As promised earlier this week, the Inforrm blog continues to offer challenging discussion around the arguments posed by the Libel Reform campaign. Here, it reproduces an article by William Bennett, barrister at 5RB, that originally appeared in the Solicitor’s Journal.
“Think again: the recent campaign for libel reform is not based on careful consideration,” he argues.
The real crux of the problem is not the law but the excessive costs of deploying it – and Parliament should abolish the right to jury trials in defamation. Such reform, particularly if implemented in conjunction with the proposals set out in Lord Justice Jackson’s recent review of civil litigation costs, would dramatically cut the cost of defamation litigation. In turn this would promote freedom of speech in a way which would not compromise the rights of those defamed.
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