Overview

absolute privilege


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The defence that a statement cannot be made the subject of an action for defamation because it was made in Parliament, in papers ordered to be published by either House of Parliament, in judicial proceedings or a fair and accurate newspaper or broadcast report of judicial proceedings, or in an official communication between certain officers of state. Under the Defamation Act 1996, the defence is also available for those reporting proceedings of the European Court of Justice. Under certain circumstances defined by the 1996 Act the absolute privilege accorded to statements or proceedings in Parliament may be waived (waiver of privilege) to permit evidence to be adduced in an action for defamation. Compare qualified privilege.

Subjects: Law.


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