Local Ireland, which represents local news publishers across the country, welcomes the draft defamation legislation published by Ministers Harris and Browne today as a step in the right direction.

President of Local Ireland Declan McGuire said: “This isn’t everything we have asked for, but it is welcome that the Government has now acted upon the Defamation Review published last year.

“Balancing the imperatives of press freedom and a person’s right to their good name is essential for a healthy democracy.

“The proposed measures will help redress the imbalance of the current legislation, which has had a chilling effect on journalism.”

Executive Director of Local Ireland Bob Hughes said: “We particularly welcome the requirement of solicitors to advise their clients of alternative dispute resolution options before issuing defamation proceedings.

“The anti-SLAPP measure to prevent Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation by powerful individuals and organisations is another important element in maintaining press freedom.

“We believe however that introducing a cap on damages and a serious harm test for all actions would also have been helpful in that regard.”

Click here for Government Press Release on Proposed Legislation:


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