Bloggers in the Health Field are often threatened with legal action. This is a problem especially in the UK because of their plaintiff-friendly libel laws. The Libel Reform Campaign lobbies for changes in law with some success, which is not comprehensive enough, though. I can't go to the below, so if you are in the UK, please have a read of the following and consider becoming a
Dear Libel Reform Supporter,
On 27th June, we will be part of group who will present the petition you have signed to No.10 Downing Street. We will be asking for a Defamation Bill that will make the libel laws fairer, more accessible and in the public interest. Will you help us and let MPs know that the Defamation Bill currently passing through Parliament is still inadequate?
For example, the Bill lacks a public interest defence, which is what those writing on matters on public interest desperately need. The unfair libel cases (Singh, Goldacre, Wilmshurst, etc) that sparked the Libel Reform Campaign could all happen again without a public interest defence.
In this final push for a truly fair and effective Defamation Bill, you can do your bit in three simple ways in three minutes:
1. Please send an email to your MP if you have not done so already last week. You can find a template email and instructions for contacting your MP here http://www.libelreform.org/news/527-write-to-your-mp2. Please tweet: “Support #LibelReform by signing the petition http://bit.ly/8gJQ7w - if you’ve signed already, click http://bit.ly/LvOqrG to remind your MP”3. Please forward this email to 5 people who you think care about free speech and ask them to write to their MP and tweet.
Finally, please join us all at the Houses of Parliament on 27th June at 10.30am immediately before the delivery of the petition to Downing Street. A large show of support will impress upon MPs that many people are committed to winning the battle for a fairer defamation law. You can find details of what to do and where go here. Let Mike and Síle know if you can come at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can save you a space.
Dara Ó Briain