The Sunday Times yesterday reported that Jack Straw is to ‘draw up proposals’ for ‘wholesale reform’ of British libel laws.
“The justice secretary says the large legal fees involved in defamation cases in English courts are jeopardising freedom of speech, potentially curbing vital debate by scientists, academics and journalists.
“The huge payouts awarded to individuals who successfully claim their reputation has been damaged has made London the libel capital of the world”
According to the Sunday Times, Straw was ‘impressed’ by the Index on Censorship / English PEN’s year-long inquiry into the state of British libel.
“The proposed changes are still under discussion, but Straw is keen to begin the process, which could involve a new libel bill, as soon as possible.”