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The Defamation Act 2013 and CPR 3.4 and 24: a sting in causation's tail

Coe, P. ORCID: (2014) The Defamation Act 2013 and CPR 3.4 and 24: a sting in causation's tail. Entertainment Law Review, 25 (3). pp. 93-96. ISSN 0959-3799

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The Defamation Act 2013 came into force on January 1, 2014. According to the Libel Reform Campaign, the purpose of the new legislation is to address the "chilling effect" created by pre2013 Act libel law, which imposed "unnecessary and disproportionate restrictions on free speech", and did not "reflect the interests of a modern democratic society". On receiving Royal Assent in April 2013, the Act was subject to much fan-fair from elements of the British media. Indeed, Lord McNally, the Minister responsible for implementing the Act: "emphasised that it should be understood as only part of a wider array of measures oriented towards improving the functioning of the public sphere." During a House of Lords debate in October 2012, McNally suggested that his "intention … has always been to end up with legislation that works". Section 1(1) of the 2013 Act has introduced a new test of actual or likely serious harm. This is qualified further for claimants that trade for profit by s.1(2), in that harm to reputation is not serious unless it has caused, or is likely to cause, serious financial loss. In response to McNally’s statement, this article asks the question: who does the new legislation really work for?

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Law
ID Code:98319
Publisher:Sweet & Maxwell

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