Defamation Reform

The overall aim of the campaign is to update and reform defamation law so that it:
* Accurately reflects the modern media landscape, offering effective protection for freedom of expression
* Ensures reputations can be protected in a manner available to everyone, not solely the rich and powerful
* Provides safeguards for individuals from companies or those with powerful interests seeking to silence reasonable criticism and comment

Scottish Government Consultation

In January 2019, the Scottish Government announced a public consultation on defamation reform. This is a huge step towards reform our out-of-date and inadequate defamation laws and is a key step towards bringing forward new legislation to Scottish Parliament.

The consultation closes on Friday 5th April and to make the case for reform we need as many people as possible to respond, showing the government that the public want this reform.

To respond to the consultation here is the online form –

To support you through this process we have developed a consultation response guide that includes template answers, background information and a number of important resources.

If you require any more information please contact us on info[at]scottishpen[dot]org


Scottish PEN is working with a range of partners to reform defamation law in Scotland. The existing legislation severely undermines freedom of expression, limiting the ability of media outlets, bloggers, social media users and civil society to share information in the public interest. The ability for the powerful to chill free speech demonstrates a challenge to Scotland’s ongoing commitment to protecting fundamental freedoms.

The overall aim of the campaign is to update and reform defamation law so that it:

Specific points we see as essential to the reformed law include:


Case studies

Op-Eds & Articles

Latest news and writing from Defamation Reform