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Deregulation Act 2015

Part 8: Civil law

985.Parliamentary privilege protects freedom of speech in debates or other proceedings in Parliament. It does so by preventing the proceedings being impeached or questioned in any court or place out of Parliament.  Traditionally, the privilege could not be waived but section 13 of the Defamation Act 1996 allowed a person (whether a member of Parliament or not) to waive it for the purpose of defamation proceedings.

986.Paragraph 44 repeals section 13 of the Defamation Act 1996. The removal of this provision means that a person is no longer able to waive this protection.

987.Joint Committees on Parliamentary Privilege in 1999 and 2013 both recommended that section 13 of the Defamation Act 1996 be repealed (see Reports of the Joint Committee on Parliamentary Privilege, Session 1998-99, HL Paper 43-1, HC 214-1 and Session 2013-14, HL Paper 30, HC 100).

988.The repeal forms part of the law of England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and comes into force at the end of the period of 2 months beginning with the day on which the Act is passed.

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