Thursday, 21 October 2010


Blog about this week's lecture on privilege.

IN THE NEWS THIS WEEK: Pre-nuptual agreements, more legal standing from now on. Read more...

Anyway, privilege allows us to write material that is defamatory and could be untrue (i.e. protection/immunity from being sued).

Two types

1. Absolute privilege - records from parliament and usually in court

2. Qualified privilege - but needs to be fast, accurate, fair and without malice.
And has to be a member of public interest.

Two levels of QP

1. with or 'subject to' EXPLANATION or CONTRADICTION
2. without explanation or contradiction

You have privilege...

1. legislature*
2. court*
3. public inquiry*
4. public proceedings of an international organisation or conference*
* - anywhere in the world

The following areas contain a grey area of privilege. They are subject to explanation and contradiction.

1. public meetings
2. local council meetings
3. tribunals etc
4. UK companies

N.B. - Associations (FA/GMC etc) - findings/decisions covered, conference type bit NOT the actual proceedings!


Public meetings, officially public from only 2000 because of the Human Rights Act and the Clegg Case. Read more...
Written handouts are now covered because of the Clegg Case.

BUT consider risks for live broadcasting...put in delay if necessary!


- Must be fair
- Accurate
- Without malice
- On a matter of public interest

Privilege immediately disappears once outside the proceedings.

Interestingly, if someone shouts from the gallery you can report it to add colour - as long as it is not defamatory.
BUT it's okay if they have been a witness.

Read my (slightly late!) post on defamation/libel

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