B1385 - Defamation Act 2013 (Amendment) Bill 2018

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TeeEff
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B1385 - Defamation Act 2013 (Amendment) Bill 2018, TSR Conservative & Unionist Party




A
BILL
TO

Amend the Defamation Act 2013 as to explicitly stipulate the legal circumstances surrounding retroactive defamation.



BE IT ENACTED by the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Commons in this present Parliament assembled, in accordance with the provisions of the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1: Amendment
(1) The Defamation Act 2013 is to be amended as to include the following, as S15:
(X) 15: Retroactive defamation
(X) (X) (1) Where a true statement that, has already been published, ceases to be true, said statement cannot be classed as defamatory in lieu of developments, with the stipulation that either appropriate context is given or it remains published in its original form.
(X) (X) (2) Where a true statement, that has already been published ceases to be true, is republished as current truth, lacking ‘appropriate context’, standard penalties shall apply.
(2) All definitions of the Defamation Act 2013 are to remain as enacted.

2: Citation and Commencement:
(1) This act extends to the whole of the United Kingdom.
(2) This act will come into force upon Royal Assent.
(3) This act may be cited as the Defamation Act 2013 (Amendment) Act 2018.

Notes
Spoiler:
Show



The Defamation Act 2013 is inherently vague in respect to retroactive claims of defamation - that is, to say, claims against an entity who made a statement, which at the time of publishing was true and honest, however, in lieu of developments, has been invalidated. So much so that there has already been at least one case of a party threatening to seek retroactive defamation claims against another.

This clarifies the law.



Example
The following is a highly simplified representation of the process of defamation, and the proposed clause of retroactive defamation.
Spoiler:
Show



Under normal law, say A calls B a fraudster and B is not a fraudster, A has made a defamatory statement (i.e. slander/libel)

Now, lets says that A calls B a fraudster in 2009 and B was a fraudster in 2009, A has made a true statement; if, in 2018, B is no longer engaging in fraudulent activity, he is no longer a fraudster; this Bill ensures the statement made by A in 2009 is not classed as defamatory, retroactively.



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Connor27
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Yeah this is fair and eliminates an interesting loophole.

Aye from me.
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username1450924
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When TSR is being less sh*tty I shall read what is in the spoilers but looks good to me.

Provisional Aye.
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username1751857
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A great first bill from our government. Aye.
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Joel 96
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#5
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Nay, I don't agree with the existence of the defamation law.
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EagleKingdom
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A sensible bill. Aye.
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LibertarianMP
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Aye, obviously a good idea
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Mr T 999
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Aye a good idea
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CatusStarbright
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#9
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From what I can see, this looks good to me. I don't think this exactly fits well in s15 having looked at the legislation, but I don't see anywhere else it would fit easily.

Due to the fact that I am a quite the legal nerd, could the author of the bill direct me to a case involving retroactive defamation?
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Joep95
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Many things are wrong with this.

First of all the example is irrelevant because of section 4a of the limitations act 1980
The time limit under section 2 of this Act shall not apply to an action for—
(a)libel or slander, or
(b)slander of title, slander of goods or other malicious falsehood,
but no such action shall be brought after the expiration of one year from the date on which the cause of action accrued.
https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1980/58/section/4A
And
Section 8(3) of the defamation act 2013
For the purposes of section 4A of the Limitation Act 1980 (time limit for actions for defamation etc) any cause of action against the person for defamation in respect of the subsequent publication is to be treated as having accrued on the date of the first publication.
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/...n-rule/enacted
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Bluestar511
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Aye, seems reasonable
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CoffeeAndPolitics
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Aye, a sensible bill from our government.
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username2718212
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I don't really see this as a loophole, to be quite honest. For the reason my right honourable friend, Joep95 has set out and for my own reasons included.

The court would interpret the said Act with an aim to avoid any manifest injustice. So, the judge would apply for the four stage test to the case:

1. Is the statement defamatory?
Using the example the government gave us, calling one a fraudster would be defamatory because it would lower the claimant in the estimations of right minded members of society in general.

2. Does the statement refer to the claimant?
Again, using the example, yes. The statement does refer to the claimant.

3. Has the statement been 'published or communicated' to a third party?
Shortly, yes.

4. Are there any applicable defences?
Now, this is the part concerning this Act before the House today. The Government feels that because the claimant was a fraudster in the past, that the defendant would still be able to claim the defence of truth in the future.

I'm not so sure that I buy into this claim that the judge would interpret section 2 of the Act to include the past in there. For example, when you refer to a past job, you would say, for example, that you were a barista or something of that ilk. Now, if the publication or communication were to say "A was a fraudster", that would not be defamatory becaude it would be true. But to infer that A is currently a fraudster is defamatory because it is not true as A does not commit fraudulent acts any longer.

Open to being convinced otherwise in a polite and calm manner.
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SoggyCabbages
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Aye my dudes.
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Trevism
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This seems like a common sense closing of a loophole which has caused plenty of damage since its introduction, in the press, legalise and social media. An Aye from me.
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Joep95
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(Original post by Trevism)
This seems like a common sense closing of a loophole which has caused plenty of damage since its introduction, in the press, legalise and social media. An Aye from me.
What damage has it caused?
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username2718212
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(Original post by Trevism)
This seems like a common sense closing of a loophole which has caused plenty of damage since its introduction, in the press, legalise and social media. An Aye from me.
I concur with Joe, what damage??
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Joep95
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(Original post by Connor27)
Yeah this is fair and eliminates an interesting loophole.

Aye from me.
It’s not really, it does nothing, it’s just a pile of crap wrapped up in a pretty box
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username2718212
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(Original post by CoffeeAndPolitics)
Aye, a sensible bill from our government.
It's not irresponsible, I'll give you that. It just doesn't really do anything.
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username2718212
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(Original post by EagleKingdom)
A sensible bill. Aye.
(Original post by CoffeeGeek)
A great first bill from our government. Aye.
(Original post by Tommy1boy)
When TSR is being less sh*tty I shall read what is in the spoilers but looks good to me.

Provisional Aye.
(Original post by Connor27)
Yeah this is fair and eliminates an interesting loophole.

Aye from me.
(Original post by LibertarianMP)
Aye, obviously a good idea
(Original post by mr T 999)
Aye a good idea
As I've said previously, this is not an irresponsible bill in nature. And it seeks to protect people and I respect that. However, in reality, it achieves relatively little to nothing. The Government MPs will likely not listen to what I'm saying and try to pass it anyway but at least I've put on record my objections.
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