Home Affairs Correspondent
A comprehensive package of measures designed dramatically to cut the number of libel trials and limit damages was published yesterday.
The Defamation Bill and the Damages Bill have been combined to meet widespread criticism that the libel laws have become a farce, a luxury of the rich and famous - and anger that some damages awards far outstrip sums awarded to accident victims who suffer serious disabling injuries.
The reforms introduced by Lord Mackay of Clashfern, the Lord Chancellor, include a new weeding-out process under which all claims would come before a judge at an early stage.
While the …