Defamation Act 2009

27.

Innocent publication.

27.— (1) It shall be a defence (to be known as the “ defence of innocent publication ”) to a defamation action for the defendant to prove that—

( a) he or she was not the author, editor or publisher of the statement to which the action relates,

( b) he or she took reasonable care in relation to its publication, and

( c) he or she did not know, and had no reason to believe, that what he or she did caused or contributed to the publication of a statement that would give rise to a cause of action in defamation.

(2) A person shall not, for the purposes of this section, be considered to be the author, editor or publisher of a statement if—

( a) in relation to printed material containing the statement, he or she was responsible for the printing, production, distribution or selling only of the printed material,

( b) in relation to a film or sound recording containing the statement, he or she was responsible for the processing, copying, distribution, exhibition or selling only of the film or sound recording,

( c) in relation to any electronic medium on which the statement is recorded or stored, he or she was responsible for the processing, copying, distribution or selling only of the electronic medium or was responsible for the operation or provision only of any equipment, system or service by means of which the statement would be capable of being retrieved, copied, distributed or made available.

(3) The court shall, for the purposes of determining whether a person took reasonable care, or had reason to believe that what he or she did caused or contributed to the publication of a defamatory statement, have regard to—

( a) the extent of the person’s responsibility for the content of the statement or the decision to publish it,

( b) the nature or circumstances of the publication, and

( c) the previous conduct or character of the person.