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Defamation and Malicious Publication (Scotland) Act 2021

Section 11: Other statements protected by qualified privilege

79.Section 11 and the schedule of the Act re-enact section 15 and schedule 1 of the 1996 Act. They make provision for other types of statements protected by qualified privilege. For example, paragraph 16 of the schedule re-enacts paragraph 14A of schedule 1 of the 1996 Act, as inserted by the 2013 Act, conferring qualified privilege upon a report of a scientific or academic conference held anywhere in the world, or an extract, summary etc. of such a report.

80.Part 2 of the schedule deals with statements which attract qualified privilege unless the defender, having been requested by the pursuer to publish a reasonable letter or statement by way of explanation or contradiction of the statement which is the subject of the proceedings, has not done so or has not done so in a suitable manner. These include copies of or extracts from information for the public published by government or authorities performing governmental functions (such as the police) or by courts; reports of proceedings at a range of public meetings (e.g. of local authorities) general meetings of UK public companies; and reports of findings or decisions by a range of associations formed in the UK or the European Union (such as associations relating to art, science, religion or learning, trade associations, sports associations and charitable associations). By contrast, the statements described in Part 1 enjoy qualified privilege regardless of whether a request is made by a pursuer to provide an opportunity for explanation or contradiction.

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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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