Defamation: Northern Ireland

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 8th June 2021.

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Photo of Lord Lexden Lord Lexden Deputy Chairman of Committees, Deputy Speaker (Lords)

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking, if any, to assist with the extension of the Defamation Act 2013 to Northern Ireland.

Photo of Lord Wolfson of Tredegar Lord Wolfson of Tredegar The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

The civil law of defamation is a devolved issue in Northern Ireland. As such, the development of, or any reform to, the law in this area is a matter for the Northern Ireland Executive and Northern Ireland Assembly to consider.

I note that the Northern Ireland Minister for Finance, Conor Murphy MLA, updated the Assembly late last year and that work is underway in his department to review defamation law. An MLA (Member of the Legislative Assembly) has also been granted consent by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland to introduce a Bill into the Northern Ireland Assembly on this issue. I understand that the proposed Bill is currently being considered by the NI Assembly Speaker as per usual processes.

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