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Doctors and scientists demand reform of England’s libel laws

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b5393 (Published 10 December 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b5393
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1BMJ

    A national petition to reform England’s “unjust” libel laws, backed by MPs, doctors, scientists, writers, and lawyers, was launched on Wednesday 9 December at the House of Commons in London.

    The campaign, launched by the charity Sense About Science, with backing from Index on Censorship and the English branch of the international writers’ group PEN, aims to reform laws that are widely criticised for exerting a “chilling” effect on free speech.

    England’s libel laws have long been attacked by the media for the high cost of fighting libel cases, for unfairly favouring claimants, and for encouraging “libel tourism” among those overseas who …

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