Libel reform bill to tackle 'libel tourism'
The government plans to prevent claims stemming from online publication and protect investigative journalism
by Owen Bowcott
March 23, 2010
Foreign claimants will find it more difficult to initiate libel cases in UK courts and a "public interest" defence should be introduced to protect investigative journalism, under reforms unveiled by the government today.
The legal proposals – which will also prevent multiple defamation claims based on repeated downloadings of the same online story – were announced in a written ministerial statement by the justice secretary,Jack Straw.
Aimed at combating the "chilling effect" of Britain's strict libel laws, the changes will be included in a libel reform bill to be introduced into parliament if Labour is returned to government after the general election.
The recommendations build on the findings of the libel working group, a body established by the Ministry of Justice earlier this year. The group's report is published today.
Read the complete original version of this item...
Related Topics: Lawfare in the United Kingdom
receive the latest by email: subscribe to the legal project's free mailing list