Defining a Right of Reply: An Examination of the Law Commission’s Proposals to Use a Right of Reply to Regulate Online Conduct

61 Pages Posted: 3 May 2016  

Katharine Stove

Victoria University of Wellington, Faculty of Law, Student/Alumni

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

This paper examines the Law Commission’s proposals to use a right of reply as a remedy within a new regime to combat harmful digital communications on the Internet in its Ministerial Briefing Paper, Harmful Digital Communications: The Adequacy of Current Sanctions and Remedies. It seeks to determine whether a right of reply is a suitable tool to use in an online context against ordinary citizens, when it has typically been an offline remedy for use against the media. It also considers the best form for a right of reply under this new regulatory regime, in order for it to constitute a proportional limit on a defendant’s right to freedom of expression. It concludes that a right of reply could be a suitable remedy under the regime, and it could constitute a proportional limit on a defendant’s freedom of expression, but a Court should carefully balance the harms a right of reply might pose against the values of free speech implicated in each circumstance, on a case-by-case basis, in order to ensure the limitations a right of reply might pose on freedom of expression are always proportional and justified.

Keywords: defamation, right of reply, reputation, freedom of expression, internet regulation

JEL Classification: K13, K30

Suggested Citation

Stove, Katharine, Defining a Right of Reply: An Examination of the Law Commission’s Proposals to Use a Right of Reply to Regulate Online Conduct (2013). Victoria University of Wellington Legal Research Paper, Student/Alumni Paper No. 5/2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2773198

Katharine Stove (Contact Author)

Victoria University of Wellington, Faculty of Law, Student/Alumni ( email )

PO Box 600
Wellington, 6140
New Zealand

Paper statistics

Downloads
21
Abstract Views
824