Second reading of the Defamation Bill

13 June 2012

Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Kenneth Clarke, introduced the second reading of the Defamation Bill in the House of Commons on Tuesday 12 June.

The Bill passed without a vote and will now be considered by a Public Bill Committee. Shadow Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Sadiq Khan, responded on behalf of the Opposition.

Watch and read the second reading debate and the views expressed by MPs on Parliament TV and in Commons Hansard. 

Guidance for submitting written evidence

Summary of the Bill

The Bill amends the law of Defamation. Keep up to date with all the proceedings and documentation on the Defamation Bill and find out how a Bill becomes an Act of Parliament

House of Commons Library analysis

The House of Commons Library produce briefing papers to inform MPs of key issues. The Library published a briefing paper for second reading.

Second reading

Second reading is the first opportunity for MPs to debate the main principles of the Bill. It usually takes place no sooner than two weekends after first reading.

What happens at second reading?

The Government minister, spokesperson or MP responsible for the Bill opens the second reading debate. The official Opposition spokesperson responds with their views on the Bill.

The debate continues with other Opposition parties and backbench MPs giving their opinions. At the end of the debate, the Commons decides whether the Bill should be given its second reading by voting, meaning it can proceed to the next stage.

What happens after second reading?

The Bill proceeds to committee stage and will be considered in a Public Bill Committee. Each clause (part) and any amendments (proposals for change) to the Bill may be debated.

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