Leveson Inquiry

Leveson lawyer suggests ISPs could be sued for allowing customers to see defamatory content


By Ishbel Macleod, PR and social media consultant

January 22, 2013 | 1 min read

Robert Jay, QC, who questioned key witnesses during the Leveson inquiry, has suggested a law which would mean that Internet Service Providers could be sued for allowing their customers to read defamatory comments online.

The Times has reported that Jay suggested an ‘imaginative solution’ was needed to make dissemination of online defamatory content subject to law, adding that the British press might be the ‘most unruly and irreverent’ in the world.

He told the Singapore Academy of Law in a speech: “One possible way forward is to seek by statutory provision to bring ISPs (internet service providers) within the scope of publishers for the purposes of the law of defamation, even if provision would need to be made for resultant claims to be served out of the jurisdiction.”

The issue of regulating the internet was not largely discussed in the findings for the Leveson inquiry.

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