Lord Lester’s Defamation Bill on Jurisdiction


As an addendum to the current symposium on Rome II and Defamation, Hugh Tomlinson QC at the International Forum for Responsible Media Blog has written a piece on the current proposals in Lord Lester’s Defamation Bill as to when an English court could assume jurisdiction over claims involving publication outside the jurisdiction. The current Clause 13 of the draft Bill reads:

(1) This section applies in an action for defamation where the court is satisfied that the words or matters complained of have also been published outside the jurisdiction (including publication outside the jurisdiction of any words or matters that differ only in ways not affecting their substance).

(2) No harmful event is to be regarded as having occurred in relation to the claimant unless the publication in the jurisdiction can reasonably be regarded as having caused substantial harm to the claimant’s reputation having regard to the extent of publication elsewhere.

Read the Inforrm blog post for a full analysis of the clause.