Review of Defamation Law in Northern Ireland

Consultation opened on 13 November 2023. Closing date 26 January 2024.


The Department of Finance (DOF) wishes to engage with stakeholders to obtain their views on the performance of the Defamation Act (Northern Ireland) 2022 and on defamation policy in general.


Consultation description

Stakeholder engagement is being managed by Civil Law Reform Division in the Departmental Solicitor’s Office. Those wishing to participate in the exercise can do so up to 26 January 2024.

The Defamation Act (Northern Ireland) 2022 received Royal Assent on 6 June 2022 and introduced a number of changes to defamation law in this jurisdiction. Changes included the removal of the presumption in favour of trial by jury in defamation cases.

Section 11 of the 2022 Act commits DOF to review defamation law in this jurisdiction including how the Act has been operating. Under Section 11 the Department must formally report on its findings to the Northern Ireland Assembly by June 2024

Work on this review has been ongoing for several months and has included analysis of commentary on The Defamation Act (Northern Ireland) 2022, the wider, global debate on defamation law and relevant legislative initiatives in other jurisdictions.  DOF now wishes to engage with key local stakeholders, primarily to gauge views on how the Act has changed defamation law and practice in this jurisdiction and also to obtain their opinion on other aspects of defamation law that were raised during the debate on the Act last year.   

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