N – UN slates UK libel laws

The United Nations’ committee on human rights has attacked UK libel laws for discouraging coverage of matters of public interest: British libel laws have “served to discourage critical media reporting on matters of serious public interest, adversely affecting the ability of scholars and journalists to publish their work, including through the phenomenon known as libel tourism,” the committee said. In “libel tourism” wealthy plaintiffs can sue in the High Court in London over articles that would not warrant an action in their own country. The UK government has been urged to require a would-be claimant to prove malice by a publisher or author.
(Guardian 2008 Aug 14 www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/aug/14/law.unitednation)