McLibel two in new court challenge
Saturday 09 January 1999
Helen Steel, 33, and Dave Morris, 44, who have an income of less than pounds 7,500 a year between them, are appealing against the ruling that they libelled McDonald's in a "factsheet" first published by London Greenpeace in the late Eighties.
A leading human rights barrister has provided the pair with detailed advice for free, although they will still represent themselves in court.
On Tuesday, Richard Rampton QC, one of the most respected libel silks in the country, will confront them once again.
The first time, despite their lack of legal training, the pairproved several important points. This time they might even win. They will argue that a multi-national corporation should not be able to sue for libel in the same way that governments and local authorities are barred from taking legal action.
The outcome of the appeal is less important for the activists, however, than the publicity it will generate. A website set up by volunteers during the first trial has been accessed more than 65 million times. The publicity surrounding the trial has given green activists a platform for disseminating embarrassing information about McDonald's far more widely than any leaflet could.
On the day the appeal hearing begins, activists will also screen a film about the case at 100 cinemas and on cable networks around the world, including 18 in Britain.
A spokesman for McDonald's Restaurants Ltd, the UK arm of the worldwide corporation, yesterday defended its decision to spend more money in court. "There were many very serious allegations aired ... at the initial trial. We welcomed the judgment when it was handed down. It is very important [it] is upheld," he said.
Threat of 'catastrophic cascade of collisions' must be averted, warn scientists
Oxford is the least affordable city in the UK, where houses cost 11 times local salaries
Wellcome Image Awards: The most striking images from the world of science, including breast cancer cells under chemical attack and a photographer’s own kidney stone
Space debris orbiting Earth to be destroyed with giant lasers fired from Australia
Oscar Pistorius murder trial: Athlete repeatedly sick as court hears 'graphic details' of Reeva Steenkamp's post-mortem
How climate change helped Genghis Khan: Scientists believe a sudden period of warmer weather allowed the Mongols to invade with such success
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Vince Cable: Teachers 'know absolutely nothing' about the world of work
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
The quiet diplomat: Catherine Ashton - recognised and admired in all the world’s troubled countries, yet ridiculed at home
- 1 Australian man Rod Sommerville reacts to bite from deadly snake by reaching for cold beer
- 3 North Korea elections: Kim Jong-un wins 100% of the vote
- 4 Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
- 5 Sharknado 2: Former WWE wrestler Kurt Angle to fight second wave of flying sharks
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: Our client is a leading digital agency bu...
£40000 - £45000 per annum: Charter Selection: Global leader in its respective ...
£130 - £161 per day: Randstad Education Nottingham: Do you have a qualificatio...
£6720 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Nottingham: The school is much la...