Defamation Act

Posted by Jill Bainbridge on
Our Defamation and Privacy team has reviewed the key changes that came into effect from 1 January 2014 following the introduction of the Defamation Act 2013.

This will affect anybody wishing to bring or defend a claim in defamation relating to publications occurring on or after 1 January 2014.

Those looking to allege defamation will need to show that a statement has caused, or is likely to cause, 'serious harm' to the claimant's reputation. In the case of corporate entities, this is taken to mean serious financial harm. Claimants will have 1 year from the first date of publication of the defamatory statement to bring a claim. 

Those looking to defend an action will find that there are a number of new statutory defences. These are:

  • 'truth', 
  • 'honest opinion'; and
  • 'publications on a matter of public interest.'

Defamatory statements published before this date will continue to be governed by the Defamation Act 1996.

Key action point:

  • Our Defamation and Privacy team's feature length article on these changes can be viewed here.

About the Author

Heading up the firm’s Intellectual property group and Trade Mark prosecution team, Jill specialises in IP and IT disputes.

Jill Bainbridge
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