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Consultation on defamation law reform 14/01/2019 A new consultation on defamation – the damaging of an individual’s reputation through false communication – has been published by the Scottish Government.

Consultation on defamation law reform

A new consultation on defamation – the damaging of an individual’s reputation through false communication – has been published by the Scottish Government. It follows a report by the Scottish Law Commission which made 49 recommendations to modernise and simplify legislation.

The public consultation calls for views on a number of issues raised through the Scottish Law Commission’s report, including:

  • The 3 year time limit of defamation claims
  • The threshold of ‘serious harm’
  • Action against unjustified legal threats of defamation

“Defamation law potentially affects everyone and it is crucial that we ensure the law is fit for modern Scotland,” said Minister for Community Safety, Ash Denham. “The enormous growth in the use of social media presents new challenges and means that defamatory communication is becoming increasingly instant and common.”

“It is crucial that we strike the right balance between the two values that often pull in opposing directions – freedom of expression and the protection of an individual’s reputation,” she explained. “Consultation is an essential part of the process and members of the public have an important part to play in reforming the law on defamation and ensuring it is fit for the future.”

The consultation will run until 5th April. It is available here.

 

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