Highlands & Islands

Kinlochleven couple lose bid to sue TripAdvisor reviewers

The owners of a Highland guest house have lost a legal bid to seek details from TripAdvisor of writers of reviews in a bid to sue the authors.

Martin and Jacqui Clark maintain that one report was false and that another set out events that were fictional.

The couple, who run the business in Kinlochleven, wanted to sue the writer, or writers, for defamation.

Judge Paul Arthurson QC has rejected the couple's move following an earlier hearing.

The Clarks had asked the Court of Session in Edinburgh to make an order for the travel website to disclose the names, addresses and other information they have on the identity of the authors.

TripAdvisor had challenged the move over its competency, claiming that there was no jurisdiction.

The judge said that the piece of legislation under which the order was sought did not "empower the Court of Session with worldwide jurisdiction" to ordain persons and organisations, such as TripAdvisor, to produce information.

He said: "I conclude that the approach contended for on behalf of the petitioners would require the court in turn to make a rather alarming entirely global assertion of jurisdiction."

The judge said that would be "wholly misconceived".

He added: "I further conclude that there is no basis at common law to support any proposition to the effect that there is a general jurisdiction to compel disclosure of information, or indeed documents, from a haven furth of Scotland."

TripAdvisor, in its terms and conditions, sets out that users agreed that all claims against it arising from the site must be heard in Massachusetts, where the website is based.

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