Mr Justice Bell is expected to deliver his verdict in the McLibel Trial (at
313 days the longest trial of any kind in English legal history) at
10.30am on Thursday 19th June at the Royal Courts of Justice, The Strand, London WC2
(courtroom to be announced). Please note that this date and time are
subject to confirmation - there is a small chance that it will be on
Wednesday 18th or Friday 20th June instead.
It is expected that Mr Justice Bell will read out a summary of his personal
judgment (having denied the Defendants their right to a jury trial) lasting
approximately one hour. The full judgment is expected to be about 1000
pages long, covering the Corporation's claim, the Defendants' counterclaim,
and any damages. The ruling on any costs and injunction will be given at a
Supporters of the McLibel Defendants will be holding a colourful
PICKET OUTSIDE THE COURT from 9.45am until lunchtime, handing out "What's Wrong
With McDonald's?" leaflets to passersby. 2 million of these leaflets have
already been handed out in the UK since the writs were served on the Defendants.
The McLibel Defendants will be holding a PRESS CONFERENCE at the
London School of Economics (next to the courts) shortly after the judgment has been
given. Mike Mansfield QC will be chairing the press conference, and various
Defence witnesses from the trial will be attending and available for comment.
These will include Charles Secrett (Executive Director of Friends
of the Earth), Tim Lobstein (co-director of the Food Commission),
Iain Whittle (former McDonald's crew member),
Frances Tiller (former private investigator hired by McDonald's to infiltrate London Greenpeace),
and Maureen & John Hopkins (the parents of Mark Hopkins, who was fatally electrocuted while working at a McDonald's store in Manchester). Please note: the room number and directions to the press conference venue will be
available nearer the time.
Please ring the McLibel office to confirm these details and for more
information. Also please see MSC Press Release dated 1st April 1997
(available on the McSpotlight Internet site) for detailed information on the
Victory Day of Action, possible appeals etc.
- International VICTORY DAY OF ACTION - Saturday 21st June - campaigners
will be leafleting and protesting outside McDonald's stores around the
world, whatever the verdict, to demonstrate McDonald's failure to halt the
ever growing dissemination of alternative views and information. Over
500 of the company's 750 UK stores will be leafleted in a display of solidarity
with the McLibel Defendants and show of conviction that all the criticisms
in the "What's Wrong With McDonald's?" leaflets are true and have been shown
to be so in the trial (often by McDonald's own witnesses and documents). As
the Defendants have been denied a jury trial, the public are in effect the
wider jury and campaigners are committed to continuing to provide the public
with the facts they need to judge for themselves.
- The complete set of official transcripts of the proceedings (all 19,000
pages) are now available worldwide on the McSpotlight Internet site
- The Defendants believe that the evidence in the trial has vindicated
McDonald's critics. However, having been denied Legal Aid and a jury trial,
and up against complex libel laws stacked in favour of plaintiffs, if the
verdict goes against them they are prepared to continue their fight to
defend the public's right to criticise multinational corporations. They
intend to appeal and then take the British government to the European Court
of Human Rights to overturn the UK's unfair and oppressive libel laws. They
also intend to sue McDonald's infiltrators for damages.