Since the passage of the Defamation Act 2013 the Libel Reform Campaign has been focused on Northern Ireland and Scotland. So long as the law remains unreformed in those jurisdictions there is a risk that free speech will be undermined throughout the UK.
In fact, the discrepancy is already causing problems. Sky Atlantic recently postponed a planned screening of Going Clear, a documentary on Scientology, because of fears of legal action in Northern Ireland.
The good news, however, is that our campaign is forcing politicians and policymakers to take the problem seriously.
- In Northern Ireland, our campaigning has won support for reform from leading politicians and helped secure a major consultation by the Northern Ireland Law Commission. Legislation may soon be possible to reform the law.
- In Scotland, we raised the issue with the Scottish Law Commission. The latest reform programme will include a review of the law.
Read more on our round up blog on what we have been able to achieve so far in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
So the people in power are listening. But we need to keep up the pressure if they are actually going to update the law at Stormont and Holyrood.
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