Letter: Theatre of libel

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The Independent Culture
Sir: The libel case brought by Mr Hamilton against Mr Fayed once again raises the question of the purpose of English libel law.

Are libel laws there to protect anyone against libellous statements? Definitely not. The expense and length of the procedure renders it absolutely inaccessible to ordinary citizens. Instead, in libel case after libel case the public is asked to applaud the performances of millionaire defendants, eloquent QCs and majestic judges.

The libel case is a theatrical performance where the newspaper report is more important than justice. What we are asked to applaud is a shameful waste of resources, which could have been put to much better use defending real victims of injustice.


Scalloway, Shetland