25 June 2010
Defamation bill 'is not radical'
A defamation bill proposed by Lord Lester is not radical in its approach, it has been claimed.
Writing in the Guardian, Siobhain Butterworth said those hoping for fundamental reform of legislation on the issue are likely to be disappointed.
The planned laws have "much to offer to media defendants", she noted, pointing to the introduction of a single publication rule and the widening of the categories of information to which statutory privilege applies.
However, the bill is "less than revolutionary" in other areas, she claimed.
For example, it does not reduce the burden of proof.
Commenting on his ideas, Lord Lester said: "I wanted a bill that is a fair balance between the right of free speech on the one hand and the right to a good reputation on the other."
The peer - who became a lord in 1993 - is due to have a second reading on his proposed legislation on July 9th.
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