Index welcomes repeal of sedition
Criminal libel and sedition still cast a chill on free speech around the world - and have no place in a democracy
26 Oct 09

Index on Censorship is delighted that the House of Lords looks set to back the repeal of criminal libel and sedition: outdated laws that continue to cast a chill over free speech worldwide. Although the laws have long become obsolete in English legal practice, their removal will send a strong message to repressive governments in the Commonwealth that use these laws to clamp down on opposition and dissent. Despite these developments, concern for freedom of expression closer to home persists; blasphemous libel remains an offence in Northern Ireland, with the government appearing keen to defer any further judgement on the matter to the Northern Ireland assembly. The House of Lords is set to debate these matters once again on 28 October, with a third reading on 4 November.