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Defamation Act 1996

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14 Reports of court proceedings absolutely privileged.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)A fair and accurate report of proceedings in public before a court to which this section applies, if published contemporaneously with the proceedings, is absolutely privileged.

(2)A report of proceedings which by an order of the court, or as a consequence of any statutory provision, is required to be postponed shall be treated as published contemporaneously if it is published as soon as practicable after publication is permitted.

(3)This section applies to—

(a)any court in the United Kingdom,

(b)the European Court of Justice or any court attached to that court,

(c)the European Court of Human Rights, and

(d)any international criminal tribunal established by the Security Council of the United Nations or by an international agreement to which the United Kingdom is a party.

In paragraph (a) “court” includes any tribunal or body exercising the judicial power of the State.

(4)In section 8(6) of the M1Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and in Article 9(6) of the M2Rehabilitation of Offenders (Northern Ireland) Order 1978 (defamation actions: reports of court proceedings), for “section 3 of the Law of Libel Amendment Act 1888” substitute “ section 14 of the Defamation Act 1996 ”.

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