The Defamation Act: a balancing act
The law surrounding defamation has always had a unique standing amongst civil proceedings in England and Wales. Aside from the public interest that a high-profile defamation case might arouse and the ‘libel tourism’ that results as celebrities from all over the world bring actions in our courts, the offence is also one of only a few civil actions that contain the presumption of a jury trial as opposed to judge-led proceedings. That, along with many other measures, is set to change, however, when the new Defamation Act 2013 (the Act) comes into force this year.
The Act received Royal Assent on 25 April 2013 and will come into force later in 2013. In today’s fast-moving, internet-led global market, the following new provisions will be key for any business.
Claimants must prove serious harm: in order for a defamation action to succeed, a statement will have to have caused, or be likely to cause, ‘serious harm‘ to the reputation of the claimant. Further, for corporate claimants, ‘serious financial loss’, either actual or likely, must be shown for the harm to be considered serious. This significantly limits the scope of the law from its current position and means that companies will not necessarily be able to use the threat of proceedings to ensure critics do not speak out…
If you are registered and logged in to the site, click on the link below to read the rest of the Walker Morris briefing. If not, please register or sign in with your details below.
News from Walker Morris
News from The Lawyer
Briefings from Walker Morris
Ofgem and DECC have jointly published an action plan of measures to encourage the growth of independent energy suppliers.
The Finance Act 2014 will change the economics of using tax avoidance schemes by requiring payment of disputed tax upfront in cases involving numerous marketed tax management schemes,
Analysis from The Lawyer
The law school war shows no signs of ending. But we have, perhaps, reached the end of the beginning.
New EU rules and lawyers’ increased comfort with digital formats are sparking a sea-change in the way law firms manage their documents