There appears to be a growing political consensus that Britain’s libel laws are too waited in favour of rich claimants and money-grubbing lawyers.
Today Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg is set to use a speech to the Royal Society to call for libel laws to be reformed, The Independent reports.
“Libel tourism is making a mockery of British justice,” Clegg will say.
“I am deeply concerned about the stifling effect English libel laws are having on scientific debate,” adds Clegg. “Scientists must be allowed to question claims fearlessly – especially those that relate to medical care, environmental damage and public safety – if we are to protect ourselves against poor research, phoney treatments and vested corporate interests.”
In December a new campaign was launched seeking reform of the UK’s libel laws. The Libel Reform Campaign has attracted a host of high-profile backers.
Late last year Justice Secretary Jack Straw promised a wholesale reform of the laws of libel.