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Amend the Libel Laws.

Comment 18th July 2010

My idea is to change the Libel Laws, specifically the defamation part of the Libel Laws. On this I support the proposals put forward by the Liberal Democrat Lord Lester who seeks to make substantial changes to the libel laws, so that those who are being sued have much more legal rights, and also to toughen the libel laws up, to make it much harder for firms to seek injunctions against journalists, and much harder in general to take legal action in disputes, when political disputes should never go to court in the first place.  This stop the UK being the Libel Capital of the world

Why does this matter?

My idea is important, because the way our libel laws are at the moment, freedom of speech is effectively up for sale. If an organisation or an individual takes offence at an article or book, they can sue them. This can destroy young journalists life and has a negative effect on investigative journalism. It has acted as a gag on freedom of speech, taken as a charter by anyone who feels they are offended. No more is this seen by the fact that we have become the libel capital of the world, with tourists flocking worldwide to use our notoriously easy libel laws, to close down any debate which may offend them.

libel laws as they are, are used by interest groups, to bully individuals with strong opinions and try to silence them. It is my belief that it is not in the public interest to try and gag people. Preventing people from saying what they think, and presenting facts as they see it creates a sea of distrust and is profoundly anti democratic. If we want to live in a free society people have to be free to express their opinions without fear, and unfortunately at the moment this is not the case in the UK at the moment. Therefore far more defence needs to be given from individuals to defend themselves from wrongful defamation action, which can destroy their lives and bankrupt them. In the UK we have always had a sense of defending the underdog, well if we are to keep to this tradition then we need to defend free speech from the grips of interest group defamers.Maybe if this happens corporations and interest groups will think twice about phoning up their lawyers and trying to sue them for daring to cause offence.

If the government accepts this idea, then we can truly say once and for all that freedom is not up for sale.

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