Originally Posted by sarahsmartiepants
If you say anything disparaging about someone else in writing and you then publish your remark to a third party, even in a PM, potentially the person you are complaining about could have a good cause of action against you for defamation, specifically libel if the allegation is in writing or slander if it is oral.
In defamation, the burden of proof is reversed. The victim does not have to prove that the allegation is untrue, unfair or unjustified. All that the victim needs to do is to prove that the allegation was made, to whom and where.
It is then up to the person who made the allegation in the first place to defend it, and there are only four - very specific - defences to defamation.
The risk that anybody who publishes a potentially defamatory remark on a public forum runs is that they have said enough about themselves in other posts etc to enable the victim to identify who they are in real life. The web is not as "anonymous" as most people imagine. People give away a VAST deal of personal information about themselves on the forums, often unwittingly.
The risk that someone who does the above in a pm runs is that the person making the seemingly concerned enquiry in a PM is not a genuine "other person" but is a mole who either "belongs" to the victim or is sympathetic to the victim but it not actually a controlled-by-the-victim mole. When you reply to a PM, you have no real way of knowing who you are replying to.
The risk that the forum owner runs is that if an allegation is published in his newspaper or on his internet forum, then he provided the medium via which the allegation was published to the world at large. This is equally true of PMs because no forum uses software that is particularly hack-proof.
Newspapers carry huge amounts of defamation insurance to cover themselves in case of claims of defamation. They can get the insurance because they control what is said in the paper, it is written by one of their journalists, approved by their editor and they have retained solicitors who are available to check the material at short notice prior to publication.
The forum owner cannot get this insurance. He is not able to control what is said in a forum such as this and he is not able to control who says it. In any case it is such a colossally expensive type of insurance that it would not be possible to make the forum available to the members as a cost-free resource if such insurance could be bought.
It is not as simple as you imagine, I am afraid.
Last edited by Gollywobbler; 07-08-2008 at 02:21 PM.
Hi rockpool crab
The ICSE database that DIAC officers rely on is not usually unreliable. The status page on an e-visa application often is. Also, Migration Agents cannot access the ICSE database. Only DIAC officers can access that. Therefore my guess is that Clare was simply looking at the status page on your e-application and nothing more - or at her own internal database.
If your meds were sent last December then if there was a medical query you should have heard something long before now. If all the meds were "Box A" (ie the doctor ticked Box A on all the forms 26) then the processing staff at the Health Operations Centre in Sydney should have cleared them ages ago and the main ICSE database should say so.
I suggest you e-mail the Health Operations Centre in Sydney or the Australian High Commission in London, asking them to confirm what their own database says about the current status of your meds.
The links are here:
Originally Posted by Gollywobbler
This is all really good stuff. I'd hoped that maybe Clare was looking at something a bit downlevel. I think what I'll do is phone tomorrow morning. I missed it this morning, tried phoning but by the time I got through it was 4.10pm and they shut at 4.
I'll ask the DIAC officers first if they have them, assuming that they recognise myself as the representative for the visa, and not still VC. If they can't tell me, or say they don't tell me then I'll go the routes you've mentioned...medical centre in Sydney first. I do still have the receipt which does at least prove it was done. But I'd hate to have to pay for them again..although might happen if visa doesn't comein time :-(
Anyways..that was soooooooooooooo useful cheers for the post.
Hi Carol ann
We are also using VC and applied in March 08. Clare started our visa application and then Danielle took over. Did clare tell you anything about what is happening. Is the company going to be alright and are we still going to get our visa's through them.
I would be grateful for any information.
I do understand to a certain extent, its just frustrating for us to sit and watch others who are in the same boat as we were a few months back. I hope you understand that it was not a dig at you personally but after what we went through, we just want to warn others of the danger to their visas.
I still urge ALL of you who are in this situation to fill and send Form 956 and regain control of your future before its too late, like it was for us.
It really is not so complicated and myself and others would only be to happy to help if you get stuck at all.
Good luck to you all
Never thought it was a dig Trisha. Believe me no one is more frustrated with this than me. I would like to post a warning in big red letters but because of libel laws it would be unwise to do so on the forum.
Originally Posted by deanrm
I e-mailed Clare tonight and she answered me straight away to tell us our visa's are alright she said that it is all scare-mongering. The paper said that she has fled to Australia (wrong) she is in Edinburgh. She said to phone her on Monday morning for a chat.
Unfortunately, it is not "all scare-mongering." Right up until late June 2008, Trisha (deanrm) was being assured that all was well with their visa application, no probs at all and that their visas would be granted any day.
When Form 956 was sent to DIAC in late June, they explained to Trisha that contrary to the cosy assurances being given in the UK, their visas had been refused on 8th May 2008. Deanrm were forced to make a new visa application, costing a further $2,060.
DIAC themselves have made a formal complaint to the MARA about the way that deanrm's first visa application was handled. That is the clearest possible indication of how seriously both DIAC and the MARA are taking this matter.
I do not know whether the MARA have contacted Clare about deanrm's first application, but they have certainly contacted the Registered Migration Agent whose name and MARN were used on all the correspondence with DIAC.
Hopefully deanrm's case is the only one where the visa was refused. Hopefully the others are not as far gone as that and can therefore be rescued if need be.
I think that everybody who might be involved should take the precaution of sending Form 956 direct to DIAC. If DIAC are able to confirm that all is well and you wish to return to allowing your un-registered Agent Clare to continue to handle your application for you, there is no problem. You can always send DIAC another Form 956 later, reinstating Clare as the authorised recipient again.
However if I were one of the clients, I would insist on asking DIAC for an update, to come direct to me, before deciding what else to do. Special arrangements have been made at the ASPC to "ring fence" and protect all the applications that might be affected by the "time of transition" (according to their website) currently being experienced by this firm. Although DIAC do not normally respond to enquiries asking for progess reports, the COs have been instructed to provide them in the case of the ring-fenced applications but DIAC have to receive Form 956 before they can do anything else.
Thanks for the information Gill. We will think about it over the weekend and see what we are going to do.
Originally Posted by fergie family
Sorry I was out last night...first I've seen the message. She was very non committal about the state of the company but did say that she was on top of all the cases and had been in personal contact with all visa applicants (including the couple who were featured in the article). I did say that she must agree about the lack of communication over the past 5 - 6 months and she did admit that there had been an element of that. Non communication makes you so uneasy.
I have to say thought they do seem to be trying again. Any notes I've been sending are being answered immediately. Any time I phone I get through...so somethings happened.
Fingers crossed it all works out for us, but I do feel happier that I've filled in the 956 form.