少一点混帐规定

巴黎——“如果法律做出这种假设”,《雾都孤儿》中的班布尔先生说,“那法律就是混蛋、白痴。”几十年来,英国的反诽谤法辜负了班布尔先生的期望。但今年四月议会通过立法修改反诽谤法推动世界言论自由有了长足的进步,而此举也在一定程度上恢复了英国人通情达理的名声。

之前,即便原告或涉嫌诽谤者和英国毫无瓜葛,世界各地自称受到诽谤的企业和个人也会向英国法院提起诽谤诉讼。人们普遍将这种做法称之为“诽谤游。”

俄国乌克兰寡头、阿拉伯王子、非洲独裁者和无良老板等很多提起诉讼的原告鲜有机会能够占得上风。但他们的目的并非是官司的输赢。他们的起诉对象往往并不那么多金,而这意味着即使打不赢官司,要求双方大笔砸钱的诽谤诉讼也能让批评者不敢出声。在英国国内,该法案导致很多重要问题都无法展开讨论。

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