Skip to main content

Administration of Justice: Freedom of Expression

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 98418, tabled on 5 January 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what his policy is on international libel litigation in the UK courts; and what steps he is taking to help ensure freedom of speech in the justice system.

Answered on

14 January 2022

The Government believes that the right to speak freely and debate issues without fear of censure is a vital part of a democratic society, and that libel proceedings should not be used to impede and frustrate that debate.

The reforms we introduced in the Defamation Act 2013 have helped to rebalance the law to offer more effective protection for freedom of speech. In particular, by tightening the test to be applied by the courts in relation to libel actions brought against people who are not domiciled in the UK.