Thursday, 7 January 2010

Defamation - the republication rule in Duke of Brunswick (1849) to be abolished?

Interesting response to the Justice Ministry consultation on restricting the scope of defamation law by abolishing the multiple publication rule - a rule that basically allows suing not of the original libeller but of those who allow the libel to be republished, including Times Newspapers archive. LSE profs Scott and Murray propose that the purposes of preventing careless relibel are best served by a different approach which they term ''non-culpable republication' - more or less a clean-hands defence to the republication rule. They outline it as 'The defence would be available to an archivist-publisher after the elapse of one year from the point of initial publication. To avail of it, the publisher would be required to append a notice to the online article, indicating that a challenge to the accuracy of the piece had been made under the new defence.'

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