Friday, 12 November 2010
Catholic bloggers joining the battle for libel law reform
Both Dolphinarium: Catholic bloggers for Libel Reform - Fight for Free Speech and James Preece: Catholics for Libel Reform have highlighted a petition for libel law reform. I agree with it and have signed it.
It is important to have a libel law. If someone writes seriously damaging things about you that are false, you should have some redress against them. To obtain a retraction, an apology, and some reasonable financial compensation is fair enough if your reputation has been seriously damaged. Unfortunately in England at the moment, the libel law can be used to stifle debate, even to prevent scientists from publishing their research freely, and to intimidate people instead of engaging in rational discussion. It is a matter of balance between free speech and the prevention of calumny. We have not got that balance right and therefore I support the reform of the libel law.