English PEN's Libel Reform Campaign delivered the Defamation Act 2013. We are now campaigning for reform in Northern Ireland and Scotland.
In 2009, English PEN and Index on Censorship ran a year-long Libel Inquiry. The phenomenon of libel tourism was chilling the work of investigative journalists around the world, and scientific debate was being stifled. The final report of the Inquiry, Free Speech Is Not For Sale, identified the central problems with the current libel system, and offered ideas for reform.
Following the launch of this report, the Libel Reform Campaign was launched with Sense About Science. The campaign secured the support of over 60,000 people and 60 prominent NGOs, Royal Colleges, and associations. All three of the main political parties made manifesto committments to reform the law, ahead of the 2010 General Election.
Below is a timeline of key campaign events.