Session 2012 - 13
Internet Publications
Other Bills before Parliament


Public Bill Committee: 21 June 2012                     



Defamation Bill, continued



In the event that mediation or neutral evaluation is deemed unsuccessful,


voluntary arbitration should be sought.



If the claim has not been settled, court determination of key issues will be





Publication on matters of public interest


Robert Flello




To move the following Clause:—



The publication of a statement which is, or forms part of, a statement on a matter


of public interest is privileged unless the publication is shown to be made with





In defamation proceedings in respect of a publication under subsection (1) there


is no defence under this section if the claimant shows that the defendant—



was requested by him to publish in a suitable manner a reasonable letter


or statement by way of explanation or contradiction (the “response”), and



refused or neglected to do so.



For the purpose of subsection (2), “in a suitable manner” means in the same


manner as the publication complained of or in a manner that is adequate and


reasonable in the circumstances, having particular regard to—



the need for the response to have equal prominence as the publication


complained of,



the promptness of the publication of the response, and



where appropriate, the extent and promptness of the removal or


clarification of, or correction to, the publication complained of.



Nothing in this section shall be construed—



as protecting the publication of matter the publication of which is


prohibited by law, or



as limiting (or bridging) any privilege subsisting apart from this section.’.





Robert Flello




To move the following Clause:—



A non-natural person will only have an action in defamation if they can show—



that the publication was published with malice; or



that they have suffered actual or likely financial harm.’.



Public Bill Committee: 21 June 2012                     



Defamation Bill, continued


Strike-out procedure


Robert Flello




To move the following Clause:—



The court must strike-out an action for defamation unless the claimant shows





its publication has caused or is likely to cause serious harm to the


reputation of the claimant; and



there has been a real and substantial tort in the jurisdiction.



For the purposes of subsection 1(b), no real and substantial tort is to be regarded


as having occurred in relation to the claimant unless the publication in the


jurisdiction can reasonably be regarded as having caused serious harm to the


claimant’s reputation having regard to the extent of publication elsewhere.



Subsection (1) does not apply if, in exceptional circumstances, the court is


satisfied that it would be in the interests of justice not to strike out the action.



A order under subsection (1) may be made by the court of its own motion or on


an application by any party to the action.



Subsection (1) does not limit any power to strike-out proceedings which is


exercisable apart from this section.’.



Removal of allegedly defamatory material


Helen Goodman




To move the following Clause:—


‘The removal of allegedly defamatory material from a website and the publication


of apologies and corrections shall not prevent a claimant from bringing an action


for defamation.’.



Order of the House [12 JUNE 2012]


That the following provisions shall apply to the Defamation Bill—





The Bill shall be committed to a Public Bill Committee.


Proceedings in Public Bill Committee



Proceedings in the Public Bill Committee shall (so far as not previously


concluded) be brought to a conclusion on Tuesday 26 June 2012.



The Public Bill Committee shall have leave to sit twice on the first day on


which it meets.


Consideration and Third Reading



Proceedings on Consideration shall (so far as not previously concluded) be


brought to a conclusion one hour before the moment of interruption on the


Public Bill Committee: 21 June 2012                     



Defamation Bill, continued


day on which those proceedings are commenced.



Proceedings on Third Reading shall (so far as not previously concluded) be


brought to a conclusion at the moment of interruption on that day.



Standing Order No. 83B (Programming committees) shall not apply to


proceedings on Consideration and Third Reading.


Other proceedings



Any other proceedings on the Bill (including any proceedings on


consideration of Lords Amendments or on any further messages from the


Lords) may be programmed.



Order of the Committee [19 JUNE 2012]





the Committee shall (in addition to its first meeting at 10.30 am on Tuesday


19 June) meet—



at 4.00 pm on Tuesday 19 June;



at 9.00 am and 1.00 pm on Thursday 21 June;



at 10.30 am and 4.00 pm on Tuesday 26 June;



the proceedings shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a


conclusion at 7.00 pm on Tuesday 26 June.


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Revised 21 June 2012