Journalism.co.uk has pledged its support to the Libel Reform Campaign, run by Index on Censorship, Sense About Science and English PEN to overhaul current legislation, bringing in a new bill that caps libel case fees for lawyers and addresses the impact of online publishing on libel.
Freedom to criticise and question, in strong terms and without malice, is the cornerstone of argument and debate, whether in scholarly journals, on websites, in newspapers or elsewhere. Our current libel laws inhibit debate and stifle free expression. They discourage writers from tackling important subjects and thereby deny us the right to read about them.
As a small, online publisher, we are acutely aware of the ‘chilling effect’ that current libel legislation and the excessive cost of libel trials in the UK can have on freedom of expression and journalism. We support the Libel Reform Campaign and the changes it proposes, which advocate journalists’ right to criticise and question those in power and positions of influence.
- Index on Censorship: Conservatives pledge support to libel reform campaign
- Press Gazette: Libel reform and FOI on LibCon agenda
- Jack of Kent: Could Lester’s libel reform bill fail to launch?
- William Bennett on libel reform: ‘The real crux of the problem is not the law but the excessive costs of deploying it’
- Shadow justice minister says libel reform issue would be a ‘priority’ for a Tory government