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Author Topic: The Government has published the Defamation Bill.  (Read 2942 times)

ama

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  • Posts: 1164
The Government has published the Defamation Bill.
« on: May 14, 2012, 06:30:39 PM »

After years of dangerous fights the bill is here. How will life be now?


Here is the new page by the libelreform.org group. It is a mirror. Please do read the original and follow the links!

http://www.libelreform.org/news/524-libel-reform-is-in-the-queens-speech

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http://www.libelreform.org

Libel reform is in the Queen's Speech
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Update 11th May 2012

The Government has published the Defamation Bill.

Read it here:  http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2012-13/defamation.html


9th May 2012

The Government will introduce a law "to protect freedom of speech and reform the law of  defamation”.

The libel reform campaign, nearly 100 organisations and our 60,000 supporters including leading names from science, the arts and public life have been calling for legislation to reform the libel laws since December 2009. Congratulations to all on this momentous stage.

Now we need to see the details of the Bill and will work to ensure the reforms will do away with unwarranted chilling, bullying effects of the current laws.

See responses to this great news and coverage below. We will be updating comments as they come in so keep checking back. Or you can follow on Twitter #libelreform.

Over the coming months, the Libel Reform Campaign will continue to fight for:

    a public interest defence so people can defend themselves unless the claimant can show they have been malicious or reckless.
    a strong test of harm that strikes out claims unless the claimant can demonstrate serious and substantial harm and they have a real prospect of vindication.
    a restriction on corporations’ ability to use the libel laws to silence criticism.
    provisions for online hosts and intermediaries, who are not authors nor traditional publishers.

Jonathan Heawood, Director, English PEN: “Over the past three years, the Libel Reform Campaign has shown how our unfair libel laws are causing legitimate books to be pulped and publishers to engage in unnecessary self-censorship. The Government has responded to the public demand for change, and we welcome this long-overdue chance for reform. It must now ensure that the protections for free speech are as robust as possible. This means strengthening its current proposals on public interest reporting, and also reforming the procedures that judges use to apply the law.”

Tracey Brown, Managing Director, Sense About Science: “We and thousands of others have campaigned to stop the libel laws’ bullying and chilling effects on discussions about health, scientific research, consumer safety, history and human rights. We are really pleased to see the Government has moved closer to honouring its promise of a fairer law and protection of free speech in today’s Queen’s Speech. This opens the way to developing a law guided by public interest not powerful interests.”

Kirsty Hughes, Chief Executive, Index on Censorship: “Finally, the government is to stop libel tourism so wealthy foreign claimants can no longer use our High Court to silence their critics abroad. The 60,000 people who signed the Libel Reform Campaign will be delighted that the government has announced this reform, though we’ll be awaiting the detail.”

Simon Singh, defendant in British Chiropractic Association v Singh: “I continue to be contacted by journalists, scientists and others who are being silenced by libel threats or libel claims. The reform promised in the Queen’s speech today is a welcome response to the intolerable effects of the current laws. I hope that the Government will now move rapidly to bring forward a bill that protects those writing about serious matters in the public interest.”

Dr Evan Harris, Policy Advisor, Libel Reform Campaign: "Getting the Bill in the Queen’s Speech is a very welcome step. The key issue is not a Bill or even an Act but the right reforms. There’s still some way to go on that."

Jo Glanville, Editor, Index on Censorship: “We now have a chance for libel legislation that’s fit for the 21st century. The end of the single publication rule and greater protection for internet service providers will help to put an end to the chilling effect online.”

Dara O Briain ‏ @daraobriain: "Congratulations to all involved in #libelreform campaign for getting into the Queen's speech. Fantastic news after huge effort..."

Ben Goldacre ‏ @bengoldacre: "The Queen's speech! "Legislation will be introduced to protect freedom of speech and reform the law of defamation." Air punch! #LibelReform"

"Thanks to everyone who put #libelreform on the political dinner plate in muscular fashion and supported campaign over three years. U rule."

Dave Gorman @DaveGorman: "So #LibelReform was in the Queen's speech! Fantastic news! Huge congratulations to all those involved in 3years of campaigning."

Dr Christian Jessen @DoctorChristian: "Wonderful encouraging news that #libelreform was in the queens speech to parliament. Big congrats to @SLSingh and all involved in the fight."

David Allen Green: "The test of libel reform is simple: will mere legal threats, or the worry of threats, mean that things are not published or broadcast which otherwise would be in the public interest to put into the public domain?  The objective of libel reform is to remove this 'libel chill'.  The announcement in the Queen's Speech is wonderful, but there is work ahead on getting the best defamation legislation we can."

Mumsnet ‏ @MumsnetTowers: "Big 'woop' moment innit. Still long way to go, but great news. #libelreform"

Rowan Davies ‏ @rowandavies: "#libelreform campaign has been absolutely fearsome. It's been a privilege capering around on the edges."

Justine Roberts, co-founder and CEO, Mumsnet: “While the draft Defamation Bill was a very good start, it didn’t go far enough to protect freedom of expression, particularly in the online environment. Websites and hosts of user-generated comment risk becoming tactical targets for those who wish to clamp down on criticism or investigation of their activities.”

Richard Dunstan, Social Policy Officer, Citizens Advice: “Whilst inclusion of a Libel Reform Bill is clearly good news, the Bill must provide for a clear and effective public interest defence for third sector organisations, such as Citizens Advice, trying to shine a spotlight on corporate practices that are unfair, detrimental to the public interest, or even unlawful. Just today, we await a landmark ruling in a case that would never have reached a judge had we been silenced - as we very nearly were - by unscrupulous threats of a libel action.”

Bob Satchwell, Executive Director, Society of Editors: “Those who have campaigned so hard for libel reform deserve praise for fighting on behalf of ordinary people, scientists, academics, and authors as well as the media. The pressure must be maintained to achieve sensible and just reforms to bring the law into the 21st century, repealing legislation that was originally designed to protect the rich and powerful in Victorian times.”

Society of Authors @Soc_of_Authors: Thanks to @IndexCensorship @englishpen @senseaboutsci there will libel reform. Sign the petition to keepup the pressure libelreform.org/sign

Global Witness ‏ @Global_Witness Great news! Defamation Bill in Queen's Speech. Big step forward for public interest reporting. Lots of work still to do

Philip Campbell PhD, Editor-in-Chief, Nature: “It is essential to the public trust in science that scientific integrity is upheld and that bad behaviour is brought to light. It is therefore imperative that libel legislation be revised to achieve a better balance of interests between those accused of misconduct and those who should be better able to write about them.”

Julian Huppert, MP for Cambridge: "It is fantastic that all the hard work from so many people has paid off! Having served on the Draft Bill Committee, I very much looking forward to passing a Bill that is even better than the draft, removing the chilling effect of our current too-expensive system. I also welcome the government's commitment to specific protection for peer-reviewed publications."

Sadiq Khan, MP ‏ for Tooting and Shadow Justice Secretary @SadiqKhan Welcome forthcoming bill to modernise our outdated defamation laws, building on Labour’s groundwork. Look forward to working with @libelreform @englishpen and @IndexCensorship in coming months #libelreform

Paul Farrelly, MP for Newcastle-under-Lyme: “With all the other pressing priorities for legislative time, it’s fantastic to find the libel reform bill seeing the clear light of day, after all the efforts so far. The challenge now is get our laws changed, finally, to protect responsible investigative journalism and scientific enquiry, as well as safeguarding ordinary people’s access to justice. I look forward to playing my part in securing these much-needed reforms.”

Hardeep Singh, journalist and libel defendant: "The inclusion of the defamation bill in the Queen's Speech marks a major milestone for The Libel Reform Campaign. It can't be right that ordinary people risk their livelihoods when getting caught up in costly libel proceedings. The Government has already investigated ways to weed out unmeritorious claims, whereby claimants will have to show serious harm before a case progresses. If passed by Parliament, these types of amendments will not only make our libel laws fairer, but go some way in restoring London's reputation from being a 'town called sue.' "

Dr Peter Wilmshurst who was sued by medical device company NMT Medical: “Patients have suffered because the draconian defamation laws were used to silence doctors with legitimate concerns about medical safety. ... It is hypocritical for parliamentarians to expect ordinary citizens to speak out on matters of public interest and safety, when they do not allow ordinary citizens the same protection that MPs reserve for themselves to protect them from misuse of the defamation law.”

Rachel Ehrenfeld, Ph.D., author of Funding Evil; How Terrorism is Financed- and How to Stop It, is director of NY based American Center for Democracy: “An American citizen I set out in New York to defend myself from Britain's draconian and antiquated libel tourism law and succeeded. New York State was first to passed the Anti-Libel Terrorism Law" (AKA "Rachel's Law") in May 2008. The Federal SPEECH Act, protecting all Americans writers and publishers in print and on the internet followed in August 2010. I am delighted that my actions in the US spurred the free speech reform movement in the UK to fight for and hopefully soon achieve a long overdue reform of their libel law.”

Till Sommer, Internet Service Providers Association: “ISPA welcomes the Government’s commitment to libel reform. The current regulatory framework has failed to provide clarity to hosting and Internet service providers and has ultimately has had a chilling effect on freedom of speech online. We hope that Parliament will address the current shortcomings in the upcoming session and we will follow the political process closely to ensure that the reforms strike the best possible compromise between protecting providers, claimants and authors.”

Antony Lempert @Seculant: "Great to see #libelreform in #QueensSpeech Medical research must not be a hostage to wealthy vested interests"

Richard Smith @drawingbusiness: "As soon as the #libelreform changes are passed into law, it'll be time to get our best evidence-based criticism hats on. #tallyho#skeptics"

Mark Miodownik @markmiodownik: "Important moment as science flexes political muscle, great leadership from @SLSingh #LibelReform in the Queen's Speech bit.ly/KanEE3"

Will Tovey ‏ @WillTovey The Defamation Bill made it into the Queen's Speech. Now we need to make sure it is the real and substantial reform we need. #libelreform

Mark Henderson ‏ @markgfh Terrific that #libelreform is in Queen's Speech. This wouldn't have happened without the geek activism that followed @SLSingh libel case.

Jane Thynne ‏ @janethynne a deep and heartfelt hurray for #libelreform bill. Existing situation a travesty

Louise Allen-Jones ‏ @LouAllenJones Great news - could this be the beginning of the end for libel tourism? #LibelReform
http://www.thebookseller.com/news/libel-reform-in-queens-speech.html

Coverage and commentary:

Independent, New Bill will reform libel laws

Guardian, Libel bill is good news for all who believe in free expression

Daily Mail, New defamation bill ‘will put a stop to libel tourism’ by shaking up old law

Telegraph, Queen's Speech 2012: the winners and losers

BBC News New Defamation Bill 'to protect freedom of speech

Times Higher Education, Queen’s Speech signals libel law ‘guided by public interest, not powerful interests’

Economist Libel reform: Tourists go home

BMJ, Queen’s Speech promises libel reform and bill on adult social care

Nature English libel reform to bring peer-review protection

Huffington Post Ken Clarke Publishes Defamation Bill To Reform Libel Laws Following Queen's Speech

Press Gazette, Libel reform included in Queen's Speech

The Bookseller, Libel reform included in Queen's Speech

Royal Society of Chemistry Campaigners win fight to reform UK libel laws

Tracey Brown, BMJ, A defamation bill in the Queen’s speech

Kirsty Hughes, Huffington Post, Boost to Freedom of Expression in the UK - London Set to Lose Its Label as Global Capital for Libel Tourism?

Mark Henderson, The Geek Manifesto, Geek questions for the Queen’s Speech: Libel reform

Simon Singh, Guardian, How to make a truly fair libel law

Copyright © 2012 libelreform.org. All Rights Reserved.
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Logged
Kinderklinik Gelsenkirchen verstößt gegen die Leitlinien

Der Skandal in Gelsenkirchen
Hamer-Anhänger in der Kinderklinik
http://www.klinikskandal.com

http://www.reimbibel.de/GBV-Kinderklinik-Gelsenkirchen.htm
http://www.kinderklinik-gelsenkirchen-kritik.de

ama

  • Jr. Member
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  • Posts: 1164
Re: The Government has published the Defamation Bill.
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2012, 06:34:11 PM »

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/2012-2013/0005/13005.pdf

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Bill 5 55/2
Defamation Bill
EXPLANATORY NOTES
Explanatory notes to the Bill, prepared by the Ministry of Justice, are published
separately as Bill 5—EN.
EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
Secretary Kenneth Clarke has made the following statement under section 19(1)(a) of
the Human Rights Act 1998:
In my view the provisions of the Defamation Bill are compatible with the Convention
rights.
Bill 5 55/2
Defamation Bill
CONTENTS
Requirement of serious harm
1 Serious harm
Defences
2 Truth
3 Honest opinion
4 Responsible publication on matter of public interest
5 Operators of websites
6 Peer-reviewed statement in scientific or academic journal etc
7 Reports etc protected by privilege
Single publication rule
8 Single publication rule
Jurisdiction
9 Action against a person not domiciled in the UK or a Member State etc
10 Action against a person who was not the author, editor etc
Trial by jury
11 Trial to be without a jury unless the court orders otherwise
Summary of court judgment
12 Power of court to order a summary of its judgment to be published
Slander
13 Special damage
General provisions
14 Meaning of “publish” and “statement”
15 Consequential amendments and savings etc
16 Short title, commencement and extent
Bill 5 55/2
Defamation Bill 1
A
B I L L
TO
Amend the law of defamation.
E IT ENACTED by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and
consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present
Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—
Requirement of serious harm
1 Serious harm
A statement is not defamatory unless its publication has caused or is likely to
cause serious harm to the reputation of the claimant.
Defences
2 Truth
(1) It is a defence to an action for defamation for the defendant to show that the
imputation conveyed by the statement complained of is substantially true.
(2) Subsection (3) applies in an action for defamation if the statement complained
of conveys two or more distinct imputations.
(3) If one or more of the imputations is not shown to be substantially true, the
defence under this section does not fail if, having regard to the imputations
which are shown to be substantially true, the imputations which are not shown
to be substantially true do not seriously harm the claimant’s reputation.
(4) The common law defence of justification is abolished and, accordingly, section
5 of the Defamation Act 1952 (justification) is repealed.
3 Honest opinion
(1) It is a defence to an action for defamation for the defendant to show that the
following conditions are met.
B
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(2) The first condition is that the statement complained of was a statement of
opinion.
(3) The second condition is that the statement complained of indicated, whether in
general or specific terms, the basis of the opinion.
(4) The third condition is that an honest person could have held the opinion on the
basis of—
(a) any fact which existed at the time the statement complained of was
published;
(b) anything asserted to be a fact in a privileged statement published
before the statement complained of.
(5) The defence is defeated if the claimant shows that the defendant did not hold
the opinion.
(6) Subsection (5) does not apply in a case where the statement complained of was
published by the defendant but made by another person (“the author”); and in
such a case the defence is defeated if the claimant shows that the defendant
knew or ought to have known that the author did not hold the opinion.
(7) For the purposes of subsection (4)(b) a statement is a “privileged statement” if
the person responsible for its publication would have one or more of the
following defences if an action for defamation were brought in respect of it—
(a) a defence under section 4 (responsible publication on matter of public
interest);
(b) a defence under section 6 (peer-reviewed statement in scientific or
academic journal);
(c) a defence under section 14 of the Defamation Act 1996 (reports of court
proceedings protected by absolute privilege);
(d) a defence under section 15 of that Act (other reports protected by
qualified privilege).
(8) The common law defence of fair comment is abolished and, accordingly,
section 6 of the Defamation Act 1952 (fair comment) is repealed.
4 Responsible publication on matter of public interest
(1) It is a defence to an action for defamation for the defendant to show that—
(a) the statement complained of was, or formed part of, a statement on a
matter of public interest; and
(b) the defendant acted responsibly in publishing the statement
complained of.
(2) Subject to subsections (3) and (4), in determining for the purposes of this
section whether a defendant acted responsibly in publishing a statement the
matters to which the court may have regard include (amongst other matters)—
(a) the nature of the publication and its context;
(b) the seriousness of the imputation conveyed by the statement;
(c) the relevance of the imputation conveyed by the statement to the matter
of public interest concerned;
(d) the importance of the matter of public interest concerned;
(e) the information the defendant had before publishing the statement and
what the defendant knew about the reliability of that information;
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Defamation Bill 3
(f) whether the defendant sought the claimant’s views on the statement
before publishing it and whether an account of any views the claimant
expressed was published with the statement;
(g) whether the defendant took any other steps to verify the truth of the
imputation conveyed by the statement;
(h) the timing of the statement’s publication;
(i) the tone of the statement.
(3) Subsection (4) applies in relation to the defence under this section if the
statement complained of was, or formed part of, an accurate and impartial
account of a dispute to which the claimant was a party.
(4) In determining for the purposes of this section whether the defendant acted
responsibly in publishing the statement complained of, the court must
disregard any omission of the defendant to take steps to verify the truth of the
imputation conveyed by it.
(5) For the avoidance of doubt, the defence under this section may be relied upon
irrespective of whether the statement complained of is a statement of fact or a
statement of opinion.
(6) The common law defence known as the Reynolds defence is abolished.
5 Operators of websites
(1) This section applies where an action for defamation is brought against the
operator of a website in respect of a statement posted on the website.
(2) It is a defence for the operator to show that it was not the operator who posted
the statement on the website.
(3) The defence is defeated if the claimant shows that—
(a) it was not possible for the claimant to identify the person who posted
the statement,
(b) the claimant gave the operator a notice of complaint in relation to the
statement, and
(c) the operator failed to respond to the notice of complaint in accordance
with any provision contained in regulations.
(4) A notice of complaint is a notice which—
(a) specifies the complainant’s name,
(b) sets out the statement concerned and explains why it is defamatory of
the complainant,
(c) specifies where on the website the statement was posted, and
(d) contains such other information as may be specified in regulations.
(5) Regulations may—
(a) make provision as to the action required to be taken by an operator of
a website in response to a notice of complaint (which may in particular
include action relating to the identity or contact details of the person
who posted the statement and action relating to its removal);
(b) make provision specifying a time limit for the taking of any such action;
(c) make provision conferring on the court a discretion to treat action taken
after the expiry of a time limit as having been taken before the expiry;
(d) make any other provision for the purposes of this section.
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(6) Regulations under this section—
(a) may make different provision for different circumstances;
(b) are to be made by statutory instrument.
(7) A statutory instrument containing regulations under this section is subject to
annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.
(8) In this section “regulations” means regulations made by the Secretary of State.
6 Peer-reviewed statement in scientific or academic journal etc
(1) The publication of a statement in a scientific or academic journal is privileged
if the following conditions are met.
(2) The first condition is that the statement relates to a scientific or academic
matter.
(3) The second condition is that before the statement was published in the journal
an independent review of the statement’s scientific or academic merit was
carried out by—
(a) the editor of the journal, and
(b) one or more persons with expertise in the scientific or academic matter
concerned.
(4) Where the publication of a statement in a scientific or academic journal is
privileged by virtue of subsection (1), the publication in the same journal of any
assessment of the statement’s scientific or academic merit is also privileged if—
(a) the assessment was written by one or more of the persons who carried
out the independent review of the statement; and
(b) the assessment was written in the course of that review.
(5) Where the publication of a statement or assessment is privileged by virtue of
this section, the publication of a fair and accurate copy of, extract from or
summary of the statement or assessment is also privileged.
(6) A publication is not privileged by virtue of this section if it is shown to be made
with malice.
(7) Nothing in this section is to be construed—
(a) as protecting the publication of matter the publication of which is
prohibited by law;
(b) as limiting any privilege subsisting apart from this section.
(8) The reference in subsection (3)(a) to “the editor of the journal” is to be read, in
the case of a journal with more than one editor, as a reference to the editor or
editors who were responsible for deciding to publish the statement concerned.
7 Reports etc protected by privilege
(1) For subsection (3) of section 14 of the Defamation Act 1996 (reports of court
proceedings absolutely privileged) substitute—
“(3) This section applies to—
(a) any court in the United Kingdom;
(b) any court established under the law of a country or territory
outside the United Kingdom;
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Defamation Bill 5
(c) any international court or tribunal established by the Security
Council of the United Nations or by an international agreement;
and in paragraphs (a) and (b) “court” includes any tribunal or body
exercising the judicial power of the State.”
(2) In subsection (3) of section 15 of that Act (qualified privilege) for “public
concern” substitute “public interest”.
(3) Schedule 1 to that Act (qualified privilege) is amended as follows.
(4) For paragraphs 9 and 10 substitute—
“9 (1) A fair and accurate copy of, extract from or summary of a notice or
other matter issued for the information of the public by or on behalf
of—
(a) a legislature or government anywhere in the world;
(b) an authority anywhere in the world performing
governmental functions;
(c) an international organisation or international conference.
(2) In this paragraph “governmental functions” includes police
functions.
10 A fair and accurate copy of, extract from or summary of a document
made available by a court anywhere in the world, or by a judge or
officer of such a court.”
(5) After paragraph 11 insert—
“11A A fair and accurate report of proceedings at a press conference held
anywhere in the world for the discussion of a matter of public
interest.”
(6) In paragraph 12 (report of proceedings at public meetings)—
(a) in sub-paragraph (1) for “in a member State” substitute “anywhere in
the world”;
(b) in sub-paragraph (2) for “public concern” substitute “public interest”.
(7) In paragraph 13 (report of proceedings at meetings of public company)—
(a) in sub-paragraph (1), for “UK public company” substitute “listed
company”;
(b) for sub-paragraphs (2) to (5) substitute—
“(2) A fair and accurate copy of, extract from or summary of any
document circulated to members of a listed company—
(a) by or with the authority of the board of directors of
the company,
(b) by the auditors of the company, or
(c) by any member of the company in pursuance of a
right conferred by any statutory provision.
(3) A fair and accurate copy of, extract from or summary of any
document circulated to members of a listed company which
relates to the appointment, resignation, retirement or
dismissal of directors of the company.
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(4) In this paragraph “listed company” has the same meaning as
in Part 12 of the Corporation Tax Act 2009 (see section 1005 of
that Act).”
(8) In paragraph 14 (report of finding or decision of certain kinds of associations)
in the words before paragraph (a), for “in the United Kingdom or another
member State” substitute “anywhere in the world”.
(9) After paragraph 14 insert—
“14A A fair and accurate—
(a) report of proceedings of a scientific or academic conference
held anywhere in the world, or
(b) copy of, extract from or summary of matter published by
such a conference.”
(10) For paragraph 15 (report of statements etc by a person designated by the Lord
Chancellor for the purposes of the paragraph) substitute—
“15 (1) A fair and accurate report or summary of, copy of or extract from,
any adjudication, report, statement or notice issued by a body, officer
or other person designated for the purposes of this paragraph by
order of the Lord Chancellor.
(2) An order under this paragraph shall be made by statutory
instrument which shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a
resolution of either House of Parliament.”
(11) For paragraphs 16 and 17 (general provision) substitute—
“16 In this Schedule—
“court” includes—
(a) any tribunal or body established under the law of any
country or territory exercising the judicial power of
the State;
(b) any international tribunal established by the Security
Council of the United Nations or by an international
agreement;
(c) any international tribunal deciding matters in dispute
between States;
“international conference” means a conference attended by
representatives of two or more governments;
“international organisation” means an organisation of which
two or more governments are members, and includes any
committee or other subordinate body of such an
organisation;
“legislature” includes a local legislature; and
“member State” includes any European dependent territory of
a member State.”
Single publication rule
8 Single publication rule
(1) This section applies if a person—
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Defamation Bill 7
(a) publishes a statement to the public (“the first publication”), and
(b) subsequently publishes (whether or not to the public) that statement or
a statement which is substantially the same.
(2) In subsection (1) “publication to the public” includes publication to a section of
the public.
(3) For the purposes of section 4A of the Limitation Act 1980 (time limit for actions
for defamation etc) any cause of action against the person for defamation in
respect of the subsequent publication is to be treated as having accrued on the
date of the first publication.
(4) This section does not apply in relation to the subsequent publication if the
manner of that publication is materially different from the manner of the first
publication.
(5) In determining whether the manner of a subsequent publication is materially
different from the manner of the first publication, the matters to which the
court may have regard include (amongst other matters)—
(a) the level of prominence that a statement is given;
(b) the extent of the subsequent publication.
(6) Where this section applies—
(a) it does not affect the court’s discretion under section 32A of the
Limitation Act 1980 (discretionary exclusion of time limit for actions for
defamation etc), and
(b) the reference in subsection (1)(a) of that section to the operation of
section 4A of that Act is a reference to the operation of section 4A
together with this section.
Jurisdiction
9 Action against a person not domiciled in the UK or a Member State etc
(1) This section applies to an action for defamation against a person who is not
domiciled—
(a) in the United Kingdom;
(b) in another Member State; or
(c) in a state which is for the time being a contracting party to the Lugano
Convention.
(2) A court does not have jurisdiction to hear and determine an action to which
this section applies unless the court is satisfied that, of all the places in which
the statement complained of has been published, England and Wales is clearly
the most appropriate place in which to bring an action in respect of the
statement.
(3) The references in subsection (2) to the statement complained of include
references to any statement which conveys the same, or substantially the same,
imputation as the statement complained of.
(4) For the purposes of this section—
(a) a person is domiciled in the United Kingdom or in another Member
State if the person is domiciled there for the purposes of the Brussels
Regulation;
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8 Defamation Bill
(b) a person is domiciled in a state which is a contracting party to the
Lugano Convention if the person is domiciled in the state for the
purposes of that Convention.
(5) In this section—
“the Brussels Regulation” means Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 of
22nd December 2000 on jurisdiction and the recognition and
enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters, as amended
from time to time and as applied by the Agreement made on 19th
October 2005 between the European Community and the Kingdom of
Denmark on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of
judgments in civil and commercial matters (OJ No L299 16.11.2005 at p
62);
“the Lugano Convention” means the Convention on jurisdiction and the
recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial
matters, between the European Community and the Republic of
Iceland, the Kingdom of Norway, the Swiss Confederation and the
Kingdom of Denmark signed on behalf of the European Community on
30th October 2007.
10 Action against a person who was not the author, editor etc
(1) A court does not have jurisdiction to hear and determine an action for
defamation brought against a person who was not the author, editor or
publisher of the statement complained of unless the court is satisfied that it is
not reasonably practicable for an action to be brought against the author, editor
or publisher.
(2) In this section “author”, “editor” and “publisher” have the same meaning as in
section 1 of the Defamation Act 1996.
Trial by jury
11 Trial to be without a jury unless the court orders otherwise
(1) In section 69(1) of the Senior Courts Act 1981 (certain actions in the Queen’s
Bench Division to be tried with a jury unless the trial requires prolonged
examination of documents etc) in paragraph (b) omit “libel, slander,”.
(2) In section 66(3) of the County Courts Act 1984 (certain actions in the county
court to be tried with a jury unless the trial requires prolonged examination of
documents etc) in paragraph (b) omit “libel, slander,”.
Summary of court judgment
12 Power of court to order a summary of its judgment to be published
(1) Where a court gives judgment for the claimant in an action for defamation the
court may order the defendant to publish a summary of the judgment.
(2) The wording of any summary and the time, manner, form and place of its
publication are to be for the parties to agree.
(3) If the parties cannot agree on the wording, the wording is to be settled by the
court.
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10
15
20
25
30
35
40
Defamation Bill 9
(4) If the parties cannot agree on the time, manner, form or place of publication,
the court may give such directions as to those matters as it considers reasonable
and practicable in the circumstances.
(5) This section does not apply where the court gives judgment for the claimant
under section 8(3) of the Defamation Act 1996 (summary disposal of claims).
Slander
13 Special damage
(1) The Slander of Women Act 1891 is repealed.
(2) The publication of a statement that conveys the imputation that a person has a
contagious or infectious disease does not give rise to a cause of action for
slander unless the publication causes the person special damage.
General provisions
14 Meaning of “publish” and “statement”
In this Act—
“publish” and “publication”, in relation to a statement, have the meaning
they have for the purposes of the law of defamation generally;
“statement” means words, pictures, visual images, gestures or any other
method of signifying meaning.
15 Consequential amendments and savings etc
(1) Section 8 of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (defamation actions) is
amended in accordance with subsections (2) and (3).
(2) In subsection (3) for “of justification or fair comment or” substitute “under
section 2 or 3 of the Defamation Act 2012 which is available to him or any
defence”.
(3) In subsection (5) for “the defence of justification” substitute “a defence under
section 2 of the Defamation Act 2012”.
(4) Nothing in section 1 or 13 affects any cause of action accrued before the
commencement of the section in question.
(5) Nothing in sections 2 to 7 or 10 has effect in relation to an action for defamation
if the cause of action accrued before the commencement of the section in
question.
(6) In determining whether section 8 applies, no account is to be taken of any
publication made before the commencement of the section.
(7) Nothing in section 9 or 11 has effect in relation to an action for defamation
begun before the commencement of the section in question.
(8) In determining for the purposes of subsection (7)(a) of section 3 whether a
person would have a defence under section 4 to any action for defamation, the
operation of subsection (5) of this section is to be ignored.
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10 Defamation Bill
16 Short title, commencement and extent
(1) This Act may be cited as the Defamation Act 2012.
(2) This section and subsections (4) to (8) of section 15 come into force on the day
on which this Act is passed.
(3) The other provisions of this Act come into force on such day as the Secretary of
State may by order made by statutory instrument appoint.
(4) This Act extends to England and Wales only.
5
Bill 5 (xxxxxx) 55/2
Defamation Bill
© Parliamentary copyright House of Commons 2012
Applications for reproduction should be made in writing to the Information Policy Team,
Office of Public Sector Information, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU
PUBLISHED BY AUTHORITY OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
LONDON — THE STATIONERY OFFICE LIMITED
Printed in the United Kingdom by
The Stationery Office Limited
£x.xx
xxxbarxxx
A
B I L L
To amend the law of defamation.
Presented by Secretary Kenneth Clarke,
supported by
The Prime Minister, The Deputy Prime Minister,
Mr David Willetts, Mr Edward Vaizey
and Mr Jonathan Djanogly.
Ordered, by The House of Commons,
to be Printed, 10 May 2012.
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ama

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  • Posts: 1164
Our response to the Defamation Bill
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2012, 02:53:25 PM »

[*QUOTE*]
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From:    "Libel Reform Campaign" <libelreform[bat]inboxsystems.com>
Date:    Fri, June 8, 2012 20:40

Our response to the Defamation Bill

Dear Friends

The second reading debate of the Defamation Bill 2012 is on Tuesday 12th June in the House of Commons. This is when MPs debate the Bill for the first time and make suggestions for changes that will then be considered by the Bill Committee. You will be able to watch the debate from 15:30 at
http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Live.aspx .Follow the progress of the Bill through Parliament here http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2012-13/defamation.html.

Our response to the Defamation Bill

Many of you have asked us for our thoughts on the Defamation Bill. We already told you that we think it falls short because it doesn&rsquo;t have a public interest defence that would enable scientists, parenting groups, consumer magazines and NGOs to debate issues on good faith. Since the publication of the Bill we have met with legal experts and people who have felt the libel chill, and the lack of a sound public interest defence is still the biggest concern. Along with this,  here are no measures in the Bill to restrict corporations from using the libel laws to "manage their brand", and we have yet to see detailed proposals on internet publishing from the Government.

We now have a briefing note, produced for MPs for the second reading debate, on the good and the not so good in the Bill which you can read here (PDF):
http://www.senseaboutscience.org/data/files/Libel/Briefing_note_for_second_reading_debate_of_Defamation_Bill_2012.pdf


Can you come to Parliament on 27th June?

This month could be our best and last chance to make sure everyone in Parliament knows we will not stand for a libel reform Bill that doesn&rsquo;t have an effective public interest defence. We are organising something at Parliament for the morning of Wednesday 27th June 2012. We will send you more information about this early next week after the second reading debate and we hope that many of you will be able to join us in Parliament.

Best regards

S&iacute;le and Mike
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  • Posts: 1164
Libel reform Bill committee stage update
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2012, 05:38:40 PM »

[*QUOTE*]
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Libel reform Bill committee stage update
"Libel Reform Campaign" <libelreform[bat]warpmailbox.com>
Fri, December 14, 2012 23:21

Dear Friends

The Defamation Bill is getting better – but there is still a lot to fight for

The Bill is now at committee stage in the House of Lords. The first six clauses will be debated on Monday and Wednesday.

Many of you have worked with us to press for a new effective public interest defence. After promising this, the public interest clause published by the Government earlier this year turned out to be a very poor copy of the existing Reynolds defence. We already know this is very expensive to run and has been of little use to scientists, NGOs, doctors, consumer groups or bloggers – the very people who have supported the Libel Reform Campaign. To highlight this, we held a parliamentary rally; Dara O’Briain, Dave Gorman and Brian Cox took a petition of all your signatures to Downing Street, and we put together a briefing for Parliament on 10 cases
http://www.senseaboutscience.org/pages/the-case-for-a-new-public-interest-defence.html

We’ve had some positive news. Yesterday the Government responded and put down their own amendment to strengthen the Clause 4 Public Interest Defence in advance of the Lords discussing this at committee stage. This is entirely down to the efforts of all the individuals and community groups who have continued to fight alongside us for a fairer law.

The Government’s proposal is an improvement on what has been proposed in the Bill. We are still holding out for a stronger defence – one that protects defendants if they promptly and prominently correct or clarify. We are encouraging members of the House of Lords to debate the Government’s new clause and our clause.

 The House of Lords will also be tabling amendments for which we argued, for calling for early strike out of weak or vexatious cases, measures to protect Internet service providers better and to restrict the use of libel laws by bullying corporations. If these are accepted by the Government it’ll be a huge victory for the campaign.

We’ll be at the committee debates in Parliament on Monday and will let you know what happens.

Best wishes

Mike and Síle
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