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Defamation Act 1996

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Defamation Act 1996 is up to date with all changes known to be in force on or before 30 July 2021. There are changes that may be brought into force at a future date. Help about Changes to Legislation

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Revised legislation carried on this site may not be fully up to date. Changes and effects are recorded by our editorial team in lists which can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area. Where those effects have yet to be applied to the text of the legislation by the editorial team they are also listed alongside the affected provisions when you open the content using the Table of Contents below.

  1. Introductory Text

  2. Responsibility for publication

    1. 1. Responsibility for publication.

  3. Offer to make amends

    1. 2. Offer to make amends.

    2. 3. Accepting an offer to make amends.

    3. 4. Failure to accept offer to make amends.

  4. Limitation

    1. 5. Limitation of actions: England and Wales.

    2. 6. Limitation of actions: Northern Ireland.

  5. The meaning of a statement

    1. 7. Ruling on the meaning of a statement.

  6. Summary disposal of claim

    1. 8. Summary disposal of claim.

    2. 9. Meaning of summary relief.

    3. 10. Summary disposal: rules of court.

    4. 11. Summary disposal: application to Northern Ireland.

  7. Evidence of convictions

    1. 12. Evidence of convictions.

  8. Evidence concerning proceedings in Parliament

    1. 13. Evidence concerning proceedings in Parliament.

  9. Statutory privilege

    1. 14. Reports of court proceedings absolutely privileged.

    2. 15. Reports, &c. protected by qualified privilege.

  10. Supplementary provisions

    1. 16. Repeals.

    2. 17. Interpretation.

  11. General provisions

    1. 18. Extent.

    2. 19. Commencement.

    3. 20. Short title and saving.

  12. SCHEDULES

    1. SCHEDULE 1

      Qualified privilege

      1. Part I Statements having qualified privilege without explanation or contradiction

        1. 1.A fair and accurate report of proceedings in public of...

        2. 2.A fair and accurate report of proceedings in public before...

        3. 3.A fair and accurate report of proceedings in public of...

        4. 4.A fair and accurate report of proceedings in public anywhere...

        5. 5.A fair and accurate copy of or extract from any...

        6. 6.A notice or advertisement published by or on the authority...

        7. 7.A fair and accurate copy of or extract from matter...

        8. 8.A fair and accurate copy of or extract from matter...

      2. Part II Statements privileged subject to explanation or contradiction

        1. 9.(1) A fair and accurate copy of or extract from...

        2. 10.A fair and accurate copy of or extract from a...

        3. 11.(1) A fair and accurate report of proceedings at any...

        4. 11A.A fair and accurate report of proceedings at a press...

        5. 12.(1) A fair and accurate report of proceedings at any...

        6. 13.(1) A fair and accurate report of proceedings at a...

        7. 14.A fair and accurate report of any finding or decision...

        8. 14A.A fair and accurate— (a) report of proceedings of a...

        9. 15.(1) A fair and accurate report of, or copy of...

      3. Part III Supplementary provisions

        1. 16.(1) In this Schedule— “ court ” includes any tribunal...

        2. 17.(1) Provision may be made by order identifying—

    2. SCHEDULE 2

      Repeals

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