For freedom’s sake, we must stop libel tourism
MPs should listen to the UN’s criticisms, before English courts become censorship enforcement agencies for wealthy litigants
guardian.co.uk, Friday August 15 2008 11:37 BST
some power the giftie gie us, to see ourselves as others see us,” wrote Robert Burns in To a Louse. But democratically elected governments face incessant scrutiny. So it is unusual to see one exposing itself voluntarily to the glare of critical inspection. But that is what the British government did when it submitted its report to the United Nations’ committee on human rights under section 40 of the international covenant on civil and political rights. The committee’s conclusions offer insights that should intrigue all who care about freedom of speech.