Libel Law: calling on Government to reject amendments
As some of you may have seen over the last few weeks, the Defamation Bill - the result of much hard work by the Libel Reform Campaign, of which Mumsnet is a supporter - is currently threatened by a political row. We are now concerned to hear that amendments intended to destroy the Bill have been tabled by Sir Edward Garnier.
Below is a press release (issued 15th April 2013), calling on the Government to reject the amendment to the Defamation Bill. If you'd like to add your voice, you can write to your MP here.
Press Release: Monday 15th April 2013
For immediate release: Mumsnet calls on the Government to reject amendment to the Defamation Bill
We are very concerned to see that the Defamation Bill is in danger of being gutted following an amendment, tabled by Sir Edward Garnier, seeking to remove the requirement for corporations to show evidence of financial damage before they can sue and also seeking to overturn a recent ruling that prevents local authorities suing taxpayers who criticise their actions.
Asking corporations to show evidence of financial damage would do much to end vexatious claims of libel, which sadly Mumsnet sees on a near-daily basis. We also see many examples of state schools using the UK's outdated libel laws to close down any criticism; both companies and public bodies seem routinely to be using the libel law for online reputation management rather than for its intended use.
Justine Roberts, Mumsnet CEO and Co-Founder said:
"This amendment would do great damage to a Bill that we are proud to have campaigned for over the past three years. It would be a great shame if the Government were to support it."
Update on the state of play following Commons debate (16th April 2013)