NewsBrands Ireland welcomes review of the Defamation Act

NewsBrands Ireland welcomes the Tánaiste’s announcement today regarding the review of the 2009 Defamation Act.

The organisation, which represents all national newspapers, has been highlighting for some time the significant challenges posed to freedom of expression by our defamation regime.

The costs involved and the level of awards made place an enormous burden on publishers.  Since 2010, defamation actions have cost NewsBrands members in excess of €30m.  Awards made in Ireland are wholly out of kilter with other jurisdictions, including the UK, where effectively a cap of £275k exists though the reality is that awards rarely exceed £100k, a fraction of the levels awarded in Ireland.

We look forward to taking part in the Department’s consultation and we will be making a submission.