Wednesday, February 28, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Sunday, January 9, 2011
UK Lib-Dems push for end of “libel tourism”
By Andrew Walden @ 4:29 PM :: 7988 Views :: Energy, Environment, National News, Ethics, World News, Family

Editor’s note: Nick Clegg, Deputy PM of Britain in a Jan 7 speech calls for a total overhaul of “embarrassing” UK libel laws.  Threats of libel actions in UK courts were used to silence coverage of the financial connection between Barack Obama, Tony Rezko, and Iraqi ex-Baathist billionaire and lifelong Saddam Hussein associate Nadhmi Auchi during the 2008 campaign.  Hawai’i Free Press was one of the few news sources anywhere on Earth willing to defy the threats. 

In July, 2010 the US Congress passed HR2765 the SPEECH Act, protecting US residents from the imposition of UK libel proceedings which have also been used by Islamists to silence US-based terror funding researchers. 

Now the British Parliament, led by a coalition of the Conservative Party and the Liberal-Democratic Party appears poised to put an end to laws which mean “academics and journalists are effectively bullied into silence.”

The following is excerpted from a January 7, 2011 Parliamentary speech by Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal-Democratic party and Deputy Prime Minister of Britain.  

    

by Nick Clegg (excerpted)

…There is a divide in politics between those of us who trust people and those who trust only government.

It is a line that divides progressive politics into two camps: old progressives, who value a powerful state, and new progressives, who value powerful citizens. Labour is on the wrong side of that divide.

Because, if you believe that the state has all the answers, you will always be pessimistic about citizens.

If you believe everything must be controlled from the centre you will protect central power at all costs. Even when that cost is basic British freedoms.

Liberals, and this Government, take a wholly different approach.

Liberals believe in the dispersal of power: in the raucous and unpredictable capacity of people and communities to make the right decisions for themselves.

We believe that social progress is driven not only by government, but also by confident, free individuals and communities, able to seize opportunities and take risks.

People cannot do that when the state is forever on their back; when their freedoms are denied and their autonomy is undermined.

So this Government is going to restore British liberties….

 

…In opposition my party made clear that we wanted to see English libel laws reformed.

Almost exactly a year ago I made that case in a speech to the Royal Society. I argued that English libel laws are having a chilling effect on scientific debate and investigative journalism.

Of course, individual citizens must be able to protect their reputations from false and damaging claims; and we can’t allow companies to be the victim of damaging, untrue and malicious statements.

But, equally, we want public-spirited academics and journalists to be fearless in publishing legitimate research. Not least when it relates to medical care or public safety.

The test of a free press is its capacity to unearth the truth, exposing charlatans and vested interests along the way.

It is simply not right when academics and journalists are effectively bullied into silence by the prospect of costly legal battles with wealthy individuals and big businesses.

Nor should foreign claimants be able to exploit these laws, bringing cases against foreign defendants here to our courts – even if the connection with England is tenuous.

It is a farce – and an international embarrassment - that the American Congress has felt it necessary to legislate to protect their citizens from our libel laws. 

This Government wants to restore our international reputation for free speech.

We will be publishing a draft defamation bill in the Spring. We intend to provide a new statutory defence for those speaking out in the public interest, whether they be big broadcasters or the humble blogger. And we intend to clarify the law around the existing defences of fair comment, and justification.

We believe claimants should not be able to threaten claims on what are essentially trivial grounds. We are going to tackle libel tourism. And we’re going to look at how the law can be updated to better reflect the realities of the internet.

Separately, we are also going to address the high costs of defamation proceedings. As part of that we have published a consultation paper on proposals by Lord Justice Jackson to reform civil litigation funding – and in particular no win no fee arrangements – to make costs more proportionate, more fair. 

Our aim is to turn English libel laws from an international laughing stock to an international blueprint….

LINK >>> FULL TEXT 

RELATED:

What this is all about:

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

HIEC.Coop

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Moms for Liberty

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

July 4 in Hawaii

Kakaako Cares

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

ReRoute the Rail

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT