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Accessible legal tips, know-how and news for anyone with a complaint or legal issue from Stephen Gold, author of The Return of Breaking Law, the book

Sunday 4 September 2016


Blair Drummond Safari Park, near Stirling has named its new meerkat pups after my former clients Ronnie and Reggie Kray. Why? Because a group of meerkats is known as a mob or gang.  If the Twins were still around they might have taken exception to that. They once sued the BBC for libel for  lowering their reputation although the claim was abandoned.

You're right, though.  The law is reckoned to be that you cannot defame a dead person by libelling or slandering them so anyone who decided to complain on behalf of the Twins' estates about the meerkats' handle would  have a bundle of obstructions in their way.  However, a judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in 2013 suggested that a defamatory statement about a deceased person might, for a relative of the deceased, be  breach of their right to respect for private life under article 8 of the human rights convention. So you never know!