House of Commons
LIBEL LAW (NORTHERN IRELAND)
EDM #2594
Tabled 08 July 2019
2017-19 Session
That this House applauds the success of the Defamation Act 2013 in deterring opportunistic and vexatious libel claims in England and Wales; regrets that the Northern Ireland Assembly's refusal to extend that act to Northern Ireland has had the predicted effect of making the province a forum for libel bullies; expresses its concern on the suppression of free speech in Northern Ireland by aggressive legal targeting of newspapers and users of social media; notes that politicians have become active in pursuing media and individuals for financial redress over expressions of opinion which has led to a climate of fear which is referred to as lawfare; applauds the writer Ruth Dudley Edwards for encouraging transparency by going public on social media about a solicitor's letter she has received on behalf of a senior member of Sinn Fein demanding the removal of two tweets and the payment of compensation and legal fees; and strongly urges the Government to resolve the anomaly in the Northern Ireland libel law by extending the Defamation Act 2013 to the province.

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