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Govt urged to extend Jamaica libel laws review period

Published:Wednesday | January 16, 2008 | 10:21 AM

Attorney Owen Crosbie urged Prime Minister, Bruce Golding to extend the consultation period for the review of Jamaica\'s libel and slander laws.



The Prime Minister has given the Justice Hugh Small chaired committee until the end of February to submit its report on the issue.



During the first half of two Town Hall meetings held in Manchester yesterday, Mr. Crosbie described the timeline as ill conceived, improper and unacceptable.



He said a revision of the libel and slander laws is a complex matter, which requires more than the six weeks allotted.



He suggested there may be need for a referendum on the matter.



Mr. Crosbie also said there should be extensive public debate before the changes are made, because people should be made aware of the laws as they currently exist and of the proposed changes.



The review consultations are aimed at determining how Jamaica\'s libel and slander laws could be changed to facilitate greater investigative journalism.