Ireland has lost a case at the European Court of Human Rights over its regime for libel and damages.
It’s after a challenge by Independent Newspapers, which complained about the damages it was forced to pay to the PR consultant Monica Leech.
Leech won the country’s highest ever damages payout – of 1-point-2-5 million euro – after a libelous article was published by the Evening Herald.
The newspaper group successfully argued that the size of the payout, and the unpredictable amounts due, were a disproportionate breach of its freedom of expression.
The group has been awarded 20,000 euro in damages, but the libel regime that led to the payout has since been overhauled.