Media Lawyer has reported a number of interesting comments made by Lord Justice Sedley yesterday at the Thomson-Reuters/Justice conference on human rights. He is reported as having noted recent moves by the courts "away from some of the rigidities and artifices of libel law". He also warned, however, that:
it is an important fact in Convention law and in human rights law that care must be taken not to confuse the noise that the media are able to make with public opinion... public opinion I sometimes think is in large part an echo chamber inhabited when one gets there by leader writers and public moralists and perhaps not many other people... there are interests which do not feature in the conventional account of public opinion - and the right to reputation is one of them - which do have to be watched and guarded.The full transcript of the speech may be made available anon. In addition, Lord Lester was speaking at the event on human rights under the new government, while there was also a session on the right to reputation that was to be led by Heather Rogers QC and Padraig Reidy of Index on Censorship. I haven't yet come across any report on what was said in those sessions (presuming that Lord Justice Sedley's comments were made during his plenary).