10 February 2012
Govt 'may set up small claims court for libel cases'
The government is considering the possibility of creating a new small claims court to deal with grievance cases brought about on the grounds of libel, it has emerged.
Chris Bryant, MP for the Welsh constituency of Rhondda, put forward this idea in the House of Commons earlier in the week as he believes this would help offer greater levels of protection to the public's ability to sue for breaches of privacy, Wales Online reports.
Mr Bryant recently successfully took legal action against News International as a result of phone-hacking by the now-defunct News of the World and was awarded £30,000 damages.
However, he expressed concern that forthcoming changes to libel laws will make it difficult for individuals to sue in the future, meaning the establishment of a specialist small claims court may be a good idea.
And culture secretary Jeremy Hunt - who is also MP for South West Surrey - believes this proposal "has some merit".
"We will look into it and see whether it is something that we can pursue," he added.
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Posted by Trusha Vyas