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Defamation and Malicious Publication (Scotland) Act 2021

The Act – an Overview

3.Part 1 of the Act amends the law of defamation and makes provision in relation to:

  • actionability of defamatory statements and restrictions on bringing proceedings,

  • defences,

  • absolute and qualified privilege,

  • offers to make amends,

  • jurisdiction, and

  • the removal of the presumption that defamation proceedings are to be tried by jury.

4.Part 2 makes provision to replace common law verbal injuries with three new statutory delicts relating to malicious publication.

5.Part 3 makes provision as to remedies and limitation of defamation actions and actions under Part 2 as well as miscellaneous provisions dealing with matters such as consequential modification, interpretation, regulations and commencement.

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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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