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New libel bill to protect scientific discussion

The Ministry of Justice has announced plans for a new bill on defamation that should tackle the concerns expressed by scientists that open debate is being stifled by the threat of libel. The ministry’s announcement says, “The Government recognises the impact that the current law may be having on freedom of expression, particularly in relation to academic and scientific debate, the work of non-governmental organisations and investigative journalism and will be looking at options for addressing concerns around ‘libel tourism’”.