Clause 5. — (Justification.)

Part of Orders of the Day — Defamation (Amendment) Bill – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 27th June 1952.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr David Weitzman Mr David Weitzman , Stoke Newington and Hackney North 12:00 am, 27th June 1952

I intervene in regard to what I consider an important reform in Clause 5, very necessary, and long overdue. I do not think there is a case at all for rejecting it. The very reasons that have been given for the Amendment are those which support the proposed reform.

It is useful to look at legal matters from a common-sense point of view and not strictly from the point of view of a lawyer all the time. Every lawyer who practises in this field of the law knows that when he is advising in a libel action he is sometimes met by the fact that most of the words used were well justified; but there may be one small point that cannot be justified. A defence can be presented to show that the person who brings the action is a rogue, yet the action may fail because justification cannot be pleaded with regard to that small point.