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Worth the candle?: the government's draft Defamation Bill

Mullis, Alastair and Scott, Andrew (2011) Worth the candle?: the government's draft Defamation Bill. Journal of Media Law, 3 (1). pp. 1-17. ISSN 1757-7632

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Identification Number: 10.5235/175776311796471242


The Government has published a draft Defamation Bill and Consultation Paper which invites comment on the Bill itself and a number of other matters. This paper offers a critique of the Bill which in our view fails to take what is an historic opportunity to create a modern law that properly triangulates the rights and interests of claimants, defendants and the wider public. Several provisions of the Bill purport simply to restate the existing law, others are more radical but the radicalism is all in favour of increased freedom of expression. Insufficient account is taken of the article 8 right to reputation. The result is a Bill with a few sensible provisions, but overall the impression given is that there has been no serious contemplation of the breadth of interests at stake where one person publishes an untrue statement about another. If reform is to be effective and the rights of claimants, defendants, and the wider public are to be properly protected, such a fundamental re-examination is essential. It is to be hoped that during the consultation period that has now begun, this task can be properly recognised and undertaken.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2011 Hart Publishing
Divisions: Law
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
J Political Science > J General legislative and executive papers
Date Deposited: 28 Jul 2011 08:45
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 01:16

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