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(1)Provision may be made by rules of court as to the summary disposal of the plaintiff’s claim in defamation proceedings.
(2)Without prejudice to the generality of that power, provision may be made—
(a)authorising a party to apply for summary disposal at any stage of the proceedings;
(b)authorising the court at any stage of the proceedings—
(i)to treat any application, pleading or other step in the proceedings as an application for summary disposal, or
(ii)to make an order for summary disposal without any such application;
(c)as to the time for serving pleadings or taking any other step in the proceedings in a case where there are proceedings for summary disposal;
(d)requiring the parties to identify any question of law or construction which the court is to be asked to determine in the proceedings;
(e)as to the nature of any hearing on the question of summary disposal, and in particular—
(i)authorising the court to order affidavits or witness statements to be prepared for use as evidence at the hearing, and
(ii)requiring the leave of the court for the calling of oral evidence, or the introduction of new evidence, at the hearing;
(f)authorising the court to require a defendant to elect, at or before the hearing, whether or not to make an offer to make amends under section 2.
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