Defamation Bill

AMENDMENTS
TO BE MOVED
IN GRAND COMMITTEE

Clause 3

LORD PHILLIPS OF SUDBURY

 

Page 2, line 3, after “of” insert “adequately”

 

Page 2, line 14, leave out from beginning to “; and” and insert “made by another person (“the author”) but published in a form which is substantially the same by the defendant”

Clause 4

LORD PHILLIPS OF SUDBURY

[As an amendment to the first amendment to Clause 4 printed on sheet HL Bill 41(a)]

 

Line 3, at end insert “; and

(c) the defendant acted fairly as to the manner, balance and content of such a statement”

Clause 5

LORD PHILLIPS OF SUDBURY

 

Page 3, line 22, after “operator” insert “or anyone associated with the operator”

 

Page 3, line 25, after “not” insert “reasonably”

LORD LESTER OF HERNE HILL

 

Page 4, line 2, at end insert “and unlawful”

LORD PHILLIPS OF SUDBURY

 

Page 4, line 12, at end insert—

“( ) The defence under this section is defeated by malice or bad faith by or on behalf of the operator of a website.”

Clause 7

LORD PHILLIPS OF SUDBURY

 

Page 6, line 6, at end insert “ or its auditors”

After Clause 7

LORD LESTER OF HERNE HILL

 

Insert the following new Clause—

“Reports etc of certain Parliamentary matters protected by absolute privilege

(1) The following are absolutely privileged—

(a) a fair and accurate report of proceedings in Parliament;

(b) a fair and accurate report of anything published by or on the authority of Parliament; and

(c) a fair and accurate copy of, extract from or summary of anything published by or on the authority of Parliament.

(2) The court must stay any proceedings where the defendant shows that—

(a) the proceedings relate to the publication of anything that falls within paragraph (a), (b) or (c) of subsection (1); or

(b) the proceedings seek to prevent or postpone the making of any such publication.

(3) This section also has effect in relation to the Welsh Assembly and the Northern Ireland Assembly (and any reference to Parliament is to be read as a reference to the Assembly in question).

(4) The Parliamentary Papers Act 1840 is repealed.”

 

Insert the following new Clause—

“Evidence concerning proceedings in Parliament

(1) In this section “the relevant protection”, in relation to the proceedings of either House of Parliament, means the protection of any enactment or rule of law which prevents proceedings in Parliament being impeached or questioned in any court or place out of Parliament.

(2) The Speaker of either House of Parliament may, in accordance with Standing Orders of that House, by notice in writing waive the application of the relevant protection to such proceedings in an action for defamation as are specified in that notice.

(3) Where the relevant protection is waived in relation to any proceedings in an action for defamation—

(a) that protection is not to apply to prevent evidence being given, questions being asked or statements, submissions, comments or findings being made in those proceedings; and

(b) none of those things is to be regarded as infringing the privilege of either House of Parliament.

(4) Nothing in this section affects any enactment or rule of law so far as it protects a person from legal liability for words spoken or things done in the course of, or for the purposes of or incidental to, any proceedings in Parliament.

(5) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (4), that subsection applies to—

(a) the giving of evidence before either House or a committee;

(b) the presentation or submission of a document to either House or a committee;

(c) the preparation of a document for the purposes of or incidental to the transacting of any such business;

(d) the formulation, making or publication of a document, including a report, by or pursuant to an order of either House or a committee; and

(e) any communication with the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards or any person having functions in connection with the registration of members’ interests.

In this subsection “a committee” means a committee of either House or a joint committee of both Houses of Parliament.

(6) Section 13 of the Defamation Act 1996 is repealed.”

Clause 8

LORD PHILLIPS OF SUDBURY

 

Page 7, line 4, after “public” insert “or to a section of the public”

 

Page 7, line 5, after “public” insert “or to a section of the public”

 

Page 7, leave out lines 7 and 8

Clause 9

LORD PHILLIPS OF SUDBURY

 

Page 7, line 38, leave out “clearly”

Prepared 13th December 2012