Defamation bill gives defence of qualified privilege to peer reviewed journal articles

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f2691 (Published 25 April 2013)
Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f2691

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  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1BMJ

A bill to reform libel law in England and Wales and make it harder to stifle scientific debate is expected to become law later this year, after it was saved by a last minute cross party consensus.

The Defamation Bill creates a statutory defence of public interest and gives a defence of qualified privilege to peer reviewed journal articles and reports of scientific conferences.

The bill’s survival was threatened when a House of Lords amendment requiring companies to prove that the allegedly defamatory statement caused or was likely to cause them substantial financial loss before they could launch a libel action was voted down in the House of Commons …

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