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(1)The publication of a statement in a scientific or academic journal (whether published in electronic form or otherwise) is privileged if the following conditions are met.
(2)The first condition is that the statement relates to a scientific or academic matter.
(3)The second condition is that before the statement was published in the journal an independent review of the statement's scientific or academic merit was carried out by—
(a)the editor of the journal, and
(b)one or more persons with expertise in the scientific or academic matter concerned.
(4)Where the publication of a statement in a scientific or academic journal is privileged by virtue of subsection (1), the publication in the same journal of any assessment of the statement's scientific or academic merit is also privileged if—
(a)the assessment was written by one or more of the persons who carried out the independent review of the statement; and
(b)the assessment was written in the course of that review.
(5)Where the publication of a statement or assessment is privileged by virtue of this section, the publication of a fair and accurate copy of, extract from or summary of the statement or assessment is also privileged.
(6)A publication is not privileged by virtue of this section if it is shown to be made with malice.
(7)Nothing in this section is to be construed—
(a)as protecting the publication of matter the publication of which is prohibited by law;
(b)as limiting any privilege subsisting apart from this section.
(8)The reference in subsection (3)(a) to “the editor of the journal” is to be read, in the case of a journal with more than one editor, as a reference to the editor or editors who were responsible for deciding to publish the statement concerned.
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Text created by the government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Public Acts except Appropriation, Consolidated Fund, Finance and Consolidation Acts.
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