One to keep an eye on…

It looks like the Republic’s Minister for Justice is finally ready to bring forward his long awaited reforms of the libel and defamation laws (subs needed). If approved legislation is likely to be brought in under two separate bills, with one on defamation Bill expected in the next week. The report on privacy should be published soon, with legislation coming later in the year.

The proposals for the privacy law, drawn up by an expert group of lawyers and civil servants, is believed to advise that a broad privacy law be introduced to reflect recent case law in the European Court of Human rights enshrining the right to privacy, even in public places in certain circumstances, of public individuals, in accordance with Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

  • Just what we need, stronger libel laws. Matter of fact, why not ban free speech altogether.

    In Redmond-Bate -v- BPP 1999 7 BHRC 375 the Divisional Court quashed the conviction of a Christian fundamentalist street preacher who was arrested for breach of the peace when passers-by gathered in a group to heckle. Lord Justice Sedley observed “free speech includes not only the inoffensive but the irritating, the contentious, the eccentric, the heretical, the unwelcome and the provocative provided it does not tend to provoke violence. Freedom only to speak inoffensively is not worth having.” (from

    Then, when we’re done with that, let’s abadon freedom of the presses, and have the Government Press Office issue a newsletter once a day. That would make life easy for the new Press Council, a bloody Irish quango headed by Gay Byrne, no doubt.

  • bag’shite

    soap box preachers (ian paisley) or any other sandwich board nutjob have the right to be heard when people want to listen. does free speech include sitting on a bus and having to be subjected to some wanker on the phone to his missus.” aye on the bus be home in a minute, wha oh oi aye yeah ok fuck it”. see my point?