Thursday, 3 October 2013

Why Stormont must adopt new libel legislation

Paul Connolly wrote a piece in the Belfast Telegraph on September 20 2013 entitled, 'Freedom of speech is vital in internet age.' He said here:
"By everyone, I mean everyone. This is not just about the Press. It's about writers and scientists; it's also about amateur bloggers or everyone who sends a Tweet or writes on Facebook or who runs a community website, or who writes a Press release. We are all publishers now, so freedom of speech matters even more in the internet age."
At the launch of his Bill for libel reform on September 19 2013, Mike Nesbitt said:
"Reforming Northern Ireland's law of defamation isn't about protecting the rich and powerful. It is about ensuring thousands of jobs are not lost, that the growth potential of our universities is not hampered, and that journalists have maximum opportunity to responsibly hold the devolved government to account."
At the same event Lord Black, executive director of the Telegraph Media Group, said here:
"This is an issue which is of huge significance for the United Kingdom as a whole but most importantly for ordinary people, jobs and free speech in Northern Ireland. Let's be in no doubt, the stakes are very high. It is a liberalising, modernising law which will have real benefit throughout our society. That is why it is totally unjustifiable and completely inexplicable that people and businesses in Northern Ireland are being excluded from the real benefits and protection it will bring."

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