Posts Tagged Libel Reform

The Mass Libel Reform Blog – Fight for Free Speech!

This week is the first anniversary of the report Free Speech is Not for Sale, which highlighted the oppressive nature of English libel law. In short, the law is extremely hostile to writers, while being unreasonably friendly towards powerful corporations and individuals who want to silence critics.

The English libel law is particularly dangerous for bloggers, who are generally not backed by publishers, and who can end up being sued in London regardless of where the blog was posted. The internet allows bloggers to reach a global audience, but it also allows the High Court in London to have a global reach.

You can read more about the peculiar and grossly unfair nature of English libel law at the website of the Libel Reform Campaign. You will see that the campaign is not calling for the removal of libel law, but for a libel law that is fair and which would allow writers a reasonable opportunity to express their opinion and then defend it.

The good news is that the British Government has made a commitment to draft a bill that will reform libel, but it is essential that bloggers and their readers send a strong signal to politicians so that they follow through on this promise. You can do this by joining me and over 50,000 others who have signed the libel reform petition at
http://www.libelreform.org/sign

Remember, you can sign the petition whatever your nationality and wherever you live. Indeed, signatories from overseas remind British politicians that the English libel law is out of step with the rest of the free world.

If you have already signed the petition, then please encourage friends, family and colleagues to sign up. Moreover, if you have your own blog, you can join hundreds of other bloggers by posting this blog on your own site. There is a real chance that bloggers could help change the most censorious libel law in the democratic world.

We must speak out to defend free speech. Please sign the petition for libel reform at
http://www.libelreform.org/sign

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Free Speech Hustings and Libel Reform

When: Wed, Apr 21, 2010 6.30 – 22.30 PM
Where: The Crown Hotel, 43 Lime Street, Liverpool

Streaming live direct from the debate in London, the Merseyside Skeptics will be hosting a live broadcast of the The Free Speech Hustings – your chance to watch Jack Straw from Labour, Dominic Grieve from the Conservatives, and Evan Harris from the Liberal Democrats go head to head over libel law reform and protecting our freedom of speech.

The Free Speech Hustings bring together scientists, writers, human rights activists, journalists, bloggers and most importantly… voters – to put the difficult questions to the candidates about free speech and libel reform, counter-terrorism, privacy and religious hatred.

Each of the main parties will be represented, and will be answering questions on the libel law, free speech and what their party will do to protect and serve if elected.

  • Representing LABOUR… Jack Straw
  • Representing the CONSERVATIVES… Dominic Grieve
  • Representing the LIBERAL DEMOCRATS… Evan Harris

For more information, see libelreform.org.

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