Date: February 18, 2014 11:06AM
I suggest that before anybody comments on the Tom Phillips case against Thomas Monson, they should read the exact wording of the law on which it is based, the "2006 Fraud Act":http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/35/contents
Unfortunately, I am guilty of doing exactly that. I have made comments in forums and here without reading the law, and it caused me to misunderstand some basic things, since I was assuming (wrongly) that it was similar to what we Americans call "fraud."
First off, the name of the law is misleading for Americans, since in America "fraud" is a civil action, not a crime, and has numerous elements that must be proven before the court finds fraud (see my discussion at http://packham.n4m.org/lawsuit.htm
). A better title - if I can be so presumptuous as to suggest this to the Brits - would have been "2006 False Advertising Act," since that is essentially what it is.
The UK law is very broad. It does not require a number of things that we think of as associated with "fraud":
- no actual damage is necessary;
- no actual victim is necessary;
- actual falsity of the claims is unnecessary, only that they are "misleading" or "might be false";
- no "reasonable reliance" by a victim is required;
- no causal relationship between the false statements and the victim's actions is required.