Defamation Bill

I have responded to the Ministry of Justice Consultation Paper on the Defamation Bill expressing my own views.
Generally I don’t think the draft Bill goes far enough, and wider definitions are needed for qualified privilege. It needs to be made easier for those who are defamed to get redress and easer for those falsely accused of defamation to defend themselvesdefamation-consultation-questionnaire. This means not front loading the procedure too much. I don’t think the single publication rule will improve the law, as there is a very short limitation period and there is no need for libellous allegations to be repeated after the limitation period has expired. If there is to be a single publication rule, there needs to be a safeguard to prevent injustice resulting.
Costs need to be more strictly controlled.
Claimants are free to choose the most expensive lawyers, but they cannot reasonably expect defendants to pay all their costs if they do so and win.
The deadline for submissions is 10 June and the draft Bill is already being discussed by a pre-legislative scrutiny committee. All submissions will be reported to the committee. Anyone who has differing views should make his or her own submission.


About michaeljameshall

I live in Orpington and am a retired solicitor. I am also a Liberal Democrat campaigner, interested in democracy, human rights, legal affairs and law reform. I am a member of the Liberal Democrat Lawyers' Association.
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