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Defamation Cap: Leaders Push for Change


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Leaders advocating for a shift in defamation awards are pressing for a €75,000 cap to address the escalating concerns surrounding baseless claims and exorbitant legal costs. With the recent validation of capping damages by the Supreme Court and the enforcement of the anti-SLAPP Directive in the EU, the discourse on defamation reform is intensifying.

Proposals for triple compensation and tailored provisions for severe cases are gaining momentum, signaling a pivotal moment in the drive for enhanced safeguards. The high-level engagement with government officials underscores a burgeoning effort towards ensuring fairness and accountability in a legal landscape fraught with challenges.

Defamation Awards Cap Advocacy Efforts

Efforts to advocate for a defamation awards cap are gaining momentum as SME leaders push for immediate reform to protect defendants from excessive payouts. With a proposed cap set at €75,000, SME leaders are spearheading the campaign, emphasizing the need to curb exorbitant damages.

The recent Supreme Court confirmation of the constitutionality of capping defamation awards has further fueled these efforts. Leaders are also advocating for amendments that deter frivolous claims, aligning with the anti-SLAPP Directive in the EU.

Additionally, a proposal suggesting triple compensation for defendants compared to damages sought aims to balance the scales of justice in defamation cases. These advocacy efforts underscore the critical need for swift reform to safeguard defendants from disproportionate financial liabilities.

Handling Specific Cases for Damages

In cases involving significant reputation damage or job loss due to defamation, specialized approaches may be considered for determining appropriate damages. Exceptional circumstances, like those resulting in severe harm, might warrant higher compensation.

One potential approach is handling such cases on a vouched basis, akin to personal injury claims, where the damages are meticulously documented and proven. For instance, the Dominion Voting Systems v. Fox News case serves as a notable example.

Impact of Legal Costs in Reform

Addressing the financial burden of legal expenses is pivotal in the ongoing defamation reform discussions, particularly in cases where significant damages are sought for defamation claims. The high costs associated with defamation litigation can deter individuals and organizations from defending themselves against potentially baseless claims.

Calls for legislative changes, as proposed in the minority report of the Civil Justice Review, emphasize the need for cost recovery mechanisms for defendants who prevail in defamation suits. By introducing laws that allow successful defendants to recover their legal expenses, the defamation reform efforts can strive for a fairer and more balanced legal landscape.

Such reforms are crucial to ensuring access to justice and protecting individuals and businesses from the financial hardships of defending against defamation allegations.

Meeting With Government Officials

Leaders from ISME and CSNA recently met with Minister of State at the Department of Justice, James Browne TD. The purpose of the meeting was to advocate for an immediate cap on defamation awards and meaningful protections for defendants. The delegation highlighted the urgent need for a cap on damages awards during the discussions. They stressed the detrimental impact of exorbitant payouts on businesses and individuals, emphasizing the importance of implementing penalties for plaintiffs engaging in aggressive litigation practices to deter frivolous claims.

The leaders urged Minister Browne to consider swift legislative action to safeguard defendants from unjust financial burdens resulting from defamation suits. The discussions underscored the critical role of government intervention in reforming defamation laws to ensure fairness and balance in the legal system.


In conclusion, the push for a defamation cap at €75,000 reflects a growing consensus within the SME sector on the need for reform in defamation awards.

The focus on curbing baseless claims, addressing legal costs, and ensuring accountability in litigation underscores the importance of establishing robust safeguards.

The recent high-level meeting with government officials signals a positive step towards meaningful protections for defendants and penalties for aggressive litigators.

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Owen is an excited writer with over 10 years of experience in the newspaper industry. Born and raised in Ireland, Owen developed a passion for writing and journalism at a young age. He pursued this passion by studying journalism in college and quickly landed a job as a reporter at a local newspaper. Over the years, Owen worked his way up the ranks in the newspaper industry, eventually becoming one of the top editors in the company.

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