Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Ashurst, Paladin, attack this website with legal threats. Reply from Ashurst

Among other things, the Ashurst letter accused the anti-nuclear campaigner of imputing that Mr Walker was ‘’insensitive’’.

civil-liberty-2smIn any case, these kinds of threats to muzzle free speech are on the rise. At a time when the mainstream media is under pressure from falling revenues, lawyers are threatening and shutting down websites around the country at an alarming clip.

Anti-nuke campaigner braces for legal blast, The Age, December 19, 2012 Michael West Ashurst is at it again.
Acting on instructions from its clients, the big law firm last month was threatening a farmer who had the hide to express his opinion on electricity prices.

This month it has been instructed to threaten a 75-year old pensioner who has spoken out against the alleged exploitation of African workers by an Australian uranium miner. Noel Christina Macpherson Wauchope, who runs the website www.antinuclear.net under the name Christina Macpherson, told Business Day she was not in a position to hire lawyers.

“I think they must have thought AntiNuclear Australia was a big organisation, but it is just me,” she said. She was particularly worried that the letter of demand said “STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL NOT TO BE PUBLISHED” until we explained that there was no legal basis for expecting confidentiality from somebody who simply bobbed out of the blue with a bunch of threats and told you to keep quiet about it.

If you already had some kind of confidential or contractual arrangement with the other party, it might be different…… The price of Noel Wauchope’s concern for the people Karonga was a long and intimidating letter of demand from Ashurst on behalf of the uranium company Paladin Energy and its general manager of international affairs, Greg Walker. If she did not comply with these demands, warned Ashurst, she would face court action.
Curiously, big companies with more than 10 employees are not permitted to sue for defamation yet the concerns notice sent to Noel Wauchope complains about defamation of Paladin.
…… the Ashurst defamation partner responsible for the letter was unavailable for comment….. and did not respond to
questions. Neither did Ashurst’s public relations department. Paladin chief executive John Borshoff said he was unaware of the
letter. “I’m not aware about a 75-year old lady,” said Borshoff, “All I know is that these NGOs (Non-Government Organisations) and they are
absolutely maligning us, and we sent them legal letters”.
Neither was Borshoff aware that Paladin was unable to sue for defamation……
Among other things, the Ashurst letter accused the anti-nuclear campaigner of imputing that Mr Walker was ‘’insensitive’’.
In any case, these kinds of threats to muzzle free speech are on the rise. At a time when the mainstream media is under pressure from falling revenues, lawyers are threatening and shutting down websites around the country at an alarming clip.Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/business/antinuke-campaigner-braces-for-legal-blast-20121219-2bm74.html#ixzz2FeGIYe9h

logo-AshurstLegal Firm Ashurst replies to the article above

27 August 2013

Dear Ms Wauchope

Thank you for giving me ths opportunity to respond to the article which you have posted on your websites. I trust that you will post this letter with equal prominence. Fairfax is no longer publishing it, has accepted that I and Ashurst acted ethically and competently at all times, and has withdrawn and apologised for the suggestions in the article to the contrary.

Your article contains  a number of errors and says  a number of false and damaging things about me. In particular, when I sent you the letter on 10th December 2012, I had no way of knowing who you were, as we were sending it to you as a domain name registrant. Your site appeared to be published by an organisation. Further, I at all times acted in accordance wit proper legal practise, and my professional obligations to my client.

I hope that you will rethink your decision to continue to publish incorrect and harmful allegations about me.

Kind regards

Ashurst lawyer

Editor’s note:  I don’t understand why Fairfax  withdrew the article from their online publication, as I thought that the article was true.  I understand that the journalist who wrote that article stands by the story and has not accepted the claims made by Ashurst’.

September 2, 2013 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, legal

1 Comment »

  1. NOT LIKE THIS. This website does a great job of informing people and should not B muzzled . The nukes industry say they want a debate , yet hide behind legal threats. No Nukes. Best wishes always to all . GFD

    Like

    Comment by grantdo | December 20, 2012 | Reply


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