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Chapter

Cover Ashworth's Principles of Criminal Law

16. Communication Offences  

This chapter considers a range of ‘communication’ offences. The main focus is the offence of publishing an obscene article, contrary to the Obscene Publications Act 1959, and the offences under section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 and section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1988, concerned with the sending of false, indecent, or offensive messages. These offences are considered in the light of the right to free expression under Article 10 of the ECHR and the abolition of criminal defamation, and of the importance of allowing uninhibited political debate while protecting those taking part in such debate from abuse and threats.

Chapter

Cover Street on Torts

20. Defamation: foundational principles  

This chapter examines the foundational principles of defamation in tort law. It explains that there are two types of defamation, libel and slander, the former of which concerns ‘permanent’ and the latter of which concerns other imputations. The chapter discusses the main elements of defamatory imputation: reference, publication, and serious harm. It suggests, taking into account the defences examined in the next chapter, that liability for defamation reflects efforts to strike a balance between the interests of free speech and the preservation of one’s reputation. This chapter incorporates the provisions of the Defamation Act 2013 and analyses recent court cases exploring its provisions.

Chapter

Cover Smith, Hogan, and Ormerod's Criminal Law

30. Obscene communication and publication offences (additional chapter)  

David Ormerod and Karl Laird

This chapter deals with the offences addressed in the Obscene Publications Acts 1959 and 1964, and related offences. These offences not only have implications for freedom of speech but also raise important issues about the appropriate boundaries of criminalization. Obscene publications are governed by s 2(1) of the Obscene Publications Act 1959. This chapter also considers extreme pornography and other offensive communications offences such as malicious communications, obscenity in the theatre, possession of prohibited images of children, posting indecent or obscene matter, indecent displays, outraging public decency, revenge porn and recent proposals for reform.

Chapter

Cover Legal Skills

8. Books, journals, and official publications  

This chapter describes the role of books (student textbooks, cases and materials books, monographs, practitioners’ books, legal encyclopedias and digests, dictionaries, revision guides), journals (general journals, specialist journals, practitioner journals, foreign journals), and official publications (Command Papers, Bills, Parliamentary papers, Parliamentary debates, Law Commission reports) amongst the secondary sources which may be encountered during legal studies.

Chapter

Cover Legal Skills

9. Finding books, journals, and official publications  

There is a range of important sources of law beyond legislation and case law. These are materials that provide information on the content, meaning, and operation of the law and help students in their quest to understand the law. This chapter explains how to find these important supplementary resources. It covers books, journals, official publications, Halsbur y’s Laws of England, Bills, and Hansard (Official Reports of Parliamentary Debates).

Chapter

Cover Casebook on Tort Law

15. Defamation  

This chapter focuses on defamation which enables an individual (or, more controversially, a company) to prevent the publication of, or recover damages for, public statements which make, or are likely to make, people think less of them. At its heart is a balance between freedom of speech (protected under the European Convention on Human Rights and the Human Rights Act 1998) and the interests of an individual in the protection of their reputation. The chapter examines the Defamation Act 2013 and explains who can sue for, and be liable in, defamation, when a statement is ‘defamatory’ and innuendo. It also considers the defences of truth, honest opinion, publication in a matter of public interest and privilege. It concludes with a discussion of damages for defamation.

Chapter

Cover Constitutional and Administrative Law

18. Freedom of expression  

This chapter focuses on some of the laws relating to freedom of expression in the UK. Freedom of expression is widely considered to be a necessary feature in any democratic state. The chapter considers the extent to which restrictions are placed on the freedom of expression in the UK in two particular contexts. It considers laws for the control of obscenity and indecency, the publication of obscene matter, the test of obscenity, defences, powers of search and seizure, and the possession of pornographic images. The discussion also considers that part of the law of contempt of court which relates to restricting the ability of the media to report court proceedings. This chapter is confined to the law relating to obscenity and indecency and contempt of court on the basis that they share the important characteristic of being regulated by both statute and the common law.

Chapter

Cover Legal Skills

8. Books, journals, and official publications  

This chapter describes the role of books (student textbooks, cases and materials books, monographs, practitioners’ books, legal encyclopaedias and digests, dictionaries, revision guides), journals (general journals, specialist journals, practitioner journals, foreign journals), and official publications (Command Papers, bills, parliamentary papers, parliamentary debates, Law Commission reports) among the secondary sources which may be encountered during legal studies.

Chapter

Cover Legal Skills

9. Finding books, journals, and official publications  

There are a range of important sources of law beyond legislation and case law. These are materials that provide information on the content, meaning, and operation of the law and help students in their quest to understand the law. This chapter explains how to find these important supplementary resources. It covers books, journals, official publications, Halsbury’s Laws of England, Bills, and Hansard (Official Reports of Parliamentary Debates).

Chapter

Cover Intellectual Property Law

7. Duration of Copyright  

L. Bently, B. Sherman, D. Gangjee, and P. Johnson

This chapter examines the debate over the question of the appropriate period of protection that ought to be granted to copyright works, with emphasis on literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works as well as films and entrepreneurial works (sound recordings, broadcasts, and typographical arrangements of published editions). It begins by considering the provisions of the EU Term Directive with regards to the duration of protection for such works and then discusses a number of exceptions to the general rule that the duration of copyright works is life plus 70 years. It also analyses the so-called publication right provided to those who first publish works in which copyright has lapsed. The chapter concludes with an assessment of the optimal term of copyright protection.

Chapter

Cover Criminology Skills

3. Statistics and official publications  

A number of government and other official agencies collect statistics that provide insight into the extent of criminal behaviour, and produce reports that explore issues such as the impact of crime; policy considerations concerning responses to crime; and evaluations of the work of the various agencies involved in the criminal justice system, such as the police, the courts, prisons, and the probation service. This chapter describes the various types of statistics and reports available, explains how they can be used in the study of criminology, and details where they can be found.

Chapter

Cover Tort Law Concentrate

14. Defamation  

This chapter presents the tort of defamation. The tort is divided into two causes of action: libel, which concerns communications in permanent form; and slander, which concerns communications in transitory form. Libel has been actionable without proof of damage although serious harm is now a factor. Slander is actionable only with proof of damage except in two exceptional situations. The claimant must establish a defamatory statement, referring to the claimant and its publication. The primary defence to defamation is truth, and defences in this field raise issues under art 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Defamation Acts 1996 and 2013 are covered, as are remedies for defamation.

Chapter

Cover Tort Law

15. Privacy  

All books in this flagship series contain carefully selected substantial extracts from key cases, legislation, and academic debate, providing able students with a stand-alone resource. This chapter focuses on the emergence of a new action to protect privacy under the Human Rights Act 1998, with particular reference to unjustified publication of private information. It begins by considering whether privacy is a protected interest at common law and whether privacy must be recognized and given protection through the law of tort. It then examines the tools which have been used in the partial absorption of privacy as a protected interest in common law, citing the provisions of the Human Rights Act 1998 and Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The controversies surrounding disclosure of private information and the power of injunctions are also considered, along with the issue of intrusion as an invasion of privacy.

Chapter

Cover Lunney & Oliphant's Tort Law

12. Defamation  

Donal Nolan and Ken Oliphant

This chapter examines the law of defamation, which protects a claimant’s reputation. It explains the distinction between libel and slander, and outlines the elements of the cause of action for defamation: that the statement must be defamatory; must refer to the claimant; and must be published. The chapter then considers the general defences to liability for defamation: (1) truth, (2) honest opinion, (3) privilege (both absolute and qualified), (4) publication on matter of public interest, (5) offer of amends and (6) innocent dissemination. The chapter concludes with analysis of remedies for defamation and discussion of the balance to be struck between protection of reputation and freedom of speech.

Chapter

Cover Tort Law: Text and Materials

13. Defamation  

This chapter examines the law of defamation, which protects a claimant’s reputation. It explains the distinction between libel and slander, and outlines the elements of the cause of action for defamation: that the statement must be defamatory; must refer to the claimant; and must be published. The chapter then considers the general defences to liability for defamation: (1) truth, (2) honest opinion, (3) privilege (both absolute and qualified), (4) responsible publication on matter of public interest, (5) offer of amends and (6) innocent dissemination. The chapter concludes with a discussion of remedies for defamation.

Chapter

Cover Intellectual Property Law

7. Related rights  

This chapter addresses related rights. These are related to, but fall outside, the protection afforded by copyright law. They include performer's rights; the sui generis database right; rights relating to technological protection measures and rights management information; and the artist's resale right. Each one of these rights is specific in terms of rightholders or the subject matter concerned. The chapter then considers a related right for press publishers that is currently in the agenda of the EU Commission. Following a public consultation on the Role of Publishers in the Copyright Value Chain and on the ‘Panorama Exception’ (23 March 2016), the Commission published on September 14, 2016 a proposal for a Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market, which suggests granting press publishers the exclusive rights of reproduction and making their press publications available for digital use.