Three Errors in the Defamation Act 2013

6 Journal of European Tort Law (2015), 1-25

Edinburgh School of Law Research Paper No. 2014/45

19 Pages Posted: 15 Nov 2014 Last revised: 28 Apr 2015

See all articles by Eric Descheemaeker

Eric Descheemaeker

University of Melbourne - Law School

Date Written: November 14, 2014

Abstract

This article considers three aspects of a recent British statute on the law of defamation, the Defamation Act 2013, disputing in each case their opportuneness. First, it argues that the new requirement of ‘serious harm’ under sec 1 runs against basic tenets of the law. Second, it expresses concern about the new drafting of the defence of responsible journalism (sec 4), which is in danger of losing touch with its original rationale. Third, it examines the revamped version of the defence of fair comment, now known as ‘honest opinion’ (sec 3), and suggests that comment should never be actionable because it cannot be defamatory in the first place.

Keywords: defamation, libel, Defamation Act 2013, serious harm, responsible journalism, publication on matter of public interest, fair comment, honest opinion

Suggested Citation

Descheemaeker, Eric, Three Errors in the Defamation Act 2013 (November 14, 2014). 6 Journal of European Tort Law (2015), 1-25, Edinburgh School of Law Research Paper No. 2014/45, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2524338 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2524338

Eric Descheemaeker (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne - Law School ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010
Australia

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