Lord Chancellor outlines reforms

The lord Chancellor has outlined the legislation needed to establish a “fast track” for defamation claims. The proposed reforms include a new defence, recommended by Lord Justice Neill's working group, doing away with the need for a trial if the defendant is prepared to offer amends and pay damages assessed by a judge. He is also proposing a summary procedure where claims are heard at an early stage by a judge who assesses whether the claim is suitable for summary disposal, or whether it should go for trial.