Scientists campaigning for libel law reform in England and Wales have a reason to celebrate. A new Defamation Bill that advocates say will help protect free speech—including statements included in peer-reviewed scientific publications—on Wednesday received the go-ahead from Parliament after several months of ping-pong between the House of Lords and the House of Commons.
The bill aims to "ensure that a fair balance is struck between the right to freedom of expression and the protection of reputation," according to the Parliament's summary of the bill.
Under current English law, plaintiffs alleging spoken defamation or published libel must meet a relatively low bar to get into court: They need only show that a public statement might inflict reputational damage. ---> Keep reading