The UK Ministry of Justice announced new proposals today aimed at cutting the rising costs associated with defamation cases. One of the proposals is placing a cap on hourly rates or setting fixed maximum rates for attorneys. Presumably, this would discourage some attorneys in the UK from filing defamation suits in favor of pursuing other, more profitable cases. It may have the unintended consequence of encouraging defamatory speech as well.
But that’s what governments are good at–creating unintended outcomes, which are potentially worse than the original problem.
And yet I wonder . . . what proposals will the UK Ministry of Justice ultimately adopt to limit the costs of defamation? Will any states in the U.S. adopt similar proposals?