The Defamation Bill is to receive a second reading in the House of Commons on 12 June. In preparation, Lord McNally has been repeating the mantra that the reforms will introduce a better balance between free speech and the protection of reputation in the law of libel. The inference to be drawn is that the substantive law is currently weighted in favour of reputation. Any casual observer of the ballyhoo and passing frenzy that has characterised discussion of this issue over the past 24 months would no doubt nod assent. Continue reading