Government waters down changes to UK libel law by making it easier for companies to sue

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f2511 (Published 19 April 2013)
Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f2511

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  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1BMJ

The UK coalition government has won a vote in the House of Commons removing a requirement in the Defamation Bill for companies to prove financial loss before being allowed to sue for libel.

The bill, which is intended to make the draconian libel laws in England and Wales more in favour of free speech, had been amended in the House of Lords to require companies to show financial loss to get permission to sue.

The amendment had been welcomed by free speech campaigners, who said that it would mitigate the power of corporations to use the libel laws to silence legitimate critics. …

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