Libel Law to be Reformed

Posted: 27th March 2012

The law of libel, traditionally a very tricky (and expensive) area of law is to be reformed. In future, persons claiming damages for libel will have to show evidence of ‘serious harm’ in order to be successful.
The common-law defence against an action of libel, which is that a statement has been made as a result of ‘responsible journalism in the public interest’, is to be abolished and replaced by a statutory defence that the publisher has acted responsibly on matters in the public interest.
There will be specific rules to deal with statements made in academic and scientific journals, and via social networking, in order to give them greater protection.
It is likely to be a considerable time before the proposed changes come into effect.