Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Libel Reform and the Queen's Speech

Last week the Libel Reform Campaign sent out a letter calling on its supporters to contact their MP to try and make sure that libel reform is included in the next Queen's speech. Various people who have been subject to the madness that is English Libel law signed the letter including Dave Osler and my good self. Double click screen print to bring up detail.

Please click on this link and send your MP a message.

"We are writing as people who have battled libel threats and actions to ask for your help to make sure reform of the laws gets into next year's Queen's Speech, which sets the legislative agenda for 2012.

People are still being threatened by a law that allows the rich and powerful to bully critics and shut down public debate. Libel reform needs urgent action. The campaign and all its supporters have worked hard to persuade the Ministry of Justice to draw up an effective defamation bill, but if it is not in the Queen's Speech in the spring, then libel reform will be delayed for at least another year, which will be a victory for those who want to silence honest criticism. We can't bear to let this opportunity slip away.

We know we will have to battle against those who want to delay or derail libel reform, and the best way to get our message across is to lobby MPs for support. Please help us by filling in the form to the right to send an email to your MP so they know that all we want for Christmas is the inclusion of libel reform in the Queen's Speech".


Socrates said...

In the mean time it would be useful for people like Vaughan Jones and myself, could get a little practical support - perhaps an association of sued bloggers? Somewhere to pool and share information - and build a skills base?

I was fortunate to be able to wield the threat of Matrix and a two year battle to send my adversary scuttling back to the US.

Many others haven't been so lucky.

John Gray said...

Hi Socrates

A very, very good idea. How to do it? A "meeting", Newsletter, Website, Social media...?

Is there something already existng that we can tag on to?

vjohn82 said...

I think we can definitely do something... perhaps a shared blog might be one way to start where we can share our stories and offer some resources and also piggyback, to some extent, on the libel reform campaign and the Index on Censorship.

There is a good opportunity to make sure libel reform is high on the agenda this year and we really need to make the most of the momentum in this direction.

I'd also advocate looking at some sort of "tour" of the Skeptics in the Pub events to continue to highlight libel reform and for protection of bloggers who call people out on their unscrupulous deeds.

Some tactics on dealing with libel threats have been published by the Sense About Science team... might be good to pool all of these resources?

Happy to support this in any way I can.

John Gray said...

Hi Vaughan

Another good idea about the blog. The trouble is that this will attract the ire of the stupids so I think it will have to hosted in the US until these daft laws are changed. Not sure even this will work?

But the " Skeptics in the Pub events tour" seems a great idea. Since I have been too disorganised to even attend a London event I'm probably not the best person to bring this up. Speak to you know who.

Hopefully we will get some good news in the near future to launch something?

vjohn82 said...

A website hosted in the US would work on some level... not sure if individuals can still be held liable in this country. Worth looking into.

The Skeptics tour is one way we can promote this but this is sort of preaching to the choir if you know what I mean? We need some real consciousness raising amongst the general population because they need to hear about the restrictions being placed on useful information and information givers.

I'll speak to you later if you are about with some ideas.