Monday, May 24, 2010

Bill Seeks to Curb U.K. Libel Tourism Trade

View of the House of Lords Chamber in the Pala...Image via Wikipedia
According to an item in "Banksy's Blog," Lord Lester this week will introduce a private member's  libel reform bill to the House of Lords.

The measure would attempt to restore balance to claimant-friendly defamation laws in Great Britain.  Lord Lester's bill reportedly would require claimants--individuals and corporations alike--to prove damages in defamation claims, which are presumed as the law currently is written. Other revisions to the libel law would mandate that libel trials be bench trials, rather than jury trials, and that defenses  common in U.S. libel law, such as privilege, be available to English media defendants. (See "TUOL" post 3/24/10 for a discussion of England's libel law.)

England's defamation law was last revised in 1996.

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