In 1985, McDonalds sued left-wing activists in the UK for libel over a pamphlet accusing the multinational food giant of environmental destruction, abuses of workers' rights and selling junk food. The ensuing trial became the longest-running civil trial in English history, ending in 1997 in a Pyrrhic victory for McDonalds, who had lost millions of pounds in pursuing the case, and won £40,000 for their trouble. (The judgment was later overturned in the European Court of Human Rights.) Now, it has been revealed that the leaflet in question had been co-written by an undercover police officer assigned to infiltrate Greenpeace
. The officer in question, Bob Lambert, had previously spent years infiltrating environmental groups, even fathering children with activists
before disappearing. [more inside]
posted by acb
on Jun 21, 2013 -
(Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) isn’t a particularly novel way of stifling dissent: indeed, there are laws in California and other US States to prevent them. Their potential for misuse has also been identified in the Australian
context, which has no clear definition of protected free speech.
The latest effort at a SLAPP is by Gunns Ltd.
, a successful
forestry company based in Tasmania. They’re suing the ”Gunns 20”
for charges including conspiracy
and ‘vilification’ (which is not actually a tort). Defendants include a Senator, Dr Bob Brown
of the Australian Greens
The case is being compared (by the defendants
) to the infamous PR disaster McLibel
case, however Gunns should perhaps get a better lawyer: their initial pleading has been described by the judge as an "unintelligible embarrassment
", showing that a bit of judicial common sense can still work wonders.
posted by wilful
on Aug 29, 2005 -
You may have heard of the "McLibel Two
", the pair of Brits who, as part of a group called London Greenpeace (not affiliated with Greenpeace International, by the by), published a flier
decrying the nutritional and corporate values of McDonalds, and who subsequently lost a libel action brought against them by the corporation. It took a few years, but The European Court of Human Rights has overturned the decision
, based on the fact that the two did not receive legal aid assistance during the trial (where they represented themselves).
posted by PinkStainlessTail
on Feb 15, 2005 -
Down on Mickey D's? Spending way too many sweaty, sleepless nights trying to get the image of a mad clown out of your head? Try McSpotlight
- a behemoth mass of anti-burgerflogging data, legal issues, rumors, and other juicy McInformation. Be sure to test your McDIQ with the The McSpotlight Quiz
posted by grant
on Dec 2, 1999 -