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McLibel Support Campaign
P R E S S . R E L E A S E . 24/09/03
Euro Court: McLibel Reply to UK Government's Observations  
July 2003

The McLibel case continues on its slow crawl (now almost 13 years!) through the legal system. On 6th July the McLibel 2 sent their latest submissions to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in the case now known as Steel and Morris vs UK. They submitted a 53 page document replying point by point to observations made to the Court by the UK government earlier this year about the McLibel case and UK defamation laws.

The European case was launched on 20th September 2000 when the McLibel 2 lodged their initial notice that they they would be applying to take the U.K. Government to the ECHR in Strasbourg. On 2nd April 2001 Helen and Dave submitted their full Application (173-pages), followed up by further particulars in 2002 as requested by the Court. Helen and Dave are asserting that the McLibel trial breached, in particular, Article 6 [right to a fair trial] and Article 10 [right to freedom of expression] of the Human Rights Convention, and that English libel laws are incompatible with the convention. The Court has still to decide on the admissability of the case, and earlier this year asked the UK government to respond with its observations. The Government's response was served on 12th March 2003.

The McLibel 2 are seeking to defend the public's right to criticise companies whose business practices affect people's lives, health and the environment. They also seek an end to oppressive, unfair and archaic defamation laws and procedures in general, and in the McLibel case in particular. If they win, the UK government could be forced to amend or scrap some of these laws and procedures.

Whatever happens in Strasbourg, the McLibel campaign has already demonstrated that a determined and widespread campaign of grass roots defiance and non-cooperation can render oppressive laws unworkable. The continually growing opposition to McDonald's and all it stands for is a vindication of all the efforts of those around the world who have been exposing and challenging the corporation's business practices.

Euro Court: McLibel Reply to UK Government's Observations  
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McLibel Support Campaign
5 Caledonian Road, London, N1 9DX, UK.
Tel/Fax: +44 (207) 713 1269
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