Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 April 2014

Tory peer Lord Lexden slams Northern Ireland Executive on libel law

A Tory peer has branded the Executive's failure to implement new libel laws in Northern Ireland a "story of evasion and irresponsible delay".

Lord Lexden said the Defamation Act 2013 was a "liberalising, modernising law, which will confer lasting benefits throughout society".

He told a committee stage debate on the Northern Ireland (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill it was "wholly unjustifiable that the people of Northern Ireland should be excluded from the benefits and protections" of this law.

He said that the province's exclusion from the Act put thousands of publishing jobs at risk and warned that a "dual system" of defamation law would create "doubt and confusion" in an area where clarity was essential.

The committee stage was completed.