Lords pass defamation bill

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Laws that led to London being dubbed "the libel capital of the world" will be reformed after peers in the Lords voted to pass the defamation bill, ending a three-year campaign led by Liberal Democrat peers Lord McNally and Lord Lester.


Libel reform campaigners said they were "delighted" overall that defamation reform was finally passing into law, although they were disappointed by the failure of a bid to bar private companies contracted to run schools, prisons or healthcare from suing ordinary citizens who criticised the work they do for the taxpayer.

However, the bill is a landmark piece of legislation and should provide more protection for individuals and organisations, including newspapers and broadcasters, which criticise big companies.

The new law will also stop cases being taken in London against journalists, academics or individuals who live outside the country, denting the libel tourism industry, but not ending it altogether, as foreigners will still be able to lodge claims in the high court.

Peers voted by a majority of 78 to pass the bill, which means it will now return to the Commons on Wednesday for formal approval with no possibility of fresh amendments.

Written By: Lisa O’Carroll
continue to source article at guardian.co.uk

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  1. Some of us who took part in the letter writing campaign found the process frustrating, and the result disappointing – but it is important to look on the bright side.

    This is a very big step in the right direction.

    Peace.

    • In reply to #2 by Stephen of Wimbledon:

      Some of us who took part in the letter writing campaign found the process frustrating, and the result disappointing – but it is important to look on the bright side.

      This is a very big step in the right direction.

      Peace.

      I’ve just dug out my non-committal reply from my MP (sadly the PM so no use whne it comes to getting anyhting done) dated January 2010. long time coming but we’ve got somewhare at last

  2. Interesting. What does this law clarify about libel? That what someone writes about another has to be true, or that one can’t sue over the terrible truth written about him, no matter how much it hurts?

  3. “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.”

    (Henry The Sixth, Part 2 Act 4, scene 2, 71–78)

    600+ years after the scene & and 400 + years after it was penned we still have not taken this advice. :-)

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