Irving v. Lipstadt


Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 26: Electronic Edition

Pages 136 - 140 of 159

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    What I am asking your Lordship to do is to issue a
 1to cross-examine on, to have it go into the issues as
 3 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes. The summary: "The Plaintiff", you,
 4"are associated with right-wing extremists and right-wing
 5extremist groups in Germany, Britain and North America.
 6You have regularly spoken at events organised by
 7right-wing extremist groups, sharing a platform with other
 8right-wing extremists. You are a right-wing ideologue
 9whose participation in public affairs have been part of
10and has assisted in the cause of Holocaust denial." The
11last sentence is not relevant. But you are saying that is
12not a defamatory meaning at all?
13 MR IRVING:     I am inclined to use the words "so what?" Even if
14true, so what? Even if it was true that I associate with
15right-wing organized bodies or whatever it is, are they
16kind of bodies that advocate the use of extreme violence?
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     We must take this in stages. Are you saying
18that that assertion is not a defamatory assertion at all
19to be making about you?
20 MR IRVING:     No, I do think so, my Lord. I think your Lordship
21would agree, although I may be arguing against myself, it
22is not defamatory for somebody to be called an extremist
23or to say somebody holds extreme views, that is not
24really, in law, defamatory.
25 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     So that is your first submission.
26 MR IRVING:     Yes, and to say someone holds right-wing views is

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 1not defamatory, except in certain circumstances.
 2Obviously if he was in the Soviet Union, then he would
 3probably be defamatory.
 4 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     In some way you could put your case higher.
 5They are not saying you are an extremist, well, in this
 6part of the case. They are saying you associate with
 7these right-wing extremists. Do you follow the
 9 MR IRVING:     I would confidently expect your Lordship to say we
10do not have any guilt by association in this country.
11 MR RAMPTON:     I think it only right to remind your Lordship of
12the summary, because one cannot take this little summary
13at the beginning ----
14 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     There is another one at the end.
15 MR RAMPTON:     There is one at the end in box 80 on page 27 which
16is really perhaps the nub of it.
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes. Shall I remind you of that, Mr Irving?
18 MR RAMPTON:     I am bound to say I think that is highly
20 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     "Claimant is a right-wing pro-Nazi ideologue,
21as is demonstrated by the views you have expressed in
22speeches and publications".
23 MR IRVING:     That is something different.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     That is saying you are a right-wing
25ideologue, and then the Defendants say they will refer to
26the anti-Semitic racist and misogynistic tone and content

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 1of your speech in publications.
 2 MR IRVING:     That is again something different.
 3 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     "Including those referred to above". With
 4respect to Mr Rampton, I think that is a slightly
 5different point. That is directing the allegation at you
 7 MR IRVING:     I can meet that one head on. I have no problem
 8with that.
 9 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I think maybe your concern is more about what
10you would describe as "guilt by association".
11 MR IRVING:     Guilt by association for which there is no place in
12an English court of law, my Lord.
13 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     That depends on the case. As to whether it
14is defamatory, my present view is that it is defamatory,
15at all events in the context of this case, to say that you
16associate with right-wing extremists. Try to dissuade me
17from that view if you want to, but I think in the context
18of this case that is probably is defamatory.
19 MR IRVING:     I have to say that to associate with people who
20hold right-wing views is not defamatory. To associate
21with people who hold extreme views, and I gave the example
22Lawton LJ as one example, is also not defamatory. The
23allegation, the implication, innuendo is that I associate
24people like the Hamas or Halbollah's terrorist leaders or
25with Jerry Adams, to put it into an English context,
26somebody like that, who would advocate the use of violence

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 1or applaud the use of violence. Of course, for that there
 2is not the slightest evidence. I would ask your Lordship,
 3therefore, to direct that the cross-examination should go
 4only to any associates of mine whom they can adduce who
 5have advocated violence or advocated the overthrow of
 6governments by violent means or that kind of extremism.
 7 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     You are on a separate point at the moment.
 8Just to complete the first argument that you are
 9advancing, would you not accept that if the Defendants
10were able to adduce evidence that you were sitting there
11on a platform, where others sharing the platform with you
12and maybe participants from the floor are expressing
13themselves in the most rabidly and repulsively
14anti-semitic way, to make that allegation against you
15could be defamatory of you. It is a hypothetical case.
16 MR IRVING:     If they could establish that, yes.
17 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes. It is all a question of degree in a
19 MR IRVING:     It is a question of what is meant by "extremism"
20I think. I think "extremism" in the eyes of the libel
21courts has always been the extent of extremism towards
22unlawful ends or unlawful means. That is what the
23innuendo is.
24 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     You wanted to go to Gatley in this
26 MR IRVING:     I was going to draw your attention to note 88 of

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 1page 43 of Gatley, where it does make the distinction, the
 2last three or four lines of that note,, after referring to
 3Devlin's L own ruling, it says:
 4     "See Boater v. Moray [1974]", and the brief
 5summary is: "Not all communists' methods and techniques
 6are reprehensible", in other words, calling somebody a
 7communist alone is not necessarily defamatory. But then
 8it points out that in Butalazi the advocacy of violent
 9change is the kind extremism which is held to be
11 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes. In a way that rather suggests it is all
12a question of degree.
13 MR IRVING:     It is a question of degree, my Lord, and in view of
14the fact that the Second Defendant specifically instanced
15Hamas, Hesbollah -- and I know they are putting that in
16Section 5, but I am certainly not -- that is what worries
18 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     I think you are slightly moving on to your
19next argument, which is that the sting of the libel
20actually published by the Defendants is that you associate
21with these sorts of violent extremists, and that the
22evidence they are apparently wanting to call does not
23really link you with violence, although it may link you
24with extremism. That is your second point.
25 MR IRVING:     It may satisfy the court of course to the contrary,
26that I am linked with violent extremists. It may be that

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