Global legal adviser to nuclear industry threatens anti nuclear campaigner

Among other things, the Ashurst letter accused the anti-nuclear campaigner of imputing that Mr Walker was ‘’insensitive’’.

In any case, these kinds of threats to muzzle free speech are on the rise. At a time when the mainstream media is under pressure from falling revenues, lawyers are threatening and shutting down websites around the country at an alarming clip.

Anti-nuke campaigner braces for legal blast, The Age, December 19, 2012 Michael West Ashurst is at it again.
Acting on instructions from its clients, the big law firm last month was threatening a farmer who had the hide to express his opinion on electricity prices.  This month it has been instructed to threaten a 75-year old pensioner who has spoken out against the alleged exploitation of African workers by an Australian uranium miner.

Noel Christina Macpherson Wauchope, who runs the website www.antinuclear.net under the name Christina Macpherson, told BusinessDay she was not in a position to hire lawyers.

“I think they must have thought AntiNuclear Australia was a big organisation, but it is just me,” she said.
She was particularly worried that the letter of demand said “STRICTLY
CONFIDENTIAL NOT TO BE PUBLISHED” until we explained that there was no
legal basis for expecting confidentiality from somebody who simply
bobbed out of the blue with a bunch of threats and told you to keep
quiet about it.
If you already had some kind of confidential or contractual
arrangement with the other party, it might be different……
The price of Noel Wauchope’s concern for the people Karonga was a long
and intimidating letter of demand from Ashurst on behalf of the
uranium company Paladin Energy and its general manager of
international affairs, Greg Walker.
If she did not comply with these demands, warned Ashurst, she would
face court action.
Curiously, big companies with more than 10 employees are not permitted
to sue for defamation yet the concerns notice sent to Noel Wauchope
complains about defamation of Paladin.
Sophie Dawson, the Ashurst defamation partner responsible for the
letter was unavailable for comment. Dawson did not respond to
questions. Neither did Ashurst’s public relations department.
Paladin chief executive John Borshoff said he was unaware of the
letter. “I’m not aware about a 75-year old lady,” said Borshoff, “All
I know is that these NGOs (Non-Government Organisations) and they are
absolutely maligning us, and we sent them legal letters”.
Neither was Borshoff aware that Paladin was unable to sue for defamation……
Among other things, the Ashurst letter accused the anti-nuclear campaigner of imputing that Mr Walker was ‘’insensitive’’.
In any case, these kinds of threats to muzzle free speech are on the rise. At a time when the mainstream media is under pressure from falling revenues, lawyers are threatening and shutting down websites around the country at an alarming clip.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/business/antinuke-campaigner-braces-for-legal-blast-20121219-2bm74.html#ixzz2FeGIYe9h

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