Author Archives: Robert Sharp

The Independent View: A chance for Liberal Democrat activists to speak up for free speech

There is a new threat to the Defamation Bill.

No sooner had the proposed law been liberated, after being taken hostage by Leveson negotiations, than Conservative MPs have begun messing with crucial free speech provisions.

Former libel lawyer Sir Edward Garnier MP has tabled an amendment seeking to remove a crucial clause from the Defamation Bill. The clause places some limits on corporations’ use of the libel laws. It does not bar them from suing entirely – just asks that they show financial loss before they do so. It’s an objective and measurable …

Posted in The Independent View | Tagged , , , and | 3 Comments

Libel law needs major reform

The clamour for a change to our pernicious libel laws grows louder every day.  In November, Index on Censorship and English PEN published Free Speech is Not For Sale, a report into the state of libel in England & Wales, and the bizarre phenomenon of libel tourism.  Impressed by this report, Jack Straw announced the creation of a working group to deliver reform.  Lib Dem peer Lord Lester announced on the BBC Radio 4 PM programme he will begin drafting a libel bill, and MPs have begun to sign EDM 423 (tabled by Dr …

Posted in Op-eds and The Independent View | Tagged , , and | 7 Comments
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    @Chris Moore "What is your problem with foreigners? Are you a Little Englander? Or an autarkist?" I had to look 'autarkist' up - not a word I've ever come a...
  • Lorenzo Cherin
    David I think you mistake my understanding something for supporting something. I understand the rail strike but do not think it the soution. I think to...
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    @Jim Webber "But we need efficient public services and the intransigence seen in the rail dispute seems to be in part due to the linking of productivity improv...
  • Jim Webber
    Well said Paul Barker. The squeeze on public sector wages (both actual and the result of financial pressures on out-sourced services) is driving so many of the ...