Otterman speaks... (2003-2007)
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Otterman speaks...

Cycling, macintosh, natural history and life in Singapore - Archives

List of Categories : travel * museum * cycling * Singapore Naturalist * science * kakis * mangroves * movies * mac and the internet * meow * NUS * life in Singapore * lit * world *

Thu 17 Feb 2005

McLibel 2 - Victory against UK Government

Category : world

In December 2003, I came across McSpotlight - a 10 year battle of epic proportions - a postman and a gardener with no legal aid who argue their own cases in court against the multimillion dollar company, McDonald's, in the UK. I later found out that one expert witness who testified for them was ex-rancher David Lyman who stated in court that "14 per cent of all cows by volume are basically ground up and fed back to other cows."

Helen Steel & Dave Morris received a victory of sorts in 1997 - the ruling included statements that said 'McDonald's marketing has "pretended to a positive nutritional benefit which their food did not match"; that McDonald's "exploit children" with their advertising strategy; are "culpably responsible for animal cruelty"; and "pay low wages, helping to depress wages in the catering trade." '

The Court of Appeal ruling in 1999 added that 'it was fair comment to say that McDonald's employees worldwide "do badly in terms of pay and conditions", and that "if one eats enough McDonald's food, one's diet may well become high in fat etc., with the very real risk of heart disease."'

However, told to pay some £40,000 damages, the McLibel 2 refused to pay a penny and took their case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

And they won.

On BBC World Service just now, Dave Morris - 35 years old when this started and now 50 - says he still wants to change the world. Tenacious!

McSpotlight Press Release, 15 Feb 2005 - The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg declared that the notorious and long running McLibel case was in breach of the right to a fair trial and right to freedom of expression.

The McLibel 2 (Helen Steel, 39 & Dave Morris, 50) had launched legal proceedings against the UK government arguing that the marathon 'McLibel trial' which lasted 313 days - the longest trial of any kind in English legal history - and UK libel laws, breached the European Convention on Human Rights Article 6 (right to a fair trial) and Article 10 (right to freedom of expression).

The European Court ruled that UK laws had failed to protect the public’s right to criticise massive corporations whose business practices can affect people’s lives, health and the environment.

Read on...

Posted at 1:43AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | , .