The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. MONDAY, DECEMBER 17, 1888. THE NELSON LIBEL CASE.
The news which we published a day or two ago, thnt our Nelson oontemporary the " Evening Mail," had been caat m £100 damages for publishing the remarks made by certain members of the Education Board at a meeting of that body, which remarks reflected upon the .supervisor of a scholarship examination, brings into prominence the necessity for revising the law of libel as applying to newspapers m this colony. We should be the last to urge that unlimited license should be given to the press to publish matter damaging to the character or the interests of private individuals, but we do think that the proceedings of public bodies should be privileged matter, that is to say that what is said at meetings of such bodies should be capable of being published without bringing the newspaper under the lash of the law. The person who utters a libel should be the person responsible for all consequences, when such person is at the time speaking m a public position and a public capacity, and it is absurd to make the publiahpr of a newspaper punishable for merely recording what has already been given public utterance. The law m England does exempt newspapers from liability for publishing a fair and substantially correct report of what transpires at public meetings, but although more than once, or even twice, Bills have been introduced m the New Zealand Legislature to amend the law they have failed to pass, and the press fa exppsed to grave risk m a matter m which it ought certainly to be protected. We hope that this will not be lost Bight of next session, but that before Parliament rises a measure will be placed on the Statutebook, assimilating the law m this colony to that of the Mother Country.
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The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. MONDAY, DECEMBER 17, 1888. THE NELSON LIBEL CASE.,
Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2015, 17 December 1888