Digital Economy Bill - Committee (4th Day) (Continued)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 10:30 pm on 8th February 2017.

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Moved by Baroness Hollins

233F: After Clause 87, insert the following new Clause—“Awards of costs in respect of legal claims made in relation to digitally published news-related material(1) This section applies where—(a) a relevant claim is made against a person (“the defendant”),(b) the defendant was a relevant publisher at the material time, and(c) the claim is related to the publication of news-related material which is published on a website.(2) If the defendant was a member of an approved regulator at the time when the claim was commenced (or was unable to be a member at that time for reasons beyond the defendant’s control or it would have been unreasonable in the circumstances for the defendant to have been a member at that time), the court must not award costs against the defendant unless satisfied that—(a) the issues raised by the claim could not have been resolved by using an arbitration scheme of the approved regulator, or(b) it is just and equitable in all the circumstances of the case to award costs against the defendant.(3) If the defendant was not a member of an approved regulator at the time when the claim was commenced (but would have been able to be a member at that time and it would have been reasonable in the circumstances for the defendant to have been a member at that time), the court must award costs against the defendant unless satisfied that—(a) the issues raised by the claim could not have been resolved by using an arbitration scheme of the approved regulator (had the defendant been a member), or(b) it is just and equitable in all the circumstances of the case to make a different award of costs or make no award of costs.(4) This section is not to be read as limiting any power to make rules of court.(5) For the purposes of this section—“relevant publisher” has the same meaning as in section 41 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013;“relevant claim”, “news-related material”, “material time” and “approved regulator” have the same meanings as in section 42 of that Act;“publication” has the same meaning as in section 42(9)(a) of that Act.”