Defamation - Academics to get Increased Protection (20 October 2011)

The Joint Committee on the Draft Defamation Bill has published its report on defamation law.  The committee argues that the law has not kept pace with the development of modern communication culture.  It proposes a new notice and take-down procedure for the internet, designed to provide a quick and easy remedy for those defamed online and better protection to online publishers. Internet hosts gain the protection of the law provided they act responsibly by following the new procedure.  This will be of interest to all those in FE and HE involved in web publishing.  Any anonymous postings must be taken down upon complaint, unless authors are prepared to identify themselves or there is an overriding public interest in publication.  The report also recommends that a provision is added to the draft Bill extending qualified privilege to peer-reviewed articles in scientific and academic journals.  Scientists and academics must not be left in fear of being sued simply for doing their job, the report has said.  The full report can be accessed on the UK Parliament website at -

Posted on 20/10/2011

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