A time to reflect: the serious harm test – Oliver Lock and Tom Rudkin

“Setting the record straight

It is clear that a prompt and effective apology or clarification is likely to be seen by the courts as inhibiting a claimant from establishing serious harm. This is particularly the case where the claimant cannot show that serious harm has already been caused and is relying on likelihood. On the other hand, delay or an ineffectual apology is less likely to be treated as having undone the harm caused. Similarly, in the case of extremely serious and/or widely published allegations, even a prompt apology may not be enough and serious harm may already have been caused.”

Inforrm's Blog

Defamation ActOn 1 January 2014, the Defamation Act 2013 came into force in England and Wales, introducing a series of new provisions applicable to the law of libel and slander. Of greatest interest was Section 1 of the Act, the “serious harm” requirement. This introduced a new hurdle for persons and businesses wanting to bring a claim for defamation.

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