libel reform campaign — the next stage

Here is the latest news from the Libel Reform Campaign and their forthcoming lobby of Parliament on Wednesday 9th November at 6 pm.

Can you join us in Parliament on Wednesday 9th November to tell MPs why libel reform has to happen now?

The Joint Committee on the Draft Defamation Bill last week urged the government to strengthen their proposals for reform, in line with recommendations from the Libel Reform Campaign. There is still work to be done to protect free speech from the stifling effects of current libel law: to provide a stronger, wider and more accessible public interest defence; and to make sure proposals on the internet work for bloggers and forums.

Our biggest battle will be to make sure libel reform does not get pushed off a crowded parliamentary agenda. It is vital that we ensure Parliamentarians know the strength of support for libel reform. Please join us and supporters including Simon Singh, Which?, Society of Editors, Global Witness, AOL and Liberty:

Wednesday 9th November 2011, 6pm

Committee Room 10, House of Commons

Every day we hear about new cases of scientists, publishers and bloggers being threatened with libel action. We have we got to this historic point with your support. If we let the momentum slip now, the opportunity for change could be lost.

We really hope you can join us to show MPs that libel law reform can’t wait. Please reply to this email to let us know if you can come.

Best wishes

Síle and Mike

*

Today, a prestigious Parliamentary committee endorsed our call that the libel laws need to be redrawn. Their voice adds to the condemnation of the United Nations Human Rights Committee, the Culture, Media and Sport select committee, and President Barack Obama who signed into law the US Speech Act to protect Americans from the effects of our archaic libel laws.

And do join me and other campaigners at our lobby of Parliament on Wednesday 9th November at 6 pm. There are more details about this meeting on www.libelreform.org.

It’s been your incredible support that has got us to where we are now. Your voices, help, donations, the Big Libel Gig, the Big Libel Lobby, and the Geek Calendar have all played their part.

Today the Parliamentary committee outlined what they think needs to be done to get our laws into shape. They took on board many of our recommendations but we still need a stronger public interest defence and to make sure the proposals on the internet work for bloggers and forums. Now we’re asking MPs to take raise our concerns and act – you can see what we think about the committee’s report here.

Over the last two years libel reform has risen to the top of the political agenda. Now it is time to tell the government we want a bill going through parliament as soon as possible.

Yours,

Simon Singh

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