Defamation Bill

FOURTH
MARSHALLED
LIST OF AMENDMENTS
TO BE MOVED
IN GRAND COMMITTEE

[Amendments marked * are new or have been altered]

Clause 7

LORD MAWHINNEY

39

Page 5, line 14, at end insert—

“( ) After paragraph 8 insert—

“8A Communication between a Member of Parliament and any constituent.””

LORD BROWNE OF LADYTON

BARONESS HAYTER OF KENTISH TOWN

39A

Page 5, line 23, after “includes” insert “local government and”

LORD PHILLIPS OF SUDBURY

40

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

LORD MAWHINNEY

41

Page 6, line 13, leave out subsection (9)

42

Page 6, line 27, at end insert—

“( ) After paragraph 15 insert—

“15A (1) A peer reviewed article.

(2) Fair and accurate copies and reports of material in an archive where the limitation period for an action against the original publisher of the material has expired.””

After Clause 7

LORD LESTER OF HERNE HILL

43

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(4) The Parliamentary Papers Act 1840 is repealed.”

44

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 BROWNE OF LADYTON

BARONESS HAYTER OF KENTISH TOWN

44A

Page 7, line 3, leave out from “if” to end of line 6 and insert—

“(a) a statement is published to the public (“the first publication”); and

(b) there is subsequently published (whether or not to the public) that statement or a statement which is substantially the same.”

LORD PHILLIPS OF SUDBURY

45

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

46

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

47

Page 7, leave out lines 7 and 8

LORD BROWNE OF LADYTON

BARONESS HAYTER OF KENTISH TOWN

47A

Page 7, line 20, at end insert—

“(c) the comparative quality and credibility of the source of the subsequent publication, compared with the first publication.”

47B

Page 7, line 20, at end insert—

“(5A) Publication shall not be deemed to be materially different merely by virtue of—

(a) the publication, as part of a regular series of publications, without charge on the internet of academic or scientific journals which required payment to access when originally published; or

(b) the creation of an archive accessible on the internet.”

Clause 9

LORD MAWHINNEY

48

Page 7, line 29, at end insert—

“( ) A person domiciled in England or Wales may bring an action for defamation in respect of publication by a person to whom subsection (1) below applies provided that they can demonstrate that such publication has caused them serious and substantial harm.”

LORD PHILLIPS OF SUDBURY

49

Page 7, line 38, leave out “clearly”

50

[Withdrawn]

After Clause 9

LORD SINGH OF WIMBLEDON

[In substitution for Amendment 50]

50A

Insert the following new Clause—

“Action against an individual domiciled in the UK

(1) This section applies to an action for defamation against a person who is domiciled in the United Kingdom.

(2) The organisation or individual bringing the action, in addition to satisfying the court of serious harm, must also provide evidence of funds in the UK to meet any costs arising from an unsuccessful action.”

Clause 10

LORD BROWNE OF LADYTON

BARONESS HAYTER OF KENTISH TOWN

50B

Page 8, line 24, at end insert “damages for”

50C

Page 8, line 26, leave out from “court” to end of line 28 and insert—

“(a) is satisfied that it is not reasonably practicable for an action to be brought against the author, editor or publisher;

(b) there is a prima facie case that the statement complained of is defamatory; and

(c) is satisfied that such person did not know that the statement was defamatory until a claim to that effect was made and did not reasonably believe that there was a good defence to any action brought upon it.”

50D

Page 8, line 30, at end insert—

“(3) Nothing in this section shall prevent a court from granting any injunction or order requiring a person to cease publishing a defamatory statement.”

Clause 11

LORD MAWHINNEY

51*

Page 8, line 38, at end insert—

“( ) A court may only order a trial with jury in a case involving a senior figure in public life and when that person’s credibility is at stake.”

Clause 13

LORD BROWNE OF LADYTON

BARONESS HAYTER OF KENTISH TOWN

51A*

Page 9, line 14, at end insert—

“( ) Regulations may make provisions as to the procedure to be followed on the making of an application for an order under subsection (1).”

51B*

Page 9, line 15, at end insert—

“( ) 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.”

After Clause 13

LORD BROWNE OF LADYTON

BARONESS HAYTER OF KENTISH TOWN

51C*

Insert the following new Clause—

“Disapplication of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012

Sections 44 and 46 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 shall not apply in relation to civil actions for defamation, malicious falsehood, breach of confidence, privacy or publication proceedings.”

51D*

Insert the following new Clause—

“Recovery of costs

Costs ordered against a party in a civil action for defamation, malicious falsehood, breach of confidence, privacy or publication proceedings shall not exceed the amount (if any) which is reasonable having regard to all the circumstances of the case, including—

(a) the financial resources of all the parties to the proceedings, and

(b) the conduct of the parties in connection with the dispute to which the proceedings relate.”

51E*

Insert the following new Clause—

“Defamation county courts: special jurisdiction

(1) The Lord Chancellor may, with the concurrence of the Lord Chief Justice, by order made by statutory instrument designate any county court as a defamation county court and confer on it jurisdiction (its “special jurisdiction”) to hear and determine such descriptions of proceedings—

(a) relating to defamation, or

(b) ancillary to, or arising out of the same subject matter as, proceedings relating to defamation,

as may be specified in the order.

(2) The special jurisdiction of a defamation county court is exercisable throughout England and Wales, but rules of court may provide for a matter pending in one such court to be heard and determined in another or partly in that and partly in another.

(3) An order under this section providing for the discontinuance of any of the special jurisdiction of a defamation county court may make provision as to proceedings pending in the court when the order comes into operation.

(4) Nothing in this section shall be construed as affecting the ordinary jurisdiction of a county court.

(5) The Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales may nominate a judicial office holder (as defined in section 109(4) of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005) to exercise his functions under this section.”

After Clause 14

LORD MAWHINNEY

52

Insert the following new Clause—

“Civil Procedure Rule Committee Guidance

The Secretary of State shall publish guidance for the Civil Procedure Rule Committees proposing procedural reforms in the case of defamation proceedings.”

53

Insert the following new Clause—

“Reporting to Parliament

The Secretary of State shall report to Parliament annually on the codification of this Act; and in particular on its impact on accessibility and clarity of the law.”

Prepared 16th January 2013