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European cross-border defamation law to be amended

European cross-border defamation law to be amended

The European Parliament has voted for a significant change to European defamation law, in order to deal with cross-border disputes more simply.

MEPs voted for the so-called 'Rome II' regulation, which governs cross-border legal disputes, to be extended to defamation cases following a campaign by British MEP Diana Wallis.

The amendment to the regulation will see defamation cases involving print or broadcast media judged under the laws of the country where the broadcast is directed, or where editorial control is exercised - not the laws of the defamed person's country.

It is hoped that this will help resolve cases where one country's media defames a person living in another country - cases that can lead to confusion about which laws apply.

However, although the amendment has achieved the support of MEPs and the media industry, it will need to be approved by the council of ministers in order to be passed.

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