THE LATEST EDITION OF CARTER-RUCK ON LIBEL AND PRIVACY
An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers
A new edition of this formidable title from LexisNexis in the Butterworths Common Law Series has appeared since the last edition was published in 1997. Indeed, it's the first new edition since the death of its original author, Peter Carter-Ruck -- minus the style, tone and occasional idiosyncracies that characterized his approach.
The title is new too, having been changed (so we note from the authors' preface), from Carter-Ruck on Libel and Slander to the more apt and apposite Carter-Ruck on Libel and Privacy, because of significant changes in the law over the past 13 years, the chapters on libel and slander have been completely re-written. And what changes! Consider the changes in social mores that have taken place during this turbulent period: certainly the revolution wrought by the internet and the resulting phenomenon of social networking, cannot fail to have had an impact on the law pertaining to privacy, libel and of course, the frequent controversies surrounding free speech.
Inevitably, substantial changes in the law have occurred since 1997 - some by legislation; others by the development of the common law by the courts. In the words of the authors, the book deals primarily with `the way in which the law provides protection to reputation through the torts of libel and slander and to privacy though the claim for misuse of private information.'
The book is logically divided into four parts. The first three are concerned with the relevant law of England and Wales. The final part, (containing separate chapters written by a worldwide team of learned contributors) deals with defamation and privacy laws across a range of more than 75 jurisdictions, from Argentina and Austria to the Ukraine and USA. In compiling, editing and re-writing this volume, the authors have succeeded admirably in their stated aim of providing `a complete and balanced treatment of the law and practice of defamation, privacy and related claims, both in England and Wales and...other jurisdictions.'
The global reach and outlook which forms the backdrop to this comprehensive and learned work will make it a must-have addition to the law libraries of specialists in this complex, fast-moving area of law, particularly those with international clients. General practitioners too, will find this work of reference invaluable.
Included in the book's 1,800 erudite pages and 55 highly detailed chapters, are the expected research tools: three appendices (to include `statutory materials'...'libel and slander awards schedule'...and `privacy awards schedule') plus extensive tables of cases, statutes, statutory instruments and useful index.
The law is stated as at November 2010 with a completely re-written text after well over a decade of turbulent libel years culminating in today's difficult internet climate- the next edition will be an even more massive challenge for Butterworths to undertake, as the face of libel and privacy changes forever with modern technology, so thank you for this excellent new title in the Common Law Series.