Thursday, August 26, 2010

Those following football news will know that there are a couple of superinjunctions in place at the moment. Some people think that our libel laws are too strict, and that the press should have the right to report news more freely. Early in the year John Terry had a superinjunction lifted, but Newsround, rather foolishly, didn't report what happened until nearly a week later.

In today's Independent, there is a piece about changes to British libel law which could come about as a result of a Bill introduced recently in the House of Lords.

"I don't have an axe to grind. I'm not there to represent claimants, I'm not there to represent the media, I'm not there to represent defendants. My role is to try to act as a sensible lawmaker," says Anthony Lester, who introduced his Defamation Bill on 26th May 2010.

Anthony, who is more usually known as Lord Lester of Herne Hill QC has, according to The Independent, spent a lifetime dedicated to making the world a fairer place for those discriminated against on grounds of race, gender and sexuality. But it seems his primary concern is for "free speech." In Anthony's philosophy anything which, in his opinion, hinders "free speech" can have a "chilling effect" on something or other. So, for example, on the 19th January 2010, he told peers about the "chilling effect" on broadcasters if they wanted the freedom to discriminate, but weren't allowed to because of the law.

More about this in a future blog.

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