New Defamation Act: a better balance between freedom of expression and protection of reputation?

  • January 16, 2014
  • By Hunters Law

On 1 January 2014 a new Defamation Act came into force which aims to redress the balance between legitimate freedom of expression and the protection of a person’s reputation.

The major changes include a new test under which the Claimant must show that they suffered “serious harm” before suing, and better protection for those, such as scientists and academics, publicly expressing opinions on matters of public interest.

The Act also aims to curb so-called “libel tourism” by making it more difficult for foreign Claimants with little connection with the jurisdiction to sue in England & Wales.

If you would like more detailed advice on defamation matters, please contact the partner at Hunters having responsibility for your legal matters, or (for new enquiries) please contact a member of our Dispute Resolution team.

This article is based on the law as at 16th January 2014.  Although we endeavour to ensure that the content is accurate and up to date as at that date, it is designed to provide general guidance only and is not intended to be comprehensive or to constitute professional advice.  Specific advice should always be sought, and you should only rely on advice which is given by reference to particular facts and circumstances.

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