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The libel myth

The English press has greater freedom than it claims

By James Price   February 2010

The campaign to reform English libel law is gathering pace, with the powerful support of the Sunday Times among many others. The laws are said to strangle free speech and encourage libel tourism. But is this true? Bear in mind the press and media are not disinterested parties in this debate.

It is widely claimed that foreigners are coming to England to sue overseas publishers for vast sums, even if their books or newspapers have small circulations here. This view stems in part from a misunderstanding about a particular case (in which I had an advisory role). In 2003…

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