Monday, December 15, 2008

Libel, Literature and Censorship

English PEN and Index on Censorship are launching a public inquiry into libel legislation in the UK. The decision reflects increasing concern from both oranisations and others about the extent to which courts are being used to stifle investigative journalism and other forms of legitimate expression.

The inquiry will invite submissions from publishers, writers, editors, journalists, lawyers and other interested parties and will culminate in a major conference next spring.

The United Nations Human Rights Committee has already signaled its concern that English libel law discourages "Critical media reporting on matters of serious public interest, adversely affecting the ability of scholars and journalists to publish their work, including through the phenomenon known as libel tourism”.

One to watch.

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