"The news that Finance Minister Simon Hamilton has asked the Northern Ireland Law Commission to examine the Stormont Defamation Bill is good news for Ulster's publishers, broadcasters, bloggers and academics.While the rest of the UK will see the new Defamation Act 2013 coming into force on January 2, 2014,Northern Ireland libel law remains rooted in legislation that was formulated well before the internetand social media became part of our everyday lives.
For those of us who are keen to see this relatively obscure, but fundamentally important area of law updated as soon as possible, Mr Hamilton's intervention could be the best way of achieving at least a measure of reform. After all, if the NI Law Commission advocates reforms, it is hard to see how those reforms could be different from the rest of the UK.
As a solicitor who advises publishers and broadcasters in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, I can hear some people already thinking: "Well, he would say that, wouldn't he?""To read in full click here.