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Single publication rule

8Single publication rule

(1)This section applies if a person—

(a)publishes a statement to the public (“the first publication”), and

(b)subsequently publishes (whether or not to the public) that statement or a statement which is substantially the same.

(2)In subsection (1) “publication to the public” includes publication to a section of the public.

(3)For the purposes of section 4A of the Limitation Act 1980 (time limit for actions for defamation etc) any cause of action against the person for defamation in respect of the subsequent publication is to be treated as having accrued on the date of the first publication.

(4)This section does not apply in relation to the subsequent publication if the manner of that publication is materially different from the manner of the first publication.

(5)In determining whether the manner of a subsequent publication is materially different from the manner of the first publication, the matters to which the court may have regard include (amongst other matters)—

(a)the level of prominence that a statement is given;

(b)the extent of the subsequent publication.

(6)Where this section applies—

(a)it does not affect the court’s discretion under section 32A of the Limitation Act 1980 (discretionary exclusion of time limit for actions for defamation etc), and

(b)the reference in subsection (1)(a) of that section to the operation of section 4A of that Act is a reference to the operation of section 4A together with this section.