Defamation in Scots law: consultation

Opportunity to further explore aspects of the Scottish Law Commission’s recommendations in their Report on Defamation, and to seek views on issues that have not been the subject of scrutiny so as to ensure that any reform to defamation law is fully tested.

Glossary of terms used in this consultation

Chilling effect The inhibition or discouragement of the legitimate exercise of natural and legal rights by the threat of legal sanction.

Common law A body of law which does not stem from statute but is laid down in judicial decisions. Influences on the Scots common law include authoritative writings of institutional writers and Roman, canon and feudal law and custom.

Date of accrual The date on which the publication first comes to the notice of the person bringing the action. This is the date at which the period of limitation (see below) begins to run.

Internet intermediary A service provider who facilitates the use of the internet. The services they may provide include connecting users to the internet, enabling processing of data and hosting of web-based services, including for user generated comments. They can also assist searches, facilitate the sale of goods or services or enable commercial transactions. Examples are internet service providers, search engines and social media platforms.

Judgment The decision of a court setting out its reasons for the decision.

Liability A term applied to being legally responsible for a situation.

Libel tourism A term used to describe the practice adopted by some litigants of seeking to have their legal case heard in the court thought most likely to provide a favorable judgment.

Limitation A time limit imposed on the commencement of proceedings.

Legal person Any non-human entity that is recognized as having privileges and obligations, for example, the ability to enter into contracts. This includes any organizations including companies, partnerships, local authorities, the Scottish Government, and NGOs.

Patrimonial loss Economic loss or loss of financial support - as distinct from solatium (see below).

Pleadings A formal written statement of a party's claims or responses to another party's claims in a civil action. The parties' pleadings in a case define the issues to be adjudicated in the action.

Solatium A form of compensatory damages given for injury to feelings or reputation, pain and suffering and loss of expectation of life.

Statute/Statutory law Laws passed by the Scottish Parliament and the UK Parliament.


Email: Michael Paparakis

Back to top