The transcripts of the official inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press. More…

Well, if someone read something in the newspaper and said, "That defames me. I have an action for defamation," what is contemplated, first of all, they would go to the MSA and say, "I have a complaint about your member. I'm defamed by this," and the MSA would try and mediate that complaint.

If that failed, then they would be required to put the complaint to an adjudication, which would be a quick, relatively informal system, with a legally qualified adjudicator, who would then say, "Yes, this is defamatory," or, "No, it isn't defamatory," or, "It's defamatory, but it's comment," or, "It's defamatory but it looks to be true," and make a determination.

At that stage the complainant could have a choice. They could either accept the adjudication, or they could decide that they didn't like it, and they were going to go to court.

But the crucial thing is that they would be required first to go through the adjudication system, which, as I said earlier, one would hope would save very considerable legal costs.

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