11 November 2010

UK Libel Reform

Today we can see another reason that the UK Libel laws need to be fixed:-
"One of Britain's leading consultant plastic surgeons has been threatened with libel action by the manufacturer of a £125 'Boob Job' cream for speaking out about her doubts of its effectiveness. Dr Dalia Nield of The London Clinic was quoted in an article in the Daily Mail on 1st October 2010 saying that it was 'highly unlikely' the 'Boob Job' cream would increase a woman's breast size."

You can read all about it here:-

The most famous recent libel case Simon Singh and the Chiropractors when he said he believed some of their treatments were bogus. Libel is very expensive to defend, and this cost Singh a lot of money before it went to court. It was eventually dropped by British Chiropractic Association.

In August the US President signed a law to stop foreign libel judgments being enforceable in the US, this was certainly aimed at the lax UK laws, that have been used by Don King, Cameron Diaz and others.
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


Remember, you can sign the petition whatever your nationality and wherever you
. 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



“Political truth is libel; religious truth, blasphemy.”
 William Hazlitt (1778 - 1830)

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