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Thursday, 28 January 2010

Lucifee on Libel Reform

Anyone interested in the debate over libel reform should pop over to Lucifee's excellent blog for part one of her analysis of the current state of libel law.

Lucifee is a lawyer (though not a media lawyer) and a geek (and attendee of Westminster Skeptics), but she takes a refreshingly different view on the need for libel reform.

In particular, she poses some probing and hard questions of the conventional wisdom of libel reformers such as myself, and she rightly demands an evidence-based approach to the reform debate.

I plan to respond in detail when part two of her analysis is posted.

2 comments:

ivan said...

I'm not impressed by Lucifee's analysis. She's saying "Where are the libel tourism cases - there seem to be only a handful". I don't think that is the correct kind of hard evidence. Lots of cases aren't necessary. A few cases brought to court establish precedent - we can name the significant cases. And then others see the precedent and apologise and pulp the book before proceedings even start (as the Guardian advised Singh). And then the rest never even publish.

States in the USA are passing laws making UK libel judgments unenforceable in the USA. Reporters in Moscow say they are worried what they can say about commercially powerful Russians in case they get sued in London. This is the true hard evidence that the English libel courts act extra-territorially to impose English standards of libel on the rest of the world. Because these days it is practically impossible to publish something in Moscow or New York and ensure it is not read in London.

Grim said...

Perhaps in the course of the discussion, you could introduce Lucifee to the life and times of Robert Maxwell and the firm of Maislish & Co.

A proposition: if the outcome of court cases depends in any way on the quality of the respective lawyers, then justice is not being served.