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<nettime> Libel Reform Bill to be introduced by UK Government
Patrice Riemens on Mon, 12 Jul 2010 20:24:52 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> Libel Reform Bill to be introduced by UK Government


>From the Libel Reform Movement newsletter:


Dear Friends

You called for a Libel Reform Bill ? and the Government has
listened.

On Friday, Justice Minister Lord McNally said the Government has
listened to the 52,000 supporters of the Libel Reform Campaign and has
made a ?firm commitment to action? to protect freedom of speech
and the public interest with a bill to be published in the New Year.

The Bill will be the first attempt from a Government in more than a
century to undertake fundamental reform of our libel laws.
It?s an incredible success for our campaign ? and it?s thanks
to your support.

The announcement was made during the second reading debate of Lord
Lester?s Private Members Defamation Bill. You can watch the debate
as it happened here:

http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=6412

and there is a round up of coverage and reaction to the news here:

http://www.libelreform.org/news/465-9th-july-2010-government-announces-libel-reform-bill


But we don?t know how radical the Government?s bill will be, and
we don?t know whether it will ensure that writers like Simon Singh,
NGOs like Global Witness, or medical professionals like Dr Peter
Wilmshurst won?t face libel actions in the future. That?s why we
need your continued support.

Many of you have been emailing and Tweeting about this already ?
please do continue to spread the word. Over the next three months we
need to double the signatories to our petition so new MPs know how
important this issue is. We have a lot of work to do together to make
sure the Government brings forward a bill that really will make the
law fairer and give greater protection to free speech. Bloggers,
science writers, NGOs and small publications still face threats and
bankruptcy under the current laws, as illustrated by two bloggers,
Alex Hilton and John Gray, who are at the High Court in London today
fighting to have a libel case against them thrown out.

You can follow the case here http://www.jackofkent.blogspot.com


Best
Sile and Mike
http://www.libelreform.org


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