7 January 2011

Libel tourism to end?

The Daily Mail reports that Clegg is to announce a thorough-going reform of British libel laws. Text reads in part:
It is a farce – and an international embarrassment – that the American Government has felt it necessary to legislate to protect their citizens from our libel laws. This Government wants to restore our reputation for free speech. We will be publishing a draft defamation bill in the spring. We intend to provide a new statutory defence for those speaking out in the public interest, and to clarify the law around the existing defences of fair comment, and justification.’
The weasel words that follow say that his intention is to "rein in" libel tourism and prevent claimants threatening legal action on essentially trivial grounds.

Why was this not done on day 1 of this administration? Libel tourism is a stench in the nostrils of international jurisprudence and must be stopped, not "reined in"; and who the hell will decide what is or is not "essentially trivial".

No mention of the outrageous English innovation of the "super-injunction", in which the press is prohibited from reporting even the existence of the injunction, or any details of it, a field in which the solicitors Carter-Fuck are pre-eminent and which has been granted to, inter alia, the gargoyle Andrew Marr to prevent publication of the scarcely believable fact that some sad woman other than his wife had consented to let him drip his premature ejaculations into her.

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