Judge refuses injunction over DUP election leaflet…

I don’t intend second guessing Mr Justice Gillen’s reasons for refusing an injunction on Ian Paisley Junior’s leaflet (nor referring to the subject matter of Jim Allister’s complaint). The judge made it clear in the High Court yesterday that it was for others to decide whether the disputed section of the leaflet was defamatory, or not. But the tone of the judgement ran something like: didn’t you know there was an election on?

“In my view electioneering statements should not be perused with all the precision of a jeweller’s scales. It is open to argument that the words complained of do not amount to an untrue statement of fact but are part and parcel of the political opinions that seem to have been the hallmark of the campaign to date between these two candidates.

“In coming to this conclusion I am conscious of the need to ensure the free expression of opinion by those who put themselves into the democratic process for election by the population at large. I pause to observe again that I am far from ruling that these words may not be capable of defamatory meaning or that a jury may not come to a conclusion favourable to the plaintiff.

“I am not satisfied, however, that it is appropriate that an interlocutory injunction should be granted at this time and accordingly I refuse the plaintiff’s application.”

Be careful out there, I’ve just had to ban one long standing commenter for a breach of taste/the law…

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  • Drumlins Rock

    Scouts honour Mick, actually havnt a clue atm. Vance discusses it a bit on his website but give little if anything way, and someone is fishing for the details on P.ie , wonder will juinor continue to publish it now there is no injunction but merely a threat of a libel case, dosnt look good for either party and could be a sign of a dirty campaign “upt narf”

  • Neil

    Oh it’ll get dirty all right. Mana from heaven for your party of choice of course, but I have to say, regardless of my esteem or lack of it for the TUV/DUP/UCUNF it’s nice to see Junior getting his balls busted. What can I say, I don’t like the guy.

  • Paul

    allister has made himself look very foolish and weak.seems the wheels have fell of his TUV dinosaur party.

  • Carsons Cat

    Whatever the details etc etc etc within the judgement there is one very clear headline.

    Allister loses & Paisley wins.

    Hard to get round that…

  • Henry94

    Isn’t it fair to say that if Gerry Adams was the subject of such a leaflet we would have had at least six threads on it by now?

    Why do TUV get the kid gloves?

  • Fearglic

    How much does it cost to get an injunction ( or to stop one)? Lawyers win! Will it be a richman’s election?

  • Harry J

    once again Jim has lost.

    whats that the TUV have lost? 4 elections and now a court case.

  • Time for Mr Justice Gillen to consider full time gardening after that wishy washy judgement, methinks.

  • Drumlins Rock

    think the “lawyer” lost this time 🙂

    tempted to say grow up Henry, but actually there is a difference in reporting TUV & SF stories, the TUV & DUP in particular are very quick to run to court, and even if those reporting win the case (whether papers, TV or Blogs) it can ruin them, however for obivious reasons SF representatives are reluctant to a step into a witness box and I am unaware of them ever going to court over media reports, hence the boundaries can be pushed alot further and the media of whatever sort know it would be extremely likely to be challenged. Also how do you damage the reputation of a terrorist in a way that a court will recognise?

  • Carsons Cat

    Interesting day for DUP opponents – both UCUNF & the TUV doing their best to give extra publicity to DUP election propaganda.

    They couldn’t pay for the sort of free extra media coverage they’ve been given today.

  • Paul

    This has shown the true nature of jim the TUV dinosaur allister.

  • When were nobbut a lad, and startin’ out on my first election, the Labour agent had been one of the party’s draftees into Cap’n Bob‘s taking of Buckingham.

    My source, whom we might call “Barry” (for that, indeed, was his name), reckoned that for dirty doings on both sides this was the pits. Maxwell scattered injunctions liberally, knowing that the wheels of English law grind small but exceeding slow, and confetti would silence opposition in the short term.

    For the record “Barry” regarded Maxwell as lower than a snake’s scrotum. That was many, many years before Maxwell was uplifted to the Mount of Olives.

    Surely James Hugh Allister, QC, didn’t have his bluff called by a mere Junior?

  • Are you not going to share the contentious words, Mick, if they are already out there on the street? Not to do so could very well be thought of as being cowed and cuckolded, and we would be wanting any of that in these parts, surely.

    Ian Jnr mightn’t be the sharpest tool in the box, but you can be sure that the DUP wouldn’t allow him to present anything dodgy and therefore what would there to be to worry about …… despite the TUV head staggers/toys thrown out of the pram shenanigans.

    Is that not par for course for Jim?

  • interested

    Round 1 to Paisley TUV seem scared of what is on the leaflet!

  • Paul

    I cant wait to see the leaflet.

  • joeCanuck

    Since financial loss would be impossible to prove, a libel action would have to be on the basis of damage to reputation. But it has been established, for example, and in Peter Robinson’s mind at least, that Allister is a liar. Hmm strange.
    Perhaps Allister should have sought advice from former party colleagues on how to successfully obtain an injunction.

  • Quincey

    Well its just been said on Radio Ulster so im assuming that it can now be mentioned on Slugger.

    The words in question related to monies obtained by Jim Allister following his election as MEP, in relation to Criminal defence.

    Jim Allisters is saying the work was done prior to his election.

  • joeCanuck

    Quincey, both of those statements can be perfectly true. Presumably there is a little something extra such as a claim of illegality. Or it’s all nudge nudge wink wink.
    It will all look a bit silly in a few weeks time, especially if Allister doesn’t sue Robinson.

  • al
  • Michaelhenry

    there is a picture of jim allister and iris robinson on this leaflet, and they are both …….

  • Paul

    you have to say allister has shot himself in the foot.

  • Peter Fyfe

    The DUP highlighting financial irregularities

    Pot Kettle Black

    Don’t sue me!

  • LabourNIman

    it will likely be an internal memo or a conversation he had from his dup days.

    For him to go to this length it must clearly say he is ok with SF in government. heh.

  • union mack

    Jim clearly ain’t the legal eagle he would have us believe, to lose this case so comprehensively. What I will say, as an outside observer, is that much as Jim has got insider information on the DUP that he has been firing off left right and centre since 2007, the DUP may have held fire until it reallt mattered. This is likely to become a filthy slanging match for 4 weeks. Can’t wait!!

  • Peter Fyfe

    Even better is Ian og doing it, how much is the taxpayer stumping up for that building in what would certainly not be described as the prime retail area. Has it not got empty buildings on either side now?

  • Mick Fealty

    Henry,

    “Isn’t it fair to say that if Gerry Adams was the subject of such a leaflet we would have had at least six threads on it by now?”

    Bloody hell, give us a chance. The story is only a couple of hours old!

  • Peter Fyfe

    Now that I have saw what the message was about. Could Jim not use this to his advantage? He was a very successful man in his own right, more than can be said for Ian ‘Daddy, give me a job’ og.

  • [quote][i]Bloody hell, give us a chance. The story is only a couple of hours old![/i] ….
    Posted by Mick Fealty on Apr 14, 2010 @ 06:38 PM[/quote]

    🙂 Such is the immediacy of the medium, Mick, and the rabid and ravenous nature of your following? Just the slightest hint of blood being drawn or a nose put out of joint and there is a veritable feeding frenzy of comment activity to strip the protagonists bare.

  • cynic47

    If I was in the shoes of IPJ I wouldn’t be smirking too soon. Just watch the dirt that will flow in the other direction. The person who starts a dirty dialogue can finish up the loser unless they are squeaky clean. Is IPJ or the DUP squeaky clean?? The skeletons will be quaking in the wardrobes at the prospect of an airing. It should be fun! IPJ was remarking that he was canvassing while his opponent was in the courtroom. Wonder if he bumped into any of his DUP colleagues seeking injunctions?

  • dundonald voter

    cynic there was few of the top dupes there was there not? and just to support ian junior. maybe theres a bit of truth in your last sentance.

  • dundonald voter

    the problem for ian junior is that he only knows (of him) jim allister.

  • RepublicanStones

    This is probably more embarrassing for the QC than his desperate clining to the European theme his website was guilty of, long after he had been ousted from his Euro perch.

  • RepublicanStones

    clinging*

  • Turgon

    Whilst Jim Allister may have failed to stop the DUP from printing this line it seems utter nonsense as an attack.

    Allister sems to have been paid these monies for work he performed prior to becoming an MEP. Hence, the DUP’s attack would only be valid if somehow once one becomes an MEP (or MP) one is expected to refuse all payment for work one did in previous employment which was earned prior to even standing for office. It just makes no sense as an attack line. As a smear, however, it makes rather a lot more sense.

  • Procrasnow

    winning 1 round is not winning the fight.

    Paisley says he got suntan out canvassing, but he is not being paid by the taxpayer to be out canvassing for a new job he is paid to be an MLA at stormont.

    It is just the start of a dirty campaign in North Antrim

  • RepublicanStones

    Throw enough mud and some will stick (in voters minds) Turgon. Thats Ian óg’s idea. Question is, are the TUV gonna reply in kind?