In a recent speech on civil liberties, British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said that the U.K. coalition government would restore civil liberties with the same systematic ruthlessness with which the former government took them away. It is this corrupt U.K. libel law that Ethiopia’s ruling party and its billionaire financier Al Amoudi are trying to exploit in their campaign to shut down Ethiopian Review. Read more about DPM Clegg’s speech below.
(BBC) — […] Mr Clegg said the coalition government would restore civil liberties with the same systematic ruthlessness with which the former government took them away.
And he said he wanted to reform libel and turn the law from “an international laughing-stock to an international blueprint.”
He said a forthcoming draft libel bill would propose a statutory defence for those speaking out in the public interest, “whether they be big broadcasters or the humble blogger”.
That move, which was being considered by the former Labour government when it ran out of time, comes after a string of cases in which scientific writers have been sued over legitimate academic research or studies.
Mr Clegg said libel should also be reformed to better reflect “the realities of the internet” and also to end “libel tourism” under which foreign claimants sue foreign publications or writers in the British courts.
“We want public-spirited academics and journalists to be fearless in publishing legitimate research. Not least when it relates to medical care or public safety,” he said.
“It is a farce – and an international embarrassment – that the American Government has felt it necessary to legislate to protect their citizens from our libel laws.”