Defamation

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 1st June 2022.

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Photo of Lyn Brown Lyn Brown Shadow Minister (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent steps he has taken to prevent UK libel laws from being used to (a) prevent or (b) punish the exposure of wrongdoing in the international development sector by burdening those involved in such exposures with the costs of a legal defence.

Photo of Tom Pursglove Tom Pursglove Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice and Home Office)

The Government published a consultation paper (and call for evidence) in March 2022 setting out options for reform in defamation law and other areas of litigation subject to Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs) which are designed to inhibit public interest activities.

We are determined to address the challenges this aggressive litigation presents. We are currently considering responses and intend to move quickly to pursue reforms, including legislation, to tackle this problem.

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