I’d always rather blithely assumed that British law, as the original common law, was close to American law. This naive assumption got knocked out of me in law school when I did a senior thesis on the Freedom of Information Act in England, which, at least then (more than 20 years ago), could better be called the Freedom to Hide Information Act.
It turns out that libel laws in England are different too, something I would have known if I’d paid more attention to Leon Uris’s classic (and out of print) book QBVII. That books tells of a libel trial in the British courts against a respected doctor accused of having practiced Mengele-style experiments on Jewish prisoners in Nazi concentration camps. Uris makes it clear that, in England, freedom of speech ranks very low on the scale, with libel trials heavily slanted in the plaintiff’s favor.
QBVII, though, is fiction, so how seriously should one take it? Very seriously, it turns out, as is explained in great and clear detail in this video about Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld’s travails with a Saudi terrorist financier who uses the British legal system to stifle any investigation into his financial activities:
Hat tip: Hot Air