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Defamation and Malicious Publication (Scotland) Act 2021

  • Explanatory Notes Table of contents

Please note:

All reference to 'Parts' and 'sections' are from the Defamation and Malicious Publication (Scotland) Act 2021. For other versions of these Explanatory Notes, see More Resources.

  1. Introduction

  2. The Act – an Overview

  3. Commentary on Sections

    1. Part 1: Defamation

      1. Actionability and restrictions on bringing proceedings

        1. Section 1: Actionability of defamatory statements

        2. Section 2: Prohibition on public authorities bringing proceedings

        3. Section 3: Restriction on proceedings against secondary publishers

        4. Section 4: Power to specify persons to be treated as publishers

      2. Defences

        1. Section 5: Defence of truth

        2. Section 6: Defence of publication on a matter of public interest

        3. Section 7: Defence of honest opinion

        4. Section 8: Abolition of common law defences and transitional provision

      3. Absolute and qualified privilege

      4. Absolute privilege

        1. Section 9: Contemporaneous reports of court proceedings

      5. Qualified privilege

        1. Section 10: Peer-reviewed statement in scientific or academic journal etc.

        2. Section 11: Other statements protected by qualified privilege

        3. Section 12: Privilege: transitional provision

      6. Offers to make amends

        1. Section 13: Offers to make amends

        2. Section 14: Acceptance and enforcement of offer to make amends

        3. Section 15: Offer to make amends: multiple persons responsible for statement

        4. Section 16: Rejection of unqualified offer to make amends

        5. Section 17: Rejection of qualified offer to make amends

        6. Section 18: Offers to make amends: transitional provision

      7. Jurisdiction

        1. Section 19: Actions against a person not domiciled in the UK

      8. Removal of presumption that proceedings are to be tried by jury

        1. Section 20: Removal of presumption that proceedings are to be tried by jury

    2. Part 2: Malicious publication

      1. Actionable types of malicious publication

        1. Sections 21 to 23: three forms of malicious publication

      2. General provision

        1. Section 24: Limit on requirement to show financial loss

        2. Section 25: Statements conveying two or more meanings

        3. Section 26: Damages for anxiety and distress

      3. Abolition of common law verbal injuries

        1. Section 27: Abolition of common law verbal injuries

    3. Part 3: General

      1. Remedies

        1. Section 28: Power of court to order a summary of its judgment to be published

        2. Section 29: Making a statement in open court

        3. Section 30: Power of court to order display of notice or removal of statement etc.

        4. Section 31: Remedies: transitional provision

      2. Limitation

        1. Section 32: Limitation of actions

        2. Section 33: Interruption of limitation period: mediation

        3. Section 34: Interruption of limitation period: media complaints and expert determination

      3. Miscellaneous

        1. Section 35: Consequential modifications

        2. Section 36: Interpretation

        3. Section 37: Regulations

        4. Section 38: Ancillary provision

        5. Section 39: Commencement

        6. Section 40: Short title

  4. Parliamentary History

  • Explanatory Notes Table of contents

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Explanatory Notes

Text created by the Scottish Government 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 Acts of the Scottish Parliament except those which result from Budget Bills.


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