Will new Defamation Act really work in the new internet age?

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An international media lawyer who represents big celebrities in libel cases is one of a number of guest speakers visiting Edge Hill University to debate the new Defamation Act 2013.   Paul Tweed specialises in defamation and privacy issues and boasts a range of clients world-wide, previously representing Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, Harrison Ford, Nicolas Cage and Liam Neeson.

He has been invited to attend a special Media Law Panel to discuss the Act, which has been organised by the Department of Law and Criminology on 24th February.

At the Law Alumni Networking Event the expert panel will explore and critically analyse the potential ramifications arising from the Act. Paul will take a broader look at the law of defamation from a practitioner’s perspective, while other guest speaker Ursula Smartt, an academic in Media and Entertainment, will look at the effect the Act may have on the regulation of the internet and ask whether it is fit for purpose.

Adam Pendlebury, Senior Lecturer in Law, said: “The latest Defamation Act was fuelled by cries for reform of defamation defences for journalists, publishers and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like Google and Facebook, rules regarding repetition of defamatory content through online re-publishing, and for mechanisms to prevent so-called ‘libel tourism’ or ‘forum shopping’, amongst other areas. But the big question is, will it actually make a difference in the internet age?

This is something we’d like to explore further and have invited in our high-profile panel to give their expert opinions. It’s a great opportunity to join the debate and network with like-minded people at the same time.”

Paul Tweed is a senior partner at Johnsons Solicitors and heads up the Media and Dispute Resolution departments. He has been involved in many high profile defamation actions in the UK and Ireland for more than 25 years, achieving record damages for claimant clients while also representing a number of national newspapers and publishers.

His clients have included many well-known international personalities in the music, film, sport and entertainment industries, with many cases receiving widespread international press coverage.

Paul has extensive experience in the rapidly developing areas of law relating to breach of confidence and privacy, and is regularly listed in Chambers and other directories as one of the leading media lawyers.

Ursula Smartt is a widely published author in the areas of media and entertainment law, criminal justice and prison research and regularly contributes journal articles covering issues such as super injunctions. She has a long track record as an independent prison researcher with UK and international ministries of justice, with her research centred on prison industries and prisoner.

Ursula is also a magistrate on the Surrey Bench at Guildford. She is author of Media and Entertainment Law (Routledge), the second edition will be published in early 2014.

The free event starts at 5.45pm with networking and refreshment, following by the panel debate. Log on to ehu.ac.uk/bookevents to book your free place.

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