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Defamation reform on way, says justice minister
Justice minister Helen McEntee Pic: RollingNews.ie

27 Jan 2022 / legislation Print

Defamation reform on the way, says justice minister

The review of the Defamation Act 2009 is a legislative priority and the report on the matter will be brought to Government very shortly, justice minister Helen McEntee has confirmed.

The minister was responding to a Dáil question from Green TD Patrick Costello (19 January).

The Programme for Government contains a specific commitment to “review and reform defamation laws to ensure a balanced approach to the right to freedom of expression, the right to protection of good name and reputation, and the right of access to justice”.

Balance

The minister said that the objective for the review of the defamation laws was the correct balance between constitutional and ECHR rights – the individual’s right to their good name and privacy, and the right to freedom of expression, taking account of the vital democratic role played by a free and independent press.

The review included public consultation and a stakeholder symposium in November 2019.

A Defamation (Amendment) Bill to advance reforms following the review is included in the Government’s current legislation programme.

“It is a priority for the Government to get the reform of defamation law right, and to bring forward the required legislation at the earliest opportunity,” the minister told the Dáil.

“I expect preparation of the General Scheme of the Defamation (Amendment) Bill to begin early this year,’ she added.

Gazette Desk
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