4 March 2021 — Good Law Project
The law of libel has been reformed to make it harder for those who say they have been defamed to win in court. But the world the law envisages is not always the real world.
In the real world, the costs of defending libel proceedings are prohibitive for all except the wealthy. And the financial stress of defending a claim can be unbearable. The consequence is that the threat of defamation proceedings can be used to harass those who seek to speak truth to wealth and power. And they can be, and are, used to force the withdrawal – and sometimes the humiliating withdrawal – of statements which are true or at the very least a reasonable opinion.