Libel Reform Campaign responds to Scottish Law Commission Consultation

Written by Robert Sharp
June 18, 2016
Category: Scotland

The Libel Reform Campaign has submitted a detailed response to the Scottish Law Commission's consultation on the law of defamation.

Recommendations

— A public interest defence must be introduced into Scots Law

— A 'serious harm' test to discourage trivial and vexatious claims

— A 'single publication rule' and a revision on limitation periods for when pursuers can sue

— For-profit companies and other 'non-natural persons' should not be able to sue for defamation. If corporations are allowed to sue, that they should have to show financial loss before bringing a claim

— The Derbyshire case law that prevents public bodies from suing citizens for defamation should be put into statute

— A jurisidictional test to discourage 'libel tourism'

— Defences of truth and honest opinion should be set out clearly in statute

— The fair retort' defence should remain in Scots Law

— Alternative methods of dispute resolution should be incorporated into any reform

— Communication to a third party must be a requisite for a defamation action to be brought

— Qualified privilege should be extended to the reporting of international legislatures, courts and tribunals

— A presumption against expensive jury trials in defamation cases

Read the full Libel Reform Campaign response to the Scottish Law Commission.