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Former PAJ president not impressed with proposed defamation law

Published:Monday | July 15, 2013 | 5:19 PM

Jerome Reynolds, Staff Reporter

Former president of Press Association of Jamaica, Desmond Richards, says the proposed defamation bill will do little to help the media uncover corruption and expose those who misuse public trust.

The Senate passed the Bill on Friday and it is now expected to be tabled in the Lower House.

However, Richards says the proposed changes do not fully address critical matters which have long been standard practice is other jurisdiction.

He explained that in other countries such as the United States the press is given more latitude to investigate public officials as well as have access to information mechanisms.

Richards says the new Defamation bill does not go far enough to allow the media to operate in the public’s interest.

He says the Bill does not encompass much of the recommendation of the Justice Hugh Small committee which reviewed Jamaica's defamation law.

He stressed that those in the political class have done little to ensure that the media has full access.

Richards says he strongly supports self-regulations for the media.


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