Opinion: From Our Readers - US Speech Act is a warning to the UK

The signing of the Speech Act by President Obama last week effectively blocks the enforcement of UK libel judgements in the US, and is just a forerunner of things to come in the UK domestic courts if Lord Lester's Defamation Bill succeeds.

The proposed UK reforms will make it increasingly difficult for those who have been defamed by publishers to gain satisfaction through the courts.

With a consequential reduced threat of defamation litigation, more imaginative PR options are required to defend the reputations of clients who have been defamed.

The media frenzy persistently and unfairly criticises UK defamation laws - laws that arguably have contributed to ensuring that UK broadsheets are among the most credible in the world.

In the absence of such laws, it would effectively be impossible for the man on the street to have access to any form of justice. Responsibility for this may come to rest with the PR industry and presents challenges that will be difficult to meet.

Maria McCann, founder, McCann Public Relations

Email letters (200 words maximum) to prweekletters@haymarket.com

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