The Electric Pencil

We’ll sue, and then sue ya some more…

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More news on the lawsuit launched by Barrick Gold against Écosociété and the authors of Noir Canada , a book outlining Barrick’s (and other mining companies’) dirty business practices in Africa.

Seems like a SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) of $6 million dollars isn’t enough – the world’s largest gold mining company has now sent the small publishing firm and the writers a cease and desist order that they refrain from referring to the lawsuit as a SLAPP, since, it would seem, the company feels that this in itself is defamatory.

From the Solidarity with Écosociété website:

La lettre avise les auteurs et l’éditeur de Noir Canada qu’ils s’exposent ce faisant à « davantage de dommages punitifs » et que leur « comportement rendra d’éventuelles rétractations, excuses publiques, ou actions réparatrices encore plus difficiles et embarrassantes ».

[The letter advises the authors and editor of Noir Canada that by doing so [saying they are facing a SLAPP] they are exposing themselves to “further punitive damages” and that their “actions will on make any eventual retractions, public apologies or reparative actions even more difficult and embarassing.”]

As they go on to point out, it was only last week that the member of Barrick’s board of directors responsible for legal affairs published an open letter in Le Devoir calling for an open and public debate on the issue.

Apparently the debate will go something like this:

You can’t say we do anything wrong, or we’ll sue you. You can’t say we’re doing anything wrong in suing you, or we’ll sue you some more.

Seems fair.

Written by Tim McSorley

September 23, 2008 at 7:05 pm

Posted in Legal

Tagged with , , ,

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