24 January 2012
Leveson inquiry 'should not obstruct libel reform'
The ongoing Leveson inquiry into print media ethics in Britain must not obstruct the process of changing the country's libel laws.
That is according to John Kampfner - chief executive of pro-reform campaign group Index on Censorship and author of Freedom for Sale - who has today (January 24th) told the Leveson panel the two issues need not be inter-related.
Mr Kampfner urged the Lord Justice to do everything in his power to avoid a "tragic" situation whereby the work of his inquiry "inadvertently delayed the inserting of libel into the Queen's speech in May".
At present, a new defamation bill could be included in the forthcoming legislative timeframe, but Mr Kampfner expressed his concern that findings of the Leveson investigation could obstruct this.
Index on Censorship has been campaigning for changes to libel laws since 2009 on the grounds that current legislation is out of date and unfit for purpose in the 21st century.
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Posted by Trusha Vyas