Results 1–20 of 455 for speaker:Ash Denham

Scottish Parliament: Defamation and Malicious Publication (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (2 Mar 2021)

Ash Denham: The amendments in this group would have the same effect as amendments 30, 31 and 36, which Andy Wightman lodged at stage 2 and which were rejected by the committee. The threshold test of serious harm is an important reform of the current Scots law of defamation and is central to rebalancing the law of defamation. Indeed, Scottish PEN described the threshold test as “critical to the heart of...

Scottish Parliament: Defamation and Malicious Publication (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (2 Mar 2021)

Ash Denham: The two things are different. We have the definition, and the serious harm threshold is for actionability. If someone can prove that they have been harmed, they will be able to take that forward in the courts. If you have been harmed, it is important that you are able to show the court how you have been harmed. The serious harm threshold test is extremely important for the overall balance of...

Scottish Parliament: Defamation and Malicious Publication (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (2 Mar 2021)

Ash Denham: Someone who is not the author, editor or primary publisher of a defamatory statement should not be liable for it, except to the extent that they are responsible for a statement’s content or for the decision to publish it. Section 3 gives effect to that purpose and limits the circumstances in which a defamation action can be brought against a secondary publisher. The Scottish ministers are...

Scottish Parliament: Defamation and Malicious Publication (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (2 Mar 2021)

Ash Denham: An important feature of the bill is the range of new powers given to the courts that will help to repair unfair damage done to an individual’s reputation. Ordinarily a court would have awarded damages but, if the Parliament agrees, a court will be able to allow a statement to be read in court, order that a summary of its judgment be published, and order the removal of material from a...

Scottish Parliament: Defamation and Malicious Publication (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (2 Mar 2021)

Ash Denham: Amendments 2 and 4 are technical amendments that arise out of the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union. Amendment 2 removes a reference to section 19F of the Prescription and Limitation (Scotland) Act 1973. That section was recently repealed by regulations that have now come into effect following the end of the transition period after the UK left the EU. On amendment 4, a...

Scottish Parliament: Defamation and Malicious Publication (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (2 Mar 2021)

Ash Denham: I know that a number of members have, over a number of years, taken a keen interest in methods of dispute resolution that do not involve a court. The bill as introduced made provision for mediation in section 33, and Mr Kerr’s amendments extend the coverage of alternative methods of dispute resolution to include expert determination and media complaints processes. Given the nature of...

Scottish Parliament: Defamation and Malicious Publication (Scotland) Bill (2 Mar 2021)

Ash Denham: I am pleased to open the debate on the Defamation and Malicious Publication (Scotland) Bill. I thank members of the Justice Committee and its clerks for their work on the bill. The bill is largely the outcome of work that was undertaken by the Scottish Law Commission, and it takes forward every substantive recommendation that the commission made. I also thank the commission for its valuable...

Scottish Parliament: Defamation and Malicious Publication (Scotland) Bill (2 Mar 2021)

Ash Denham: I begin by thanking everyone for their contributions to the debate. I have listened to what has been said and welcome the general support that has been given across the chamber for the aims of the bill. In closing, I want to touch briefly on some of the provisions that we have discussed. Reputation plays an important part in informing many of our day-to-day decisions. In my view, it is...

Scottish Parliament: Covid-19 (Young People at Risk of Offending) (18 Feb 2021)

Ash Denham: We work closely with Police Scotland to deliver the successful whole-system approach to preventing offending by young people. Police Scotland has confirmed its commitment to incorporation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child into Scots law and to keeping the care review promise. It is also contributing to the development of a refreshed national youth justice action...

Scottish Parliament: Covid-19 (Young People at Risk of Offending) (18 Feb 2021)

Ash Denham: I appreciate that the current restrictions are putting a strain on the delivery of face-to-face diversionary activities provided by local partners. We also appreciate that boredom and a lack of activity are among the biggest issues affecting young people at the moment. A variety of creative initiatives has been developed by local authorities and key partners to keep in touch with young people...

Scottish Parliament: Protection of Workers (Retail and Age-restricted Goods and Services) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (19 Jan 2021)

Ash Denham: In the short time that is available to me for the stage 3 debate, I too will begin by thanking retail workers right across Scotland for their outstanding contribution to helping to get communities through these extremely challenging times. I appreciate all the hard work and commitment of those working in the retail sector in Scotland. That is even more the case now, because of the increased...

Scottish Parliament: Protection of Workers (Retail and Age-restricted Goods and Services) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (19 Jan 2021)

Ash Denham: Does the member accept that it is patently evident that a presumption is not a ban?

Scottish Parliament: Antisocial Behaviour (16 Dec 2020)

Ash Denham: We welcome the report, and particularly its findings that levels of antisocial behaviour have decreased over the past 10 years and that the public have noticed that decline in their areas. In addition, the member will be pleased to note that Police Scotland has confirmed that the number of calls about the antisocial use of motorbikes in Fife has fallen from 891 in 2018 to 354 in 2019, and...

Scottish Parliament: Antisocial Behaviour (16 Dec 2020)

Ash Denham: I agree with much of the gist of the member’s question. There has been quite a degree of success in Fife with the delivery of the Levenmouth together programme. I have written to the member on that, and my officials have shared examples of the good practice in tackling the illegal use of quad bikes—which we had gathered from local authorities and which included a case summary of the...

Scottish Parliament: Antisocial Behaviour (16 Dec 2020)

Ash Denham: In 2017-18, 29 per cent of adults thought that antisocial behaviour was common in their area. That is down from 46 per cent in 2009-10. The Antisocial Behaviour etc (Scotland) Act 2004 provides a wide range of measures for dealing with all forms of antisocial behaviour, and our national strategy is based on prevention, early intervention and diversionary activities. We believe that a range of...

Scottish Parliament: Defamation and Malicious Publication (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 (5 Nov 2020)

Ash Denham: It is now just over 11 months since the Defamation and Malicious Publication (Scotland) Bill was introduced to Parliament. The circumstances that were forced on us due to Covid-19 greatly impacted its normal legislative process. I thank the Justice Committee and its clerks for their patient and hard work, which has allowed the bill to progress. I am pleased to note that the committee...

Scottish Parliament: Defamation and Malicious Publication (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 (5 Nov 2020)

Ash Denham: That is exactly what I mean by the use of the word “flexible”. Public-private provision has clearly moved on quite a lot in the past 30 years, so it is important that we retain flexibility to allow us to settle some hard cases that might present themselves in the future. Currently, secondary publishers, such as a bookseller or a website operator, can be held liable for content that they...

Scottish Parliament: Defamation and Malicious Publication (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 (5 Nov 2020)

Ash Denham: I thank members for their contribution to this afternoon’s helpful debate. I am pleased that there is support across the chamber for the general principles of the bill. The Scottish Law Commission’s reform project was the first significant look at defamation law here in Scotland in a generation. The way in which we communicate and live our lives has changed beyond recognition in that...

Scottish Parliament: Defamation and Malicious Publication (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 (5 Nov 2020)

Ash Denham: I will do my very best, Presiding Officer. Rhoda Grant, Liam Kerr and other members referred to malicious publication, which is a cause of action that the bill reforms. In order to succeed in a malicious publication action, the pursuer must show that the statement complained of was made with malice. The definition in the bill is the same as that in common law for similar types of action, but...

Scottish Parliament: Fireworks (3 Nov 2020)

Ash Denham: We are now only days away from bonfire night, so I welcome this opportunity to provide an update to Parliament. First, I would like to reflect on the impact that the on-going pandemic will have on bonfire night. Like many other celebrations, it will look very different in the context of Covid-19. Many of the activities that we traditionally associate with bonfire night will simply not be able...


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