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Free speech, reputation, and the Defamation Act 2013

Freedom of expression is a central tenet of almost every modern society. This freedom however often comes into conflict with other rights, and can be misused and exploited. New media – especially on the internet – and new forms of media intrusion bring added complexity to old tensions between the individual’s rights to reputation and privacy on the one hand, and freedom of expression and the freedom of the press on the other.

How should free speech be balanced with the right to reputation? This question lies at the heart of defamation law. In the following videos, Lord Neuberger and Dr Matthew Collins QC discuss current challenges in defamation law, and the implications of recent changes to legislation enacted in the Defamation Act 2013. Lord Neuberger highlights urgent issues including privacy, confidentiality, data protection, freedom of information, and the Internet.

In this video, he draws attention to recent high-profile events such as the Leveson Inquiry and the phone-hacking trials, and points up key features of the new legislation.

Dr Matthew Collins QC outlines his perspective on the likely long-term impact of the 2013 Act.

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