Goliath defeated

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The Independent Online

It was the most unequal of contests. When Helen Steel and David Morris were taken to court by the fast food behemoth, McDonald's, in the 1990s, few doubted who the victor would be. And so it proved.

It was the most unequal of contests. When Helen Steel and David Morris were taken to court by the fast food behemoth, McDonald's, in the 1990s, few doubted who the victor would be. And so it proved. The "McLibel Two" were ordered to pay £40,000 in damages. David was defeated by Goliath.

The ruling from the European Court of Human Rights yesterday that Ms Steel and Mr Morris did not receive a fair trial because the British Government did not grant them legal aid is therefore welcome. A corporate giant such as McDonald's should never have been allowed to stifle criticism of its practices by virtue of the size of its wallet. The libel courts must not be a playground for the rich.

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