This is the presentation given by Professor Alastair Mullis to the Westminster Policy Forum “Libel & privacy law ‐ challenges for reform” on 15 June 2010. It is reproduced with permission and thanks.
The English law of defamation has been the subject of considerable attention, much of it highly critical, over the last couple of years. It has been said that its archaic rules chill free speech generally and academic debate in particular. Our law has been characterised as being out of line with the rest of the world in terms of free speech. London has apparently become the libel capital of the world with droves of libel tourists, or as the Americans would have it ‘libel terrorists’, lining up to sue those who publish books and articles that make an important contribution to public debate. Continue reading