Reforming Libel Law in the United Kingdom (NYC Event)
English libel law is an international problem. It has been condemned by a UN Human Rights Committee report, President Obama signed into law bipartisan legislation protecting Americans from its effects, and a UK Parliamentary committee described it as a national humiliation.
John Kampfner, the CEO of Index on Censorship, explains how his organization alongside partners built a coalition of 60,000 supporters, and forced politicians to act with the first wholesale attempt at libel reform since 1843. The Libel Reform Campaign has been one of the most successful NGO campaigns of recent years, dominating the legal, media and public discourse on these laws.
This discussion on the Libel Reform Campaign (supported by the Open Society Foundations) will cover:
- What was the impetus for the campaign and how it developed from a piece of policy research into an international campaign?
- What the effect of English libel law is on freedom of expression within the UK, and how this continues to affect the US and wider world?
- How has this campaign forced politicians to rework an arcane area of law, and what are the lessons for other NGO campaigning?
- John Kampfner, Director, Index on Censorship, and former Editor of The New Statesman;
- Victor Kovner, Counsel in many First Amendment cases and former Corporation Counsel of the City of New York;
- Lord Lester of Herne Hill, Board member of the Open Society Justice Initiative and principal sponsor in Parliament of reform legislation.
The moderator will be Aryeh Neier, President of the Open Society Foundations.
Fines Threaten Media Freedom in ArmeniaTatevik MelikyanJuly 5, 2011 BLOG Armenian journalists no longer face jail time for libel or slander, but new financial punishments are posing a real threat to the existence of print media in the country. Case Watch: Can a Book Review Constitute Defamation?Sarah MontgomeryMarch 9, 2011 BLOG French criminal courts recently resolved an unusual case, which might have had a chilling effect on academic speech, with a judgment that should be welcomed by scholars everywhere.