Defamation and Malicious Publication (Scotland) Bill


About the Bill

A Bill for an Act of the Scottish Parliament to amend the law of defamation; replace the common law delicts of verbal injury with delicts of malicious publication; and for connected purposes.

Read  the Bill and Accompanying Documents

Current Status of the Bill

This Scottish Government Bill was introduced by the Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Humza Yousaf MSP, on 2 December 2019.

SPICe Briefings

A SPICe briefing on the Bill can be found here.

Stage 1

The Justice Committee was designated lead Committee for Stage 1 scrutiny of the Bill.

The Committee starting taking oral evidence on the Bill by hearing from the Scottish Government Bill Team on Tuesday 17 March 2020-

Official Report of oral evidence on 17 March 2020   

Following a hiatus caused by the public health measures introduced to address the COVID-19 pandemic, the Committee resumed taking oral evidence on the Bill on Tuesday 25 August 2020-

Official Report of oral evidence on Tuesday 25 August 2020

Official Report of oral evidence on Tuesday 1 September 2020

Official Report of oral evidence on Tuesday 8 September 2020



The Committee launched its call for views on Friday 17 January 2020. The call for views closed on Friday 13 March 2020

Read the call for views

Read the written submissions received


The Committee published its Stage 1 report on the Bill on Wednesday 14 October 2020:



The general principles of the Bill were debated and agreed by the Scottish Parliament on Thursday 5 November 2020.

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