On Friday, 10 July 2009, the government of the
The proposed amendment to the Coroners and Justice Bill was originally put forward in the House of Commons by Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament, Dr Evan Harris, after discussions with ARTICLE 19 (of which he is a board member). Lord Lester of Herne Hill also tabled a debate in the House of Lords last Thursday.
ARTICLE 19 has been campaigning for the decriminalisation of defamation, both in the
ARTICLE 19 warmly welcomes this initiative to abolish criminal defamation in the
“This measure will send a very strong and clear signal globally that democracies do not have criminal defamation laws,” says Dr Agnès Callamard, Executive Director, ARTICLE 19. “No longer will repressive countries be able to justify their criminal defamation laws on the basis that such laws exist in established democracies such as the
“Defamation, both civil and criminal, is one of the greatest threats to freedom of expression in the world today. It is a global problem that requires global action,” continues Callamard.
Dr Harris comments, “The acceptance by the Government that our retention of these repressive laws causes much more harm than good is welcome. The
ARTICLE 19 urges other countries to follow suit and do away with criminal defamation.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
• For more information please contact: Toby Mendel, Senior Legal Counsel, firstname.lastname@example.org, +1 902 431-3688.
• ARTICLE 19 has conducted extensive research into criminal and civil defamation worldwide and has published our findings in a series of online maps, which are located at: http://www.article19.org/advocacy/defamationmap/map/.