Response to libel reform proposals

Lawyers for Media Standards publish report

The group Lawyers for Media Standards (LMS) has published a response to the views raised by proponents of reform of defamation law.

The report: Something Rotten in the State of English Libel Law? A Rejoinder to the Clamour for Reform of Defamation, has been commended by LMS as a valuable contribution to the present debate.

Launching the report, the authors, Professor Alastair Mullis of the University of East Anglia, and Dr Andrew Scott of the London School of Economics, commented:

"Libel reform must be coherent, not piecemeal and un-principled. It must balance the competing individual and social interests in freedom of expression, reputation and privacy, and should not weight the scales in advance. We have tried to highlight those areas in which there might be constructive reform. At the same time, we have sought to expose those reform proposals that we fear would be superfluous or worse."

LMS, a group whose founding members include Collyer Bristow, Johnsons Solicitors, Russell Jones and Walker and Swan Turton, has been set up with the aim of "injecting balance into the recent calls for reform of libel law."