JUSTICE AND HOME AFFAIRS : MEDIA URGES EXCLUSION FROM ROME II ON EVE OF EP VOTE.

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Publishers and journalists have made a last-minute plea with MEPs to exclude the media from the draft Rome II' Regulation on whose law to apply in cross-border, non-contractual legal disputes. Fearful of facing libel lawsuits in 27 member states, they are demanding that Rome II contain no reference to privacy violation or defamation - including in the review clause. The European Parliament is to vote on a report on 18 January (second reading) that would re-insert such a clause back into the text, six months after the EU Council of Ministers removed it.

Among the co-signatories of a letter urging exclusion are the European Publishers Council (EPC), the European Newspaper Publishers Association (ENPA) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ). According to EPC Executive Director Angela Mills Wade, "it has been recognised by academics and lawyers that an absence of a rule in the Rome II Regulation does not seem to present...

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