Libel law reform Bill thrown into doubt
Ian Burrell is Assistant Editor and Media Editor at The Independent, i paper and Independent on Sunday. He covers news from the whole media sector from television, press, radio and advertising to technology. His weekly column on the media appears every Monday in The Independent and i paper. He also writes on media, music and culture, including long-form pieces for The Independent’s Saturday magazine and the Independent on Sunday’s magazine, New Review. He is a regular presenter of BBC Radio 4’s What The Papers Say and a specialist commentator to Monocle 24 radio. He has contributed to most major broadcast outlets including BBC television and radio, CNN, Sky News, Al Jazeera and LBC. He has also written on media for GQ magazine. Ian has been reporting on the media industry for The Independent for more than a decade. Previously he was the newspaper’s Home Affairs Editor. He worked at The Sunday Times for five years, including as a member of the investigative Insight team, covering stories on political funding, industrial espionage and the arms industry. Previously he worked in ITV for London Weekend Television, on a weekly current affairs programme presented by Danny Baker. Ian trained at the Birmingham Post & Mail and was Regional Reporter of the Year in Press Gazette’s national awards.
Tuesday 26 February 2013
Plans to reform Britain's arcane libel laws have been thrown into doubt after the House of Lords last night approved amendments introduced to the Defamation Bill by the film producer Lord Puttnam.
The Bill, which has been three years in the making and had been intended to dispel the reputation of the High Court in London as the "libel capital of the world", faces being scrapped.
Lord Puttnam introduced changes to the legislation as a means of indicating the unhappiness in the Upper House at the failure of the Government to introduce proposals for press reform recommended by Lord Justice Leveson following his inquiry.
But the Labour peer's amendment went further than Leveson and included plans for publishers to face "exemplary damages" and be answerable to a press regulator with statutory underpinning and an appointments panel headed by the Lord Chief Justice.
The Defamation Bill returns to the House of Commons where Conservatives are determined to halt it in its present form.
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