Friday, December 19, 2008

Libel costs

Political Betting and Iain Dale are worried about government proposals to make libel actions cheaper.They're wrong to be so. The biggest problem with libel is the expense. This makes it a rich man's game. Few libel actions are complicated. An equivalent of the small claims court is exactly what is needed, together with penalties that fit the wrong: principally a correction of equal space.

I speak here from personal experience, having been involved in a libel squabble about a year ago. It's the costs that make it hard to defend against these allegations and my brief skirmish left me with several thousand pounds worth of legal bills. But more about that later. For the moment, the government's proposals seem reasonable and they have cross party support.

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