British Libel Laws Stifle Free Speech

British libel laws are stifling free speech in many parts of the world as businessmen and celebrities turn to UK courts in order to silence critics according to a recent study by the UN> The UN Committee on Human Rights criticises what they term “libel tourism” which allows businessmen and famous people to use the High Court in London to sue foreign publishers under claimant-friendly defamation laws. It has become increasingly possible for a famous person with money to use UK defamation laws in order to prevent critical reporting of their activities. The committee also cites the British Official Secrets Act of 1989 which has halted former Crown employees from bringing issues of public interest into the public domain and the committee also noted provisions of the Terrorism Act of 2006 were very vague and could interfere with those who wish to express their views.

The world increasingly is witnessing government uses the fear of “terrorism” as an important weapon in its efforts to stifle freedom of expression.