Monday, April 22, 2024

Carol Cadwallader will appeal against the decision to pay legal costs in the Aaron Banks case Aaron Banks


Award-winning Guardian and Observer journalist Carole Cadwallader will appeal against a ruling which ordered her to pay significant legal costs to prominent Brexit supporter Aaron Banks.

The appeals court’s decision last week was widely criticized by news outlets, press freedom organizations and prominent international journalists including Nobel Peace Prize winner Maria Russa.

He warned that the decision to make Cadwalladr responsible for hundreds of thousands of pounds of the banks’ legal costs put public interest journalism in the UK at risk.

Cadwalladr said that after a meeting with his legal team, he decided to appeal against the verdict, as it set “a chilling precedent for UK journalism”.

“Even if you fight for years and successfully establish that your journalism was in the public interest, you may still face crippling costs,” she said in her update crowd funding appeal To cover legal costs.

“I will seek permission from the Court of Appeal to appeal to the Supreme Court, or if that fails, we can apply for permission from the Supreme Court. And if that fails, we believe We have a strong case to make before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

Banks, who donated a record £8 million to the pro-Brexit Leave.EU campaign group, sued over comments made by Cadwalladr in a TED talk and a tweet in 2019. He basically lost his case.

Mrs Justice Steyn found that Cadwalladr’s comments were protected at the time he made them, as they were part of reporting on a matter of “genuine and lasting public interest” and found that he believed those comments should be published. To do was in the public interest, it was a proper one for him to hold.

The judge also ruled that the protection of the public interest was overcome in April 2020, when the Election Commission issued a statement confirming that it had accepted the National Crime Agency’s earlier conclusion that there was no evidence that Banks have broken the law. But he found that the banks had not suffered serious losses. The result of continuous publication.

then bank went to the Court of Appeal, which partly ruled in his favour, concluding that serious harm had been caused by the continued publication of the complained words in the TED talk After April 2020.

This did not overturn the public interest defense of the original reporting, which the appeals court considered “absorbed most of the time and money”. The parties later agreed that Cadwalladr should pay £35,000 in damages for continued publication.

However, Cadwalladr is required to pay costs to cover 60% of the banks’ legal bills for the original case, to repay some money he was ordered to pay in respect of his costs for the original hearing, and to pay one-third of his legal costs. appeals to. This is equivalent to hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Guardian News & Media, the global news organization that publishes The Observer and parents, criticized the decision as setting a “chilling precedent” that “this country has the capacity to stifle free speech”.

Extensive international support came from global media freedom organizations ranging from PEN International, RSF and the Committee to Protect Journalists to NUJ, as well as key partners including Ressa.

“We’re with you, Carroll Cadwallader,” she said on Twitter Following the announcement of the costs award. “Dear UK, if journalists are punished for doing the right thing, how will you have the power to respond?”

Banks said: “In my opinion, this case is being handled by attorneys for Carol Cadwalader, who won. The RPC was criticized in a recent court statement on the use of a partial conditional fee arrangement. That RPC hostage to a desperate last throw of the legal dice.”