HC Deb 27 July 1998 vol 317 c25W
Mr. Hancock

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he will take to eliminate the criminalisation of defamation throughout Europe. [51933]

Mr. Michael

We are doubtful whether such steps are necessary. Freedom of expression is one of the rights guaranteed under the European Convention on Human Rights which all parties to the Convention are bound to respect. We are not aware of any Council of Europe proposals to decriminalise defamation.