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Libel Act 1843

Libel Act 1843

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The Libel Act 1843, commonly known as Lord Campbell's Libel Acthttp://books.google.com/books?id=7C8WAAAAYAAJ&lpg=PA579&ots=6o0ssMhlBM&dq=libel%20act%201843&pg=PA579#v=onepage&q=libel%20act%201843&f=false, was a Act
Act of Parliament
An Act of Parliament is a statute enacted as primary legislation by a national or sub-national parliament. In the Republic of Ireland the term Act of the Oireachtas is used, and in the United States the term Act of Congress is used.In Commonwealth countries, the term is used both in a narrow...

 of the Parliament of the United Kingdom
Parliament of the United Kingdom
The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative body in the United Kingdom, British Crown dependencies and British overseas territories, located in London...

. It enacted several important codifications of and modifications to the common law
Common law
Common law is law developed by judges through decisions of courts and similar tribunals rather than through legislative statutes or executive branch action...

 tort
Tort
A tort, in common law jurisdictions, is a wrong that involves a breach of a civil duty owed to someone else. It is differentiated from a crime, which involves a breach of a duty owed to society in general...

 of libel.

This Act was repealed for the Republic of Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

 by section 4 of, and Part 2 of Schedule 1 to, the Defamation Act, 1961.

Section 3 - Publishing or threatening to publish a libel, or proposing to abstain from publishing any thing, with intent to extort money, punishable by imprisonment and hard labour


This section was repealed by the Schedule to the Larceny Act 1916
Larceny Act 1916
The Larceny Act 1916 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Its purpose was to consolidate and simplify the law relating to larceny triable on indictment and to kindred offences ....

.

Section 4 - Publication of libel known to be false


This section formerly provided:
This section was repealed for England and Wales and Northern Ireland by section 178 of, and Part 2 of Schedule 23 to the Coroners and Justice Act 2009
Coroners and Justice Act 2009
-External links:*, as amended from the National Archives.*, as originally enacted from the National Archives.* to the Coroners and Justice Act 2009....

.

This section was replaced for the Republic of Ireland by section 12 of the Defamation Act, 1961.

Alternative verdict

See Boaler v R (1888) 21 QBD 284, (1888) 16 Cox 488, (1888) 4 TLR 565

Section 5 - Publication of libel


This section formerly provided:
This section did not create or define an offence. It provided the penalty for the existing common law offence of defamatory libel
Defamatory libel
Defamatory libel was originally an offence under the common law of England. It has been abolished in England and Wales and Northern Ireland. It was or is a form of criminal libel, a term with which it is synonymous.-England and Wales and Northern Ireland:...

.

This section was repealed for England and Wales and Northern Ireland by section 178 of, and Part 2 of Schedule 23 to the Coroners and Justice Act 2009
Coroners and Justice Act 2009
-External links:*, as amended from the National Archives.*, as originally enacted from the National Archives.* to the Coroners and Justice Act 2009....

. The repeal of this section was consequential on the abolition of the common law offence of defamatory libel by section 73(b) of that Act.

This section was replaced for the Republic of Ireland by section 11 of the Defamation Act, 1961.

Section 6 - Defence of truth and public benefit against defamatory libel


This section allowed the defendant to prove the truth of a libel as a valid defence in criminal proceedings, but only if it also be demonstrated that publication of the libel was to the "Public Benefit". Proving the statement's truth had previously been allowed only in civil libel defences inasmuch as the criminal offence against the public at large was considered to be provoking a breach of peace via printing malicious statements rather than the defamation per se; the truth or falsity of the statement had therefore been considered irrelevant in criminal proceedings before the Act.

This section was repealed for England and Wales and Northern Ireland by section 178 of, and Part 2 of Schedule 23 to the Coroners and Justice Act 2009
Coroners and Justice Act 2009
-External links:*, as amended from the National Archives.*, as originally enacted from the National Archives.* to the Coroners and Justice Act 2009....

.

This section was replaced for the Republic of Ireland by section 6 of the Defamation Act, 1961.

This section did not apply to seditious libel
Seditious libel
Seditious libel was a criminal offence under English common law. Sedition is the offence of speaking seditious words with seditious intent: if the statement is in writing or some other permanent form it is seditious libel...

.

Section 7 - Evidence to rebut prima facie case of publication by an agent


In England and Wales and Northern Ireland, this section now reads:
The words in square brackets were inserted by section 177 of, and paragraph 66 of Schedule 21 to, the Coroners and Justice Act 2009
Coroners and Justice Act 2009
-External links:*, as amended from the National Archives.*, as originally enacted from the National Archives.* to the Coroners and Justice Act 2009....

.

This section was replaced for the Republic of Ireland by section 7 of the Defamation Act, 1961.

This section, in its original form, applied to a prosecution for blasphemous libel
Blasphemous libel
Blasphemous libel was originally an offence under the common law of England. It is an offence under the common law of Northern Ireland. It is a statutory offence in Canada and New Zealand...

.

Section 8 - Reimbursement of defence expenses upon acquittal


This section permitted a defendant who had been charged by a private prosecutor
Private prosecution
A private prosecution is a criminal proceeding initiated by an individual or private organisation instead of by a public prosecutor who represents the state...

 to recover the costs of his legal defence if found not guilty.

This section was repealed by the Schedule to the Costs in Criminal Cases Act 1908.

Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde
Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was an Irish writer and poet. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, he became one of London's most popular playwrights in the early 1890s...

 was bankrupted under this provision when he abandoned his libel prosecution against Lord Queensberry
John Douglas, 9th Marquess of Queensberry
John Sholto Douglas, 9th Marquess of Queensberry GCVO was a Scottish nobleman, remembered for lending his name and patronage to the "Marquess of Queensberry rules" that formed the basis of modern boxing, for his outspoken atheism, and for his role in the downfall of author and playwright Oscar...

 and was ordered to reimburse him for the considerable expenses Queensberry had incurred for legal representation and private detectives.

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