464. Freedom of expression in domestic law.

Freedom of expression finds some historic recognition in the common law of England and Wales. Defences of fair comment and justification were raised as early as 1891 in response to libel suits1, and in the twentieth century a number of statutes made explicit reference to freedom of expression2. The principle of open justice has been at the heart of the judicial system for almost a century3. However, freedom of expression was traditionally seen as a residual right, with the concept of a positive right to free expression going unprotected in English law until the enactment of the Human Rights