Mariette Jones, ‘The Defamation Act 2013: a free speech retrospective’

INTRODUCTION
One of, if not the main, reason for enacting the Defamation Act 2013 was the concern that the English common law of defamation was chilling free speech. Lord Lester, introducing his Defamation Bill, said the following: ‘Our law suffers from the twin vices of uncertainty and overbreadth. The litigation that it engenders is costly and often protracted. It has a severe chilling effect on the freedom of expression not only of powerful newspapers and broadcasters, but also of regional newspapers, NGOs and citizen critics, as well as of scientific discourse. That chilling effect leads to self-censorship. It impairs the communication of public information about matters of legitimate public interest and concern’. It is now almost six years later, and time to gauge the effect of the reforms wrought by this act on the free speech concerns it was designed to address. This article presents a broad-brush review of the Defamation Act 2013 from a pro free-speech perspective …

€ (Westlaw)

Mariette Jones, ‘The Defamation Act 2013: a free speech retrospective’ [2019] Communications Law 117.

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