Libel update coming in Scotland

THE SCOTTISH Law Commission recently published its report on libel law reform: it's at and it's now gone to the Scottish Parliament for consideration of its implementation.

The report is partly an attempt to adopt into Scottish law many of those reforms already enacted in the jurisdiction of England and Wales by its Defamation Act 2013. Its proposals include shortening the current three-year limit on libel actions to one year, updating "first publication" for the internet age and creating a specific public interest defence.

Other recommendations in the Commission's report are a power to strike down "worthless or trivial" libel actions early and a requirement for the plaintiff to show that the libel causes "serious harm". It also looks at "remedies".