Judge quashes libel ruling against restaurant critic
In an important victory for press freedom, a Belfast court has ruled that restaurant critics should be able to review an eatery without fear of being sued for libel.
Northern Ireland's Court of Appeal on Monday overturned a jury's decision to award libel damages of 25,000 pounds against the Irish News for a scathing pizzeria review that appeared in 2000.
In the article, Workman -- a former editor of the Bridgestone restaurant guide -- criticised the food, the staff and the smoky atmosphere.
According to the pizzeria, Workman's words were defamatory, and a High Court jury agreed with the restaurant .
"Only if the jury has a clear understanding of what is capable of constituting comment, can it address the thorny issue of whether the facts on which comment is based are capable of justifying the comment made," he said.
He added that the paper had been "completely vindicated".
Workman also welcomed the verdict and was quoted by the Guardian as saying: "Nobody likes a bad review, but if I can't write honestly, good reviews are pointless."