Sunday December 8, 2019

How much is too much?

Comment: Down the years, the willingness of juries to award large sums to libel plaintiffs has had dreadful implications for freedom of speech in Ireland

30th August, 2015
The European Court of Human Rights is being asked to rule on the largely untrammeled discretion enjoyed by Irish juries to award enormous sums in damages.

In Richard II, Shakespeare suggests that “the purest treasure mortal times afford is spotless reputation”, but placing a precise monetary value on this particular treasure is something which has perplexed our courts for decades. Now it is Strasbourg’s turn to grapple with the problem.

The European Court of Human Rights is being asked to rule on the largely untrammeled discretion enjoyed by Irish juries to award enormous sums in damages. The...

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