Against Britain’s extreme libel laws

Simon Singh has spent the last year and a half of his life fighting a libel writ from the British Chiropractic Association. They want to silence him after he published an article about the problems with chiropractic therapy. This is not an isolated case. Britain’s libel laws are so plaintiff-friendly that frauds and conmen from all over the world fall over themselves to get their cases heard in England – and, if possible, at the court of Mr Justice Eady. The result is that our defamation law operates as a kind of outdoor relief system for Islamist sheiks, old-school corporate bad guys, and other wealthy and oversensitive criminals.

There are signs that change may come. Recently Carter-Ruck, London’s nastiest law firm, attempted to prevent the Guardian from reporting a question asked in Parliament about one of its clients – the Trafigura oil multinational, which in 2006 had dumped toxic waste on the Ivory Coast, infecting tens of thousands. (As Private Eye said to a Carter-Ruck spokesman: ‘Is there anyone you won’t represent?’) This backfired with the question and details of the case all over the internet in days.

Please take the time to read and sign the petition at the Libel Reform Campaign website.


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