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U.K. libel law

Too often, the "Communiqué" has covered cases where journalists and others have been convicted via laws that offer powerful and privileged people special protection from criticism. Think of Ecuador's multi-million dollar libel lawsuits, Thailand's lèse majesté legislation, and the jailing of African journalists and musicians for questioning presidential term limits. Here, we've decided to highlight a good news story.

This year, the U.K. government has promised to introduce a law to parliament "to protect freedom of speech and reform the law of defamation" - a decision made in large part due to Index on Censorship's role in the influential libel reform campaign. Apparently, it's the first wholesale attempt at reform since 1843. The law might actually rid London of its title as "libel capital of the world" for acting as a haven for rich and powerful claimants from other countries who use the U.K. courts to stifle scrutiny of their unsavoury dealings.

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