§ Mr. Lammy
The Government have no plans for further reform of defamation procedure. The Defamation Act 1996 introduced procedures to enable quicker and less costly resolution of claims. The 'summary procedure' allows straightforward cases to be dealt with without a jury; damages are limited to £10,000. The 'offer to make amends' strongly encourages a claimant to avoid a jury trial on the level of damages where the defendant admits an innocent mistake. Both these procedures were brought into effect on 28 February 2000.
The number of defamation actions started has dropped from 452 in 1997 to 128 in 2002.