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Eversheds comments on House of Lords dropping pre-publication checks on articles

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By Ishbel Macleod, PR and social media consultant

February 26, 2013 | 2 min read

Eversheds has today commented on the fact that the House of Lords dropping pre-publication checks on articles from the Defamation Bill.

Andrew Terry, media expert at the global law firm, said: “Lord Puttnam had introduced an amendment to the Defamation Bill designed to address concerns that because of the cost, access to justice would be unavailable to the general public in cases of defamation by newspapers. This issue was not something about which the Defamation Bill was directly concerned and the amendment appeared to cut across the more high profile debate about what a post-Leveson press landscape would look like.

“The most problematic element of the amendment was a requirement, or at least an incentive, for pre-publication approval of comments. This was almost certainly unworkable and that part of the amendment has now been removed, although the rest remains.

“The bill now returns to the House of Commons for a further reading. If the entirety of the amendment is removed, then it is still possible that the Defamation Bill will continue on its way. Although even then, it still risks being used as a vehicle to put in place elements of press regulation when that should really be a very different debate, conducted in the wake of the Leveson Report.”

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