Freedom of speech - freedom of the press:how far is too far

Once again the subject raises its head. The immediate topic on the 'Question Time' agenda was the Tory vice-chairman's insult to Jeremy Corbyn effectively calling him a traitor.

I find it interesting that even when public sentiment is against them, the new motto of the justice system of trial by people, is guilty until proven innocent, and even then the stigma remains.

Be that as it may, this question is not new and sadly, once again wasn't even tackled properly on the TV program. The real questions are does freedom of the press give them the right to say/ print anything they want with immunity? Even the libel and slander laws don't seem to apply, because anyone can just precede anything they say with "I heard ... " and they are safe. To this question, the general consensus seems to be, NO it is not o.k to just destroy a person's reputation on innuendo and hearsay. This much is not new. From some cases brought before the courts for terrorist rhetoric and hate speech, to national interests, time after time it can take years for some types of speech to be shut down, because in effect, the authorities are looking for other existing laws to tackle this kind of speech. Just look at Abu Hamza al-Masri. What is never tackled in depth is what to do about it? Just how many lives have to be ruined before the justice system takes a stand? So what is the solution?

How about this! A permanent publicly funded and independent body, multi-partisan in nature, that takes any submitted case that they deem to be for the public good. In the event of the latter they could publish that they did not see such questions to be of relevance to the public at large and automatically find for accused. In cases it accepts and investigates, it would render findings based on the evidence for that accusation alone, not historical data and not innuendo. The verdicts would simply be justified, unjustified or bears official scrutiny. Any frivolous accusations could be punishable by fines and an apology, and in the event of refusal by the accuser, the matter automatically becomes criminal and goes to court.

Now let's see people bandying around careless remarks?


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