The Defamation (Operators of Websites) Regulations 2013

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
CitationSI 2013/3028

2013 No. 3028

Defamation, England And Wales

The Defamation (Operators of Websites) Regulations 2013

Made 2nd December 2013

Coming into force in accordance with regulation 1(1)

The Secretary of State makes the following Regulations in exercise of the powers conferred by section 5 of the Defamation Act 20131.

A draft of these Regulations was laid before Parliament in accordance with section 5(9) of that Act and approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament.

S-1 Citation, commencement and interpretation

Citation, commencement and interpretation

1.—(1) These Regulations may be cited as the Defamation (Operators of Websites) Regulations 2013 and come into force at the same time as section 5 of the Defamation Act 2013.

(2) In these Regulations—

the Act” means the Defamation Act 2013;

“the operator” means the operator of the website on which the statement complained of in the notice of complaint is posted;

“the poster” means the person who posted the statement complained of on the website referred to in the notice of complaint.

(3) In these Regulations, where action is to be taken by the operator within 48 hours of any point in time, any period of time which falls on Saturday, Sunday, Good Friday, Christmas Day or any day which is a bank holiday under the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 19712in England and Wales is to be disregarded.

S-2 Notice of complaint: specified information

Notice of complaint: specified information

2. Subject to regulation 4, a notice of complaint must (as well as including the matters referred to in section 5(6)(a) to (c) of the Act)—

(a) specify the electronic mail address at which the complainant can be contacted;

(b) set out the meaning which the complainant attributes to the statement referred to in the notice;

(c) set out the aspects of the statement which the complainant believes are—

(i) factually inaccurate; or

(ii) opinions not supported by fact;

(d) confirm that the complainant does not have sufficient information about the poster to bring proceedings against that person; and

(e) confirm whether the complainant consents to the operator providing the poster with—

(i) the complainant’s name; and

(ii) the complainant’s electronic mail address.

S-3 Actions of operator in response to notice of complaint

Actions of operator in response to notice of complaint

3. Subject to regulation 4, for the purposes of section 5(3)(c) of the Act the claimant must show that the operator failed to respond to a notice of complaint in accordance with the provisions of the Schedule.

S-4 Defective notices to be treated as notice of complaint

Defective notices to be treated as notice of complaint

4.—(1) Where a notice given to the operator contains a complaint that a statement on the operator’s website is defamatory of the complainant but does not contain all the information required by section 5(6)(a) to (c) of the Act and by regulation 2, that notice is to be treated as a notice of complaint for the purposes of section 5(3)(b) and (c) of the Act.

(2) Where the operator receives a notice which is to be treated as a notice of complaint by virtue of paragraph (1)—

(a)

(a) regulation 3 does not apply; and

(b)

(b) for the purposes of section 5(3)(c) of the Act the claimant must show that the operator failed to send to the complainant, within 48 hours of receiving the notice, notification in writing—

(i) that the notice does not comply with the requirements set out in section 5(6)(a) to (c) of the Act and regulation 2; and

(ii) what the requirements of those provisions are.

S-5 Time limits: court discretion

Time limits: court discretion

5. Where in any action for defamation—

(a) an operator relies on the defence in section 5(2) of the Act; and

(b) a question arises as to whether any action required to be taken by the operator in response to a notice of complaint took place within the time limit specified in regulation 4(2)(b) or in the Schedule for taking that action,

the court may, if it considers it in the interests of justice to do so, treat any action taken after the expiry of the time limit as having been taken before the expiry.

McNally

Minister of State

Ministry of Justice

2nd December 2013

SCHEDULE

Regulation 3

Actions to be taken by operator in response to notice of complaint in order to maintain section 5(2) defence

SCH-1.1

1. Removal of statements from website

(1) This paragraph applies where a provision of this Schedule provides that an operator must remove a statement from the locations on the website specified in a notice of complaint within a specified period.

(2) The operator is to be taken to have removed the statement concerned from a particular location within that period if, before that period has elapsed, another person has removed the statement from that location.

Response to notice of complaint: initial steps

Response to notice of complaint: initial steps

SCH-1.2

2.—(1) Unless paragraph 3 or 9 applies, the operator must, within 48 hours of receiving a notice of complaint, send the poster—

(a)

(a) a copy of the notice of complaint, altered to conceal the complainant’s name and address if the operator has received confirmation that the complainant does not consent to the operator providing this information to the poster;

(b)

(b) notification in writing that the statement complained of may be removed from the locations on the website which were specified in the notice of complaint unless—

(i) the operator receives a response in writing from the poster by midnight at the end of the date specified in the notification as the deadline for responding (which must be the 5th day after the day on which the notification is sent); and

(ii) that response complies with sub-paragraph (2); and

(c)

(c) notification in writing that the information mentioned in sub-paragraph (2)(b)(i) or (ii) will not be released to the complainant unless—

(i) the poster consents; or

(ii) the operator is ordered to do so by a court.

(2) To comply with this sub-paragraph the response must—

(a)

(a) inform the operator whether or not the poster wishes the statement to be removed from the locations on the website which were specified in the notice of complaint; and

(b)

...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT