This Act reforms aspects of the law of defamation. The civil law on
defamation has developed through the common law over a number of
years, periodically being supplemented by statute, most recently
the Defamation Act 1952 ("the 1952 Act") and the Defamation Act
1996 ("the 1996 Act"). The Draft Defamation Bill (Cm 8020, ISBN
9780101802024) was published for full public consultation and
pre-legislative scrutiny on 15 March 2011 and closed on 10 June
2011. In addition to the Government consultation, pre-legislative
scrutiny of the draft Bill was undertaken by a Parliamentary Joint
Committee. The committee's final report was published on 19 October
2011 (The Joint Committee on the Draft Defamation Bill Report
Session 2010-2012, HL 203, HC 930-I). (ISBN 9780108473814). The
Government response to the Joint Committee's report was published
in February 2012 (The Government's Response to the Report of the
Joint Committee on the Draft Defamation Bill Cm 8295,
9780101829526) and set out the Government's conclusions including
on certain matters raised in the public consultation but not
specifically addressed in the Committee's report
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