Abolish Seditious Libel

English PEN (my new employers, for those who haven’t been paying attention) have just published a letter in The Times, backing an ammendment to Coroners & Justic Bill by the the Liberal Democrat Evan Harris:

On Monday Parliament will have a unique opportunity to repeal the arcane and antiquated offences of seditious libel and criminal defamation. These two crimes date from an era when governments preferred to lock up their critics than to engage them in debate, and are incompatible with the universal right to freedom of expression. Their repeal is long overdue, and will send a powerful signal to states around the world which routinely use charges of sedition and criminal defamation to imprison their critics and silence dissent.

There’s more at the Times Online

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