The Defamation Bill has its second reading in the House of Lords this afternoon.
It will rebalance the competing rights of freedom of speech and the right to privacy. It will also stop trivial claims, clamp down on “libel tourism”, make the law fit for the internet age and stop the law being abused to silence critics.
Lord McNally said:
“Freedom of speech is the foundation of democracy. We need investigative journalism and scientific research to be able to flourish without the fear of unfounded, lengthy and costly defamation and libel cases being brought against them.
“We are committed to reforming the law on defamation and want to focus on ensuring that a right and a fair balance is struck between freedom of expression and the protection of reputation.”
Following the second reading, the Bill will move to committee stage in the Lords where it will be further examined.