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Scottish Independence Referendum Act 2013

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27(1)No material wholly or mainly relating to the referendum is to be published during the referendum period unless—S

(a)in the case of material which is, or is contained in, such a printed document as is mentioned in sub-paragraph (3), (4) or (5), the requirements of that sub-paragraph are complied with, or

(b)in the case of any other material, the requirements of sub-paragraph (6) are complied with.

(2)For the purposes of sub-paragraphs (3) to (5) the following details are “the relevant details” in the case of any material falling within sub-paragraph (1)(a), namely—

(a)the name and address of the printer of the document,

(b)the name and address of the promoter of the material, and

(c)the name and address of any person on behalf of whom the material is being published (and who is not the promoter).

(3)Where the material is a document consisting (or consisting principally) of a single side of printed matter, the relevant details must appear on the face of the document.

(4)Where the material is a printed document other than one to which sub-paragraph (3) applies, the relevant details must appear on either the first or last page of the document.

(5)Where the material is an advertisement contained in a newspaper or periodical—

(a)the name and address of the printer of the newspaper or periodical must appear on either its first or last page, and

(b)the relevant details specified in sub-paragraph (2)(b) and (c) must be included in the advertisement.

(6)In the case of material falling within sub-paragraph (1)(b), the following details, namely—

(a)the name and address of the promoter of the material, and

(b)the name and address of any person on behalf of whom the material is being published (and who is not the promoter),

must be included in the material unless it is not reasonably practicable to include the details.

(7)Where during the referendum period any material falling within sub-paragraph (1)(a) is published in contravention of sub-paragraph (1), then the following persons commit an offence, namely—

(a)the promoter of the material,

(b)any other person by whom the material is so published, and

(c)the printer of the document.

(8)Where during the referendum period any material falling within sub-paragraph (1)(b) is published in contravention of sub-paragraph (1), then the following persons commit an offence, namely—

(a)the promoter of the material, and

(b)any other person by whom the material is so published.

(9)A person who commits an offence under sub-paragraph (7) or (8) is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.

(10)It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under sub-paragraph (7) or (8) to show—

(a)that the offence arose from circumstances beyond the person's control, and

(b)that the person took all reasonable steps, and exercised all due diligence, to ensure that that an offence under this paragraph would not be committed.

(11)Sub-paragraph (1) does not apply to any material published for the purposes of the referendum if the publication is required under or by virtue of any enactment.

(12)In this paragraph—

  • print” means print by whatever means, and “printer” is to be construed accordingly,

  • the promoter”, in relation to any material falling within sub-paragraph (1), means the person causing the material to be published,

  • publish” means make available to the public at large, or any section of the public, in whatever form and by whatever means.

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