The Defamation Act

this is to reform the law of defamation to ensure that a fair balance is struck between the right to freedom of expression and the protection of reputation.


It is a defence to an action for defamation for the defendant to show that the imputation conveyed by the statement complained of is substantially true.

The Defamation Act:

includes a requirement for claimants to show that they have suffered serious harm before suing for defamation

removes the current presumption in favour of a jury trial

introduces a defence of "responsible publication on matters of public interest"

provides increased protection to operators of websites that host user-generated content, providing they comply with the procedure to enable the complainant to resolve disputes directly with the author of the material concerned

introduces new statutory defences of truth and honest opinion to replace the common law defences of justification. and fair comment.