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Inforrm Debate: Abolition of Libel Juries, Poll Results

In June and July 2012 we published a number of posts as part of an “Inforrm Debate” on the issue as to whether trial by jury should be abolished in libel cases. On 13 July 2012 we published a poll to find out whether our readers favoured the abolition of the statutory right to jury trial contained in clause 11 of the Defamation Bill.

A majority of readers opposed the abolition of the statutory right – although there was no majority in favour of either of the alternatives – retention of the status quo or the introduction of a new statutory discretion, with a list of relevant factors.

These are the results of the voting so far:

How should the Defamation Act deal with the right to jury trial? –

  • Leave the position as it is – with a general right, subject to limited exceptions? – 43%
  • Abolish the right to jury trial in defamation cases? – 37%
  • Provide for a statutory discretion to order jury trial, with a list of relevant factors? – 20%

These results suggest that the majority of practitioners are not in favour of the approach of the Defamation Bill. We will draw these results to the attention of those who are presently considering the Bill.

These are the posts which formed the debate:

Inforrm Debate: Should libel jury trials be abolished? – Introduction

Inforrm Debate: Libel Jury Trials – Some Historical Background

Inforrm Debate: Jury Trial, does clause 11 reflect the views of the Joint Committee?

Inforrm Debate: Luke Cooper’s case shows damage of abolishing trial by jury in libel cases – Louis Charalambous

Inforrm Debate: Vindication for the Jury – Lucy Moorman

Inforrm Debate: Jury trial in libel actions: the plaything of civil liberty purists! – Alastair Brett

Inforrm Debate: On Jury Trials in Civil Cases – A view from the United States – Jack W. London

Inforrm Debate: Libel juries, is there a middle way? – Hugh Tomlinson QC

1 Comment

  1. Arthru Lawrence

    “Libel juries are an absolute right where criminal charges are alleged by the print media and their truth is asserted by a plea of justification ( see chapter 32 go3 fox’s libel act)

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