21 March 2011
Expert urges government to revamp libel system
The British libel system could become more accessible for a greater number of people in the near future, an expert has suggested.
According to Padraig Reidy - news editor of Index on Citizenship, a global resource focused on freedom of expression - the proposed changes to the country's Draft Defamation Bill could result in libel cases becoming cheaper and therefore easier to fund for many members of society.
The Ministry of Justice last week (March 15th 2011) published the document along with an accompanying consultation paper, which contained details of provisions aimed at reforming the law in order to achieve a balance between the important factors of protection of reputation and freedom of speech.
Mr Reidy noted that these possible alterations could be a welcome change as they could result in a "more free and open public debate" on the issue.
At present, he added, defamation legislation is unfair on both journalists and claimants as it is "loaded against free expression".
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Posted by Daniel Stevens