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Defamation and Malicious Publication (Scotland) Act 2021

Section 29: Making a statement in open court

130.Section 29 allows a statement to be made in open court at the point where settlement is reached in defamation proceedings or proceedings under Part 2 for a malicious publication. This may be either a bilateral statement, as agreed between the parties to the proceedings, or a unilateral statement made only by the pursuer. As Scots law currently stands there is not thought to be anything to prevent the reading out of a statement of this nature, commonly known as a settlement statement, although this is not done in practice in Scotland, unlike in England and Wales. The provision is intended to clarify the existence of this remedy as an option.

131.Subsection (1) sets out the basic power for the court to allow a statement to be made in open court.

132.Subsection (2) makes clear that it is for the parties to agree the wording of the statement and all other aspects of its terms. Failing such agreement, the wording may be determined by the pursuer. In terms of subsection (3) the court must, however, give its approval to the wording of a statement before it may be read out in open court. It cannot substitute new terms to replace any with which it does not agree. Its only power is to reject those terms. The parties may then propose alternative wording.

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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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