Proposed bill to reform UK libel law includes defence of public interest

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 28 May 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c2881
  1. Richard Hurley

    A1 BMJ

    A private members’ bill to amend English defamation law published on 27 May proposes new rights for defendants who acted responsibly and when publication is deemed a matter of public interest. The current libel law has been accused of “chilling” scientific debate and legitimate free expression because of the risk of being sued.

    Although the coalition Conservative-Liberal Democrat government has promised to review libel laws, the matter was not explicitly mentioned in the Queen’s speech, and the bill may not receive parliamentary time.

    The bill was proposed by the Liberal Democrat …

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