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IRIS 2010-2:1/20

United Kingdom

Criminal Defamation Abolished

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David Goldberg

deeJgee Research/Consultancy

On 12 November 2009, the Coroners and Justice Bill became law. Section 73 provides for the “Abolition of common law libel offences etc.”

Specifically, it states that “The following offences under the common law of England and Wales and the common law of Northern Ireland are abolished—

(a) the offences of sedition and seditious libel;

(b) the offence of defamatory libel;

(c) the offence of obscene libel.”

It should be noted that this provision only applies to England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Coroners and Justice Act 2009, Section 73 EN