Libel Law and Free Speech: an event and a broadcast

23 04 2010

On 21 April 2010 the Libel Reform Campaign held “Free Speech Hustings” with Dr Evan Harris (Lib Dem), Dominic Grieve (Conservative) and Michael Wills (Labour) at the “Free Word Centre” Farringdon Road, London.   There is a podcast here.  We were impressed with Evan Harris’  contribution on general issues of freedom of expression, particularly on criminal justice issues such as “glorification of terrorism”.  He also made clear his concerns about the government’s rushed “Libel CFA reforms”.

Dominic Grieve made it clear that the Conservatives wanted to consult on libel reform to put together a package and made a number of thoughtful and measured comments on various proposed reforms.  Michael Wills made it clear that free speech was about balance and emphasised the role of the Human Rights Act and the Freedom of Information Act.  Overall the contributions of all three were well considered and thoughtful.

On the same evening the BBC Radio 4 programme “Unreliable Evidence”, presented by Clive Anderson, this week discussed the law of libel.  The participants were Lord Hoffmann, Adrienne Page QC, Gavin Millar QC and Jonathan Coad.  A link to the broadcast can be found here.  We will have a full post on this broadcast shortly.

Both of these are are well worth listening to.

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2 responses

24 04 2010
Law and Media – News and Events, 24 April 2010 « Inforrm's Blog

[...] have already reported on the “Free Speech Hustings” this week.  The Press Gazette picked up on Dr Evan [...]

12 05 2010
Libel Reform, Free Speech and the Coalition Government « Inforrm's Blog

[...] Mr Clarke made it clear that he has not had time to consider the issues, saying, “I need to get up to speed on all the issues and I need to speak to Dominic Grieve who is preparing all of this for me“.  Mr Grieve, the former Shadow Justice Secretary, is the new Attorney-General and has been involved in both the Conservative “British Bill of Rights” project (see his May 2009 lecture) and with “libel reform” (and was a participant at the “Libel Reform Hustings“). [...]

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