Saturday, December 4, 2010

English PEN Events December 2010

English PEN Events December 2010

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The Libel Reform Campaign One Year On – with Rt Hon Lord McNally

Thursday 2 December, 7pm

Free Word Centre, 60 Farringdon Road, EC1R 3GA

It’s one year since English PEN, with Index on Censorship and Sense about Science, formed the Libel Reform Campaign to ensure that writers, journalists, scientists and NGOs are no longer prevented from publishing material in the public interest by the chilling effect of English libel law. To mark our achievements so far, and to look to the future of this campaign – which was shortlisted for this week’s Liberty Human Rights Awards – please join us at a drinks reception with:

Lord McNally, Minister of State for Justice
Richard Allan,
Director of European Policy for Facebook
Richard Mollet,
Chief Executive of the Publishers Association

In November 2009, after a year-long inquiry, the Free Speech Is Not For Sale report was published by English PEN and Index on Censorship. In June 2009, Sense About Science launched a campaign publicising libel threats against scientists such as Simon Singh and Peter Wilmshurst. In December 2009 the three charities came together to form the Libel Reform Campaign. The impetus this lobby has created is startling.

Over 50,000 people have joined the campaign and together we have campaigned for major reforms to England’s libel laws to protect free speech, including a public interest defence, restrictions on corporate bullying, recognition of the status of internet publishing, and improvements to existing defences.

Libel reform was not on the political agenda before our campaign; now the coalition government has announced it will bring forward a draft bill early in 2011. We look forward to seeing you on 2 December to celebrate this achievement and to share our thoughts on the challenges ahead.


Add your voice to the Libel Reform Campaign at

AGM and Christmas Party 2010

Monday 6 December, 4pm and 6pm

Art Workers' Guild, 6 Queen Square, London, WC1N 3AR


There’s still time to join English PEN before bookings close for the AGM and Christmas Party. As a member, you’ll be entitled to attend PEN’s Annual General Meeting, where committee members will report on the year’s work and the new President-elect will be announced.

Afterwards, members and their guests are welcome at the Christmas Party, one of English PEN’s most popular annual events. The ticket price of £10 includes wine and a buffet supper. Book for the Christmas party on the English PEN website, or call the office on 020 7324 2535.

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