Defamation Act 2009

19.

Loss of defence of qualified privilege.

19.— (1) In a defamation action, the defence of qualified privilege shall fail if, in relation to the publication of the statement in respect of which the action was brought, the plaintiff proves that the defendant acted with malice.

(2) The defence of qualified privilege shall not fail by reason only of the publication of the statement concerned to a person other than an interested person if it is proved that the statement was published to the person because the publisher mistook him or her for an interested person.

(3) Where a defamation action is brought against more than one defendant, the failure of the defence of qualified privilege in relation to one of the defendants by virtue of the application of subsection (1) shall not cause the failure of the defence in relation to another of the defendants unless that other defendant was vicariously liable for such acts or omissions of the first-mentioned defendant as gave rise to the cause of action concerned.

(4) Section 11(4) of the Civil Liability Act 1961 is repealed.

(5) In this section “interested person” means, in relation to a statement, a person who, under section 18(2)(a) , had a duty or interest in receiving the information contained in the statement.