Northern Ireland Law Commission Consultation on Defamation: Part 2, Withdrawal of the ‘single meaning rule’ coupled with a bar to proceedings where meanings corrected – Andrew Scott

12 02 2015

High-Court-BelfastThe Northern Ireland Law Commission is currently consulting on reforms to defamation law [pdf]. Many mooted reforms relate closely to those reflected in the Defamation Act 2013 (see Part 1). In addition, the NILC is consulting on the desirability of a further reform option. This would comprise two inter-related changes: first, the withdrawal of the “single meaning rule”, and secondly, the introduction of a bar to the bringing of claims where a publisher has corrected or retracted a possible meaning promptly and prominently. Read the rest of this entry »





Northern Ireland Law Commission Consultation on Defamation: Part 1, Possible Revisions to Defamation Act 2013 – Andrew Scott

11 02 2015

nilc-logoWhile the Defamation Bill progressed through Parliament, neither the Scottish Parliament nor the Northern Ireland Assembly passed a consent motion to extend the legislation to those jurisdictions in full (the former did adopt sections 6 and 7 of the Act). Last week, the Scottish Law Commission announced that defamation would comprise one element of its ninth programme of law reform. The NI Law Commission has published a study of the law and is currently consulting on possible reforms [pdf]. The consultation closes on 20 February 2015. Read the rest of this entry »





Defamation Act 2013: Tilting at Windmills – Alastair Mullis and Andrew Scott

12 01 2014

tilting_at_windmillsIn a paper published last week in the Modern Law Review, Alastair Mullis and Andrew Scott considered the likely impact of the Defamation Act. Revised versions of the introduction and conclusion to that paper are drawn together here. Read the rest of this entry »





A New Style Public Interest Defence in Libel Law? – Andrew Scott and Alastair Mullis

8 11 2012

An interesting proposal has slipped quietly into the mix for consideration during the House of Lords Committee stage deliberations on the Defamation Bill. During the Second Reading debate, Lord Lester mooted a possible alternative to the clause 4 defence of responsible publication on a matter of public interest. The Joint Committee on Human Rights has pressed the Government on the desirability of the new alternative. In our view, the proposal – developed by Sir Brian Neill (pic) – offers an opportunity both to improve the operation of the existing common law defence and to ‘tidy up’ aspects of the existing Bill. Read the rest of this entry »