In the UK, I contacted a company called Tech Nation to provide an "endorsement" for me where they were supposed to assess my skill level, contributions to the sector and achievements so that I could get Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa. In the process, Tech Nation lied about my evidence in the first instance (saying my letters of recommendations come from people from the same company), and then lied about my work when I applied for the review (saying that I just used frameworks in my work whereas I actually created a documentation and testing frameworks myself). According to E-commerce directive article 8, if a company says that "their experts" will fairly and independently assess applications of software engineers, they must be part of regulated professions which protect dignity, honour and independence of the professional. Tech Nation does not hire experts themselves, and there is no one supervising them. There is no consumer protection against this fascist company. I complained about them to the Home Office, but they forwarded my complaint to Tech Nation itself.

As you can see, the UK gov created an "technology institute" which previously has been just a company helping the specific sector (silicon roundabout in London), which now is not overseen by anyone and does not obey any rules. It's discriminatory and when people pay £456 for an endorsement, they receive no protection against the "endorsing body" filtering out only those candidates that match its close-minded model of what it means to be a talent (i.e., a creative person who's life can be exploited by venture-capitalist-backed corporations in London), but when you show independence in thinking, your work and ideas, they get rid of you.

The question is, can an "endorsement review" be considered a publication, if it was part of a contract? It was published in a sense that it was sent to the Home Office, and deceived case-workers about me (complete slander).

  • 1
    Is this a completely private company or somehow an arm of government or given special status by governmental action? Jul 27 '19 at 21:16
  • it's 80% funded by government but it hasn't got any special status
    – user181157
    Jul 30 '19 at 10:51

As I understand it from a brief internet search, Tech Nation is a consultancy firm hired by the UK government to provide these reports. As such,the supply of these to the government is not publication to a third party required for defamation law to apply.

Even if it was a publication, their opinion that you do not meet the criteria is not an actionable statement of fact. If they made an error about your documentation then that is an incorrect statement of fact but it’s only actionable if it damages your reputation, for the particular issue you raise, I can’t see how this does.

Consumer Law does not apply to government actions but you do have administrative and ultimately judicial appeal rights.

  • How is that not damaging my reputation if it tells lies about my work? Obviously all my family/friends will assume that an "endorsing body"'s opinion means something?
    – user181157
    Jul 30 '19 at 10:52
  • it's also not government, it's a private company paying its directors partly from the fees they receive from applications. The opinion they were supposed to provide meant to be done by an expert, instead, you have an "opinion" which is completely false. I didn't use frameworks in my work, I created frameworks. It was clearly done by a manager who doesn't know anything about programming. Moreover, the guidance that I followed, asked me to pick one of the two key criteria. I picked one, and was judged by another one exactly for the purpose of getting rid of me.
    – user181157
    Jul 30 '19 at 10:54

Defamation can occur in private communications, as long as the defaming party is communicating the statements to a third party.

In general, you will have to prove that "serious harm" to your reputation has been caused or is likely to be caused by those statements. (S1. Defamation Act 2013)

Generally, when a statement effects a person's employment, then it would amount to "serious harm". In the UK a film director successfully sued a critic for a statement calling him "hideous". It was held that a person working in the entertainment industry can be negatively affected by a statement claiming that they are ugly.

So in your circumstances, the fact that the review was private between one person and another doesn't mean it's not defamation. However you will be required to produce the exact words which amount to defamation, and show that those words have led to "serious harm" to your reputation (e.g. someone told you they wouldn't hire you because of what was said in that publication)

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