Session 2012 - 13
Internet Publications
Other Bills before Parliament




House of Commons


Thursday 21 June 2012


Public Bill Committee Proceedings


Defamation Bill


[Third Sitting]


Mr Jonathan Djanogly


That the Order of the Committee of 19 June be amended as follows:


    In paragraph (1)(b) leave out “and 1.00 pm”.


Agreed to



Paul Farrelly


Withdrawn  42


Clause  5,  page  3,  line  25,  leave out paragraph (a) and insert—



it was not possible for the claimant to obtain sufficient identifying details


relating to the person who posted the statement so as to be able to serve


that person with legal process,’.


Robert Flello


Not called  18


Clause  5,  page  3,  line  25,  leave out from ‘possible’ to end of line 26 and insert—



for the claimant to identify the person who posted the statement,





for the claimant to contact the person who posted the statement.’.


Robert Flello


Not called  19


Clause  5,  page  3,  line  27,  leave out ‘the claimant gave the operator’ and insert ‘the


operator was served with’.


Robert Flello


Not called  9


Clause  5,  page  3,  line  30,  leave out ‘any provision contained in regulations’ and


insert ‘subsection (3A)’.


Robert Flello


Not called  10


Clause  5,  page  3,  line  30,  at end insert—


Public Bill Committee Proceedings: 21 June 2012            



Defamation Bill, continued



Where a complaint is received by an operator under subsection (3), the operator


must publish a notice of complaint alongside the relevant statement and, if the


operator fails to do so within seven days of notice of the complaint, the operator


will only be entitled to rely on the standard defences available to a primary


publisher, if sued for defamation.’.


Robert Flello


Not called  20


Clause  5,  page  3,  line  30,  at end insert—



The condition in sub-paragraph (3)(a)(ii) will be met if the claimant notified the


web operator and the web operator did not elicit a reply (for whatever reason)


from the author within a timescale provided for in regulations made under this




Paul Farrelly


Not called  43


Clause  5,  page  3,  line  33,  leave out paragraph (b) and insert—



sets out the statement concerned and gives details as to why its


publication is unlawful (including, for the avoidance of doubt,


information as to why the statement is untrue or why other potential


defences do not apply).’.


Robert Flello


Not called  21


Clause  5,  page  3,  line  35,  leave out ‘was’ and insert ‘is’.


Robert Flello


Not called  22


Clause  5,  page  3,  line  36,  at end insert—



is authorised by a court, which is satisfied on the basis of the information


that it has before it, that—



the statement concerned is capable of being defamatory


including having regard to section 1 (serious harm) and is


capable of representing a real and substantial tort in the


jurisdiction based on the extent of publication;



would not be likely to benefit from a defence to an action for





that the terms of subsection (3)(a) have been met.



may specify a time limit by which the statement complained of should be


removed in order to benefit from the defence in this section.’.


Paul Farrelly


Withdrawn  44


Clause  5,  page  3,  line  36,  at end insert—



If, after service of a notice of complaint, an operator continues to publish the


statement complained of, the court may, on an application by the claimant, make


such order requiring the operator to take down the statement as the court


considers just.’.


Robert Flello


Not called  23


Clause  5,  page  3,  line  37,  at end insert—


Public Bill Committee Proceedings: 21 June 2012            



Defamation Bill, continued



make provision as to the matters to be considered by the court when


considering an application to authorise the issue of a notice of complaint,


including the requirements needed to satisfy subsection (3A).’.


Paul Farrelly


Not called  45


Clause  5,  page  3,  line  44,  at end insert—



make provisions as to the procedure to be followed on the making of an


application for a take down order under subsection (4A).’.


Helen Goodman


Not called  33


Clause  5,  page  3,  line  45,  at end add—



make provision to require website operators to set up and publicise a


designated email address to receive notices of complaint;



may require, without exception, authors to release their identities to


website operators and complainants.’.


Paul Farrelly


Withdrawn  46


Clause  5,  page  3,  line  45,  at end insert—



For the purposes of this section—



the term “operator of a website” includes a web host, an operator of a


social media site, an operator of a search engine or any other information


society service provider;



an operator of a website which has an automated or manual moderation


policy through which it removes or edits content posted by third parties


will not be treated as the poster of a statement for the purposes of this


section unless the claimant can demonstrate that—



the website operator knew or ought to have known that it was


facilitating the publication of unlawfully defamatory material; or



the removal or editing of the material by the website operator


rendered the statement defamatory.’.


Robert Flello


Negatived on division  24


Clause  5,  page  4,  line  4,  leave out from ‘section’ to end of line 5 and insert ‘shall


not come into force without the affirmative resolution of both Houses of Parliament.’.


Robert Flello


Not selected  25


Clause  5,  page  4,  line  6,  at end insert—



In section 1(c) of the Defamation Act 1996, leave out “a defamatory” and insert


“an unlawful”.’.


Clause Agreed to on division.


[Adjourned until Tuesday 26 June at 10.30 am


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Revised 22 June 2012