English libel law is becoming a global disgrace

Jo Glanville, Director English PEN:

Our libel laws allow the rich and powerful to silence their critics and stop the general public from receiving vital information in their interest. We need to reform our libel laws now to protect the freedom of speech of every citizen.

Kirsty Hughes, the CEO of Index on Censorship:

English libel law is chilling global freedom of expression, by silencing writers, journalists, bloggers and human rights activists in the UK and around the world. Reforming these antiquated laws is long overdue, which is why it is imperative that the government passes the Defamation Bill.

Tracey Brown, Managing Director of Sense About Science:

Libel laws are not just a Fleet Street issue. We have heard from scientists, campaigners, writers, academics and patients that their discussions and publications are being shut down by the threat of libel action. Critical and open debates are vital in medicine and the public are badly missing out without them.

To Index on Censorship and English PEN it has become increasingly clear that English libel law and the use of ‘super-injunctions’ are having a profoundly negative impact on freedom of expression, both in the UK and abroad. Writers such as Simon Singh, and respected current affairs programme Newsnight, have found themselves facing defamation suits, whilst human rights campaigners are often forced to edit and retract articles in the face of potential libel action.

We need to persuade politicians from all the political parties to commit to reform of our unjust libel laws.


Latest News

The fight for libel reform continues. 03.04.14 - As you may be aware, the new defences in the Defamation Act have been blocked from being extended to Northern Ireland. D... More detail
Senior judge reminds judges that they can strike out trivial libel claims 02.01.14 - The Libel Reform Campaign and the MPs and Peers who led the campaign in the Houses of Parliament have always called for ... More detail
A new dawn for libel law 31.12.13 - The Defamation Act comes into force on 1st January 2014. This will mean that England and Wales will have the new libel l... More detail
New libel law in January 20.11.13 - The Defamation Act 2013 will come into force on 1st January 2014 Minister for Justice Lord McNally announced in the Hous... More detail
The battle to modernise libel law continues elsewhere in the UK 08.11.13 - We may have achieved libel reform in England & Wales, but the battle to modernise libel law continues elsewhere i... More detail
Shortened response to Mike Nesbitt's defamation law consultation 08.11.13 - Proposed Private Member’s Bill on the law of defamation in Northern Ireland Consultat... More detail

About Libel Reform

The Libel Reform coalition brings together English PEN, Index on Censorship and our partner organisation Sense About Science to campaign to reform the libel laws of England and Wales.

Contact us

Please contact us at the following:
Libel Reform Campaign
Free Word Centre, 60  Farringdon Road, EC1R 3GA

Tel: (0044) 207 3242522