Chris Mullin

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Chris Mullin was the Labour MP for Sunderland South until standing down in 2010.


In May 2008 in the abortion amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill (now Act), Chris Mullin voted for the abortion time limit to be lowered to 22 weeks[1]. After four separate parliamentary votes on varying time limits,hence no abortion amendments were added to the bill.

The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee report of October 2007[2] had found no good evidence of change since the limit was set in 1990, and hence no new reason for a reduction. However, it acknowledged that this was only one of many factors to be taken into account when legislating, and did not make any recommendations as to how MPs should vote.

Libel Law Reform

In March 2010, Chris Mullin signed Early Day Motion 423 calling for a reform of the English libel law[3]. The motion noted that human rights activists, scientists, writers and journalists are currently prevented from publishing, and the public prevented from reading, matters of strong public interest due to the chilling effect of the law.

On 30th March 2010, in a House of Commons committee debate, Chris Mullin voted against The Conditional Fee Agreements (Amendment) Order 2010[4]. The order would have limited success fees paid to lawyers in libel cases to 10%[5] and was an initial stage in libel reform proposed by Jack Straw. The rejection by the committee will mean that the measure will now go to a full Parliamentary vote.

Mullin was quoted as saying of the 10% figure:

"The feeling was that the impact would be that lawyers wouldn't touch difficult cases any more.
"Nobody was suggesting that it should be 100 per cent. I think people want to see a happy medium"[6]



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