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Meeting: The new libel laws for England and Wales explained

November 4, 2014 @ 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Where? Medical Society of London, 11 Chandos Street, London W1G 9EB

When? Tuesday November 4 2014, 6.30 for 7 pm

More details: 

The Defamation Act 2013 received Royal Assent on April 25, 2013 and came into force on January 1, 2014 in England and Wales. The new laws offer better protection to people expressing their opinions, and to scientists and academics publishing peer-reviewed material in journals.

The speaker:

Siobhain Butterworth, full-faceSiobhain Butterworth was readers’ editor of The Guardian for almost three years, and before that the newspaper’s legal director. She is now general counsel for BMJ. Her session will cover what the new laws mean for medical journalists and writers, reporting of medical conferences, making comment and covering issues in the public interest.

These new laws follow a long campaign to reform our widely criticised libel laws, which were highlighted by a much-publicised action brought by the British Chiropractic Association against science author and journalist Simon Singh for an article that had appeared in the Guardian in 2008 called Beware the Spinal Trap, in which he had accused the association of promoting ‘bogus treatments’.

In June 2010 Singh, and Peter Wilmshurst, another victim of English libel law, addressed a meeting of the MJA on the movement for libel reform. Singh was also the MJA’s Health campaigner of the year in 2010.

Find out more:

See: Libel: new Defamation Act will reverse ‘chilling effect’, ministers claim

Click here to RSVP

If you would like to bring a guest, contact Philippa Pigache, MJA hon sec at  and she will provide you with the MJA’s banking details so that you can pay £15 per guest towards the catering costs of the event.



November 4, 2014
6:30 pm - 9:30 pm


The Medical Society
11 Chandos St.,
London, W1G 9EB
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