New year, new defamation regime

Department of Justice logo, via the Dept's siteAlison Healy, writing in today’s Irish Times, quotes a spokesperson for the Department of Justice as saying that

… no part of the [Defamation] Bill had come into force yet but the [Defamation] Act was expected to be commenced in January.

Healy continues that, whilst in July, the Department had said that the Act was expected to commence in October, the spokesperson confirmed that it is now expected to commence in January 2010. For earlier comments to the same effect, see Rossa McMahon (see also here).

Unfortunately, the headline is the far more sensationalist

Blasphemy law unlikely to come into force this year

Yes, the Defamation Act, 2009 (pdf) does indeed have provisions relating to blasphemy; yes, I’ve written quite a bit about those provisions on this blog; (and yes, international reaction (pdf) continues (pdf) to be negative); but there is far more to the Act than that. If you want to find out more, you could do worse than to attend this event.