The Defamation Bill, which has had its third reading in the House of Lords, is due to be considered further by the House of Commons. The aim of the Bill is to reform the law of defamation to ensure that a fair balance is struck between the right of freedom of expression and the protection of reputations. The Bill contains provisions which would create new specific defences for both peer-reviewed publications and academic conferences provided that certain conditions are met. However, there is significant concern that the whole Bill may be lost as a result of amendments approved by the House of Lords which has been accused by some of hijacking the Bill by passing Labour peer Lord Puttnam’s amendment implementing some of Lord Justice Leveson’s recommendations by the back door. This amendment would implement the establishment of a “Defamation Recognition Commission” as the certifying body for “Independent Regulatory Boards” which in turn would be responsible for providing an arbitration service for defamation and “related civil claims”. The amendment also discourages using the courts where arbitration has not been used by the prospect of sanctions, including the potential for enhanced awards of legal costs and damages. The Bill has now become a political football. The Prime Minister has called for a vote in the House of Commons on Monday 18 March 2013 on the response to the Leveson Inquiry on the Culture, Practice and Ethics of the Press.