its judgment in relation to a key issue in one of the most hotly debated trade mark disputes in recent times.

View blog

mailing list sign up



Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up