Defamation Ordinance


Published: 1997-06-30

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Cap 21 - DEFAMATION ORDINANCE 1

Chapter: 21 DEFAMATION ORDINANCE Gazette Number Version Date

Long title 30/06/1997


To amend the law respecting defamatory words and libel.


[22 February 1887]

(Originally 5 of 1887; 9 of 1901 (Cap 21, 1950))

Section: 1 Short title 30/06/1997


This Ordinance may be cited as the Defamation Ordinance.
(Amended 5 of 1924 s. 6)


Section: 2 Interpretation 36 of 2000 16/06/2000


In this Ordinance, unless the context otherwise requires-
"broadcast" or "broadcasting" (廣播) means publication for general reception, as part of any programme or service

provided through a broadcasting station within Hong Kong, by means of telecommunications, within the
meaning of the Telecommunications Ordinance (Cap 106); and, where words broadcast by means of
telecommunications are simultaneously transmitted by telegraph, as defined by the Telecommunications
Ordinance (Cap 106), in accordance with a licence granted under such Ordinance, the provisions of this
Ordinance shall apply as if the transmission were broadcast within the definition hereinbefore contained;
(Amended 23 of 1986 s. 2; 36 of 2000 s. 28)

"broadcasting station" (廣播電台) means any station operated by Government or in respect of which a licence
granted by the Governor in Council or the Authority under the Telecommunications Ordinance (Cap 106) is in
force, being a licence which (by whatever form of words) authorizes the use of the station for the purpose of
providing broadcasting services for general reception; (Amended 38 of 1993 s. 9; 36 of 2000 s. 28)

"information" (告發) includes indictment;
"international court of justice" (國際法院) means the International Court of Justice and any other judicial or arbitral

tribunal deciding matters in dispute between States;
"legislature" (立法機構) , in relation to any part of the Commonwealth which is subject to a central and a local

legislature, means either of those legislatures;
"newspaper" (報刊) means any paper containing public news or observations thereon or consisting wholly or mainly

of advertisements which is printed for sale and is published in Hong Kong either periodically or in parts or
numbers at intervals not exceeding 36 days; (Amended 23 of 1986 s. 2)

"proprietor" (東主) includes lessee;
"report of the Legislative Council" (立法局報告) includes any report, paper, vote or other proceeding of the Council;
"words" (言詞) includes pictures, visual images, gestures and other methods of signifying meaning.

(Replaced 33 of 1961 s. 2)
[cf. 1952 c. 66 ss. 7, 9 & Schedule Part III U.K.]


Section: 3 Admissibility in evidence, in mitigation of damages in

action for defamation, of apology
30/06/1997



In any action for defamation it shall be competent to the defendant (after notice in writing of his intention to do
so duly given to the plaintiff within a reasonable time before the trial of the cause) to give in evidence in mitigation of
damages that he made or offered an apology to the plaintiff for such defamation before the commencement of the
action, or as soon afterwards as he had an opportunity of doing so in case the action has been commenced before there
was an opportunity of making or offering such apology.

[cf. 1843 c. 96 s. 1 U.K.]



Cap 21 - DEFAMATION ORDINANCE 2


Section: 4 Right of defendant in action for libel to plead absence of

malice, etc. and apology
L.N. 307 of 1998 04/09/1998



In an action for a libel contained in any newspaper it shall be competent to the defendant to set up as a defence
that the libel was inserted in the newspaper without actual malice and without gross negligence, and that before the
commencement of the action, or at the earliest opportunity afterwards, he inserted in the newspaper a full apology for
the libel, or if the newspaper in which the libel appeared is ordinarily published at intervals exceeding 1 week, had
offered to publish the said apology in any newspaper to be selected by the plaintiff in the action: and to such defence
to the action it shall be competent to the plaintiff to reply generally denying the whole of such defence: (Amended
L.N. 307 of 1998)

Provided that it shall not be competent to any defendant in such action to set up any defence as aforesaid without
at the same time making a payment of money into court by way of amends, and every such defence so filed without
such payment into court shall be deemed a nullity and may be treated as such by the plaintiff in the action.

(Amended 50 of 1911; 62 of 1911 Schedule; 33 of 1961 s. 3)
[cf. 1843 c. 96 s. 2 U.K.; 1845 c. 75 s. 2 U.K.]


Section: 5 Publishing libel known to be false 30/06/1997


Any person who maliciously publishes any defamatory libel, knowing the same to be false, shall be liable to
imprisonment for 2 years, and, in addition, to pay such fine as the court may award.

(Amended 30 of 1911 Schedule; 33 of 1961 s. 4)
[cf. 1843 c. 96 s. 4 U.K.]


Section: 6 (Repealed 68 of 1995 s. 5) 30/06/1997




Section: 7 Trial of information for defamatory libel 30/06/1997


(1) On the trial of any information for a defamatory libel, the defendant having pleaded such plea as is
hereinafter mentioned, the truth of the matters charged may be inquired into, but shall not amount to a defence, unless
it was for the public benefit that the matters charged should be published.

(2) To entitle the defendant to give evidence of the truth of the matters charged as a defence to the information,
it shall be necessary for him, in pleading to the information, to allege the truth of the matters charged in the manner
now required in alleging a justification to an action of defamation, and further to allege that it was for the public
benefit that the matters charged should be published, and the particular fact or facts by reason whereof it was for the
public benefit that the matters charged should be published, to which plea the prosecutor shall be at liberty to reply
generally denying the whole thereof.

(3) If after such plea the defendant is convicted on the information, it shall be competent to the court, in
pronouncing sentence, to consider whether the guilt of the defendant is aggravated or mitigated by the plea and by the
evidence given to prove or to disprove the same:

Provided that-
(a) the truth of the matters charged in the alleged libel complained of by the information shall in no case

be inquired into without such plea of justification;
(b) in addition to such plea it shall be competent to the defendant to plead a plea of not guilty;
(c) further, nothing in this Ordinance shall take away or prejudice any defence under a plea of not guilty

which it is now competent to the defendant to make under such plea to any information for defamatory
words or libel.

[cf. 1843 c. 96 s. 6 U.K.]

Section: 7A Functions of judge and jury on the trial of an indictment

for libel
30/06/1997



(1) On the trial of an indictment for publishing any libel, the jury sworn to try the matter may give a general



Cap 21 - DEFAMATION ORDINANCE 3

verdict of guilty or not guilty on the matter.
(2) The judge before whom an indictment referred to in subsection (1) is tried shall not direct the jury to find a

defendant guilty merely on the proof of the publication by the defendant of the matter charged to be a libel, and of the
meaning ascribed to the libel in the indictment, but subject to this, the judge shall, according to his discretion, give his
opinion and directions to the jury on the matter in issue in the same manner as in the trial of other criminal matters.

(3) Nothing in this section prevents the jury from finding a special verdict as in other criminal cases.
(4) If the jury referred to in subsection (1) finds the defendant guilty, the defendant may move in arrest of

judgment on such ground and in such manner as by law he could have done before the commencement of this section.
(Added 14 of 1997 s. 7)

[cf. 1792 c. 60 U.K.]

Section: 8 Evidence to rebut prima facie case of publication by agent 30/06/1997


Whenever, on the trial of any information for the publication of a libel, under the plea of not guilty, evidence has
been given which establishes a presumptive case of publication against the defendant by the act of any other person by
his authority, it shall be competent to the defendant to prove that the publication was made without his authority,
consent, or knowledge, and that the publication did not arise from want of due care or caution on his part.

[cf. 1843 c. 96 s. 7 U.K.]

Section: 9 Right of prosecutor and of defendant to costs on

prosecution for private libel
30/06/1997



(1) In the case of any information at the instance of a private prosecutor for the publication of any defamatory
libel, if judgment is given for the defendant, he shall be entitled to recover from the prosecutor the costs sustained by
the defendant by reason of the information, and upon a special plea of justification to the information, if the issue is
found for the prosecutor, he shall be entitled to recover from the defendant the costs sustained by the prosecutor by
reason of such plea.

(2) Costs so to be recovered by the defendant or prosecutor respectively shall be taxed by the proper officer of
the court before which the information is tried.

[cf. 1843 c. 96 s. 8 U.K.]

Section: 10 Stay of proceeding against person for publication of papers

printed by order of Legislative Council upon certificate
and affidavit of authority to publish

30/06/1997



It shall be lawful for any person who is a defendant in any civil or criminal proceeding, in whatever manner
commenced for or on account or in respect of the publication by such person or by his servant of any report of the
Legislative Council by or under the authority of such Council, to bring before the court in which such proceeding has
been commenced, or before a judge, first giving 24 hours' notice of his intention to do so to the plaintiff or prosecutor
in such proceeding, a certificate under the hand of the President of such Council, or of the presiding member of such
Council for the time being, or of the Clerk to the Legislative Council, stating that the report in respect whereof the
proceeding has been commenced was published by such person or by his servant by order or under the authority of
such Council, together with an affidavit verifying such certificate; and the court or judge shall thereupon immediately
stay such proceeding, and the same, and every writ or process issued, shall be and shall be deemed and taken to be
finally put an end to, determined, and superseded.

(Amended 14 of 1994 s. 24; 13 of 1995 s. 2)
[cf. 1840 c. 9 s. 1 U.K.]


Section: 11 Stay of proceeding when commenced in respect of copy of

authenticated report, etc.
30/06/1997



In case of any civil or criminal proceeding to be commenced for or on account or in respect of the publication of
any copy of any such report it shall be lawful for the defendant, at any stage of the proceeding, to lay before the court
or judge the report, and the copy, together with an affidavit verifying the report, and the correctness of the copy; and



Cap 21 - DEFAMATION ORDINANCE 4

the court or judge shall thereupon immediately stay such proceeding, and the same, and every writ or process issued
therein, shall be and shall be deemed and taken to be finally put an end to, determined, and superseded.

(Amended 50 of 1911; 51 of 1911; 62 of 1911 Schedule; 63 of 1911 Schedule; 21 of 1912 s. 2; 5 of 1924
s. 11)

[cf. 1840 c. 9 s. 2 U.K.]

Section: 12 Defence in proceeding for printing extract from report,

etc.
30/06/1997



It shall be lawful in any civil or criminal proceeding to be commenced for printing or broadcasting any extract
from or abstract of any such report to give in evidence, in a civil case in support of any allegation in defence, and in a
criminal case under the general issue, the report, and to show that the extract or abstract was published bona fide and
without malice; and if such is the opinion of the jury, a verdict of not guilty shall be entered for the defendant.

(Amended 50 of 1911; 62 of 1911 Schedule; 33 of 1961 s. 6)
[cf. 1840 c. 9 s. 3 U.K.]


Section: 13 Privilege of newspaper report of proceedings in court 30/06/1997


(1) A fair and accurate report in any newspaper or broadcast of proceedings publicly heard before any court
shall, if published contemporaneously with such proceedings, be privileged:

Provided that nothing in this section shall authorize the publication of any blasphemous or indecent matter. (9 of
1901 s. 3 incorporated. Amended 50 of 1911; 62 of 1911 Schedule; 33 of 1961 s. 7) [cf. 1888 c. 64 s. 3 U.K.]

(2) Any report in a newspaper, and any broadcast report, of committal proceedings in a case where publication
is permitted by virtue only of section 87A(5) and (6) of the Magistrates Ordinance (Cap 227), published as soon as
practicable after it is so permitted, shall be treated for the purposes of subsection (1) as having been published or
broadcast contemporaneously with the committal proceedings. (Added 6 of 1971 s. 6) [cf. 1967 c. 80 s. 5 U.K.]

Section: 14 Qualified privilege of newspapers 30/06/1997


(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, the publication in a newspaper or the broadcasting of any such
report or other matter as is mentioned in the Schedule shall be privileged unless the publication is proved to be made
with malice.

(2) In an action for libel in respect of the publication of any such report or matter as is mentioned in Part II of
the Schedule, the provisions of this section shall not be a defence if it is proved that the defendant has been requested
by the plaintiff to publish in the manner in which the original publication was made a reasonable letter or statement by
way of explanation or contradiction, and has refused or neglected to do so, or has done so in a manner not adequate or
not reasonable having regard to all the circumstances.

(3) Nothing in this section shall be construed as protecting the publication of any matter the publication of
which is prohibited by law, or of any matter which is not of public concern and the publication of which is not for the
public benefit.

(Replaced 33 of 1961 s. 8)
[cf. 1952 c. 66 s. 7 U.K.]


Section: 15 Inquiry by magistrate as to libel being true, etc. 30/06/1997


A magistrate, on the hearing of a charge against a proprietor, publisher, or editor, or any person responsible for
the publication of a newspaper, for a libel published therein, may receive evidence as to the matter charged in the libel
being true, and as to the report being fair and accurate and published without malice, and as to the publication being
for the public benefit, and as to any matter which, under this or any other Ordinance or otherwise, might be given in
evidence by way of defence by the person charged on his trial on information, and if the magistrate is of opinion that
there is a strong or probable presumption that the jury on the trial would acquit the person charged he may dismiss the
case.

(Amended 50 of 1911; 51 of 1911; 62 of 1911 Schedule; 63 of 1911 Schedule)
[cf. 1881 c. 60 s. 4 U.K.]



Cap 21 - DEFAMATION ORDINANCE 5


Section: 16 Provision as to summary conviction for libel 30/06/1997


If a magistrate, on the hearing of such a charge is of opinion that, though the person charged is shown to have
been guilty, the libel was of a trivial character, and that the offence may be adequately punished by virtue of the
powers of this section, he shall cause the charge to be reduced into writing and read to the person charged, and then
address a question to him to the following effect- "Do you desire to be tried by a jury or do you consent to the case
being dealt with summarily?" and if such person assents to the case being dealt with summarily, the magistrate may
summarily convict him and adjudge him to pay a fine of $250.

(Amended 50 of 1911; 51 of 1911; 62 of 1911 Schedule; 63 of 1911 Schedule)
[cf. 1881 c. 60 s. 5 U.K.]


Section: 17 Evidence of other damages recovered by plaintiff 30/06/1997


In any action for libel or slander the defendant may give evidence in mitigation of damages that the plaintiff has
recovered damages, or has brought actions for damages, for libel or slander in respect of the publication of words to
the same effect as the words on which the action is founded, or has received or agreed to receive compensation in
respect of any such publication.

(Replaced 33 of 1961 s. 9)
[cf. 1952 c. 66 s. 12 U.K.]


Section: 18 Order of judge required for prosecution of newspaper

proprietor, etc.
30/06/1997



(1) No criminal prosecution shall be commenced against any proprietor, publisher, editor, or any person
responsible for the publication of a newspaper for any libel published therein without the order of a judge in chambers
being first had and obtained. (Amended 51 of 1911; 63 of 1911 Schedule)

(2) The application for such order shall be made on notice to the accused person, who shall have an opportunity
of being heard against such application.

(9 of 1901 s. 8 incorporated)
[cf. 1888 c. 64 s. 8 U.K.]


Section: 19 Consolidation of actions 25 of 1998 01/07/1997


Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 25 of 1998 s. 2


(1) It shall be competent for the Court of First Instance, on an application by or on behalf of 2 or more
defendants in actions in respect to the same, or substantially the same, libel brought by one and the same person, to
make an order for the consolidation of such actions; and after such order has been made, and before the trial of the
said actions, the defendants in any new actions instituted in respect to the same, or substantially the same, libel shall
also be entitled to be joined in a common action on a joint application being made by such new defendants and the
defendants in the actions already consolidated. (Amended 25 of 1998 s. 2)

(2) In such consolidated action the jury shall assess the whole amount of the damages, if any, in one sum, but a
separate verdict shall be taken for or against each defendant in the same way as if the actions had been tried
separately; and if the jury have found a verdict against the defendant or defendants in more than one of the actions so
consolidated, they shall proceed to apportion the amount of damages which they have so found between and against
the said last-mentioned defendants; and similar provisions shall apply if the trial is before a judge without a jury. The
judge at the trial, if he awards to the plaintiff the costs of the action, shall thereupon make such order as he may deem
just for the apportionment of such costs between and against such defendants.

(3) This section shall apply to actions for slander and to actions for slander of title, slander of goods or other
malicious falsehood as it applies to actions for libel; and references to the same, or substantially the same, libel shall
be construed accordingly. (Added 33 of 1961 s. 10) [cf. 1952 c. 66 s. 13 U.K.]

(9 of 1901 s. 5 incorporated)



Cap 21 - DEFAMATION ORDINANCE 6

[cf. 1888 c. 64 s. 5 U.K.]

Section: 20 (Repealed 23 of 2003 s. 8) 23 of 2003 04/07/2003




Section: 21 Words imputing unchastity to woman or girl per se
actionable

30/06/1997



Words spoken and published which impute unchastity or adultery to any woman or girl shall not require special
damage to render them actionable:

Provided that, in any action for words spoken and made actionable by this Ordinance, a plaintiff shall not
recover more costs than damages, unless the judge at the trial certifies that there was reasonable ground for bringing
the action.

(9 of 1901 s. 10 incorporated. Amended 29 of 1901 s. 14; 50 of 1911 s. 4)
[cf. 1891 c. 51 s. 1 U.K.]


Section: 22 Broadcast statements 30/06/1997


For the purposes of the law of libel and slander, the broadcasting of words shall be treated as publication in
permanent form.

(Added 33 of 1961 s. 11)
[cf. 1952 c. 66 s. 1 U.K.]


Section: 23 Slander affecting official, professional or business

reputation
30/06/1997



In an action for slander in respect of words calculated to disparage the plaintiff in any office, profession, calling,
trade or business held or carried on by him at the time of the publication, it shall not be necessary to allege or prove
special damage, whether or not the words are spoken of the plaintiff in the way of his office, profession, calling, trade
or business.

(Added 33 of 1961 s. 11)
[cf. 1952 c. 66 s. 2 U.K.]


Section: 24 Slander of title, etc. 30/06/1997


(1) In an action for slander of title, slander of goods or other malicious falsehood, it shall not be necessary to
allege or prove special damage-

(a) if the words upon which the action is founded are calculated to cause pecuniary damage to the plaintiff
and are published in writing or other permanent form; or

(b) if the said words are calculated to cause pecuniary damage to the plaintiff in respect of any office,
profession, calling, trade or business held or carried on by him at the time of the publication.

(2) Section 22 shall apply for the purposes of this section as it applies for the purposes of the law of libel and
slander.

(Added 33 of 1961 s. 11)
[cf. 1952 c. 66 s. 3 U.K.]


Section: 25 Unintentional defamation 25 of 1998 01/07/1997


Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 25 of 1998 s. 2


(1) A person who has published words alleged to be defamatory of another person may, if he claims that the
words were published by him innocently in relation to that other person, make an offer of amends under this section;
and in any such case-



Cap 21 - DEFAMATION ORDINANCE 7

(a) if the offer is accepted by the party aggrieved and is duly performed, no proceedings for libel or
slander shall be taken or continued by that party against the person making the offer in respect of the
publication in question (but without prejudice to any cause of action against any other person jointly
responsible for that publication);

(b) if the offer is not accepted by the party aggrieved, then, except as otherwise provided by this section, it
shall be a defence, in any proceedings by him for libel or slander against the person making the offer in
respect of the publication in question, to prove that the words complained of were published by the
defendant innocently in relation to the plaintiff and that the offer was made as soon as practicable after
the defendant received notice that they were or might be defamatory of the plaintiff, and has not been
withdrawn.

(2) An offer of amends under this section must be expressed to be made for the purposes of this section, and
must be accompanied by an affidavit specifying the facts relied upon by the person making it to show that the words in
question were published by him innocently in relation to the party aggrieved; and for the purposes of a defence under
subsection (1)(b) no evidence, other than evidence of facts specified in the affidavit, shall be admissible on behalf of
that person to prove that the words were so published.

(3) An offer of amends under this section shall be understood to mean an offer-
(a) in any case, to publish or join in the publication of a suitable correction of the words complained of,

and a sufficient apology to the party aggrieved in respect of those words;
(b) where copies of a document or record containing the said words have been distributed by or with the

knowledge of the person making the offer, to take such steps as are reasonably practicable on his part
for notifying persons to whom copies have been so distributed that the words are alleged to be
defamatory of the party aggrieved.

(4) Where an offer of amends under this section is accepted by the party aggrieved-
(a) any question as to the steps to be taken in fulfilment of the offer as so accepted shall in default of

agreement between the parties be referred to and determined by the Court of First Instance, whose
decision thereon shall be final;

(b) the power of the court to make orders as to costs in proceedings by the party aggrieved against the
person making the offer in respect of the publication in question, or in proceedings in respect of the
offer under paragraph (a), shall include power to order the payment by the person making the offer to
the party aggrieved of costs on an indemnity basis and any expenses reasonably incurred or to be
incurred by that party in consequence of the publication in question,

and if no such proceedings as aforesaid are taken, the Court of First Instance may, upon application made by the party
aggrieved, make any such order for the payment of such costs and expenses as aforesaid as could be made in such
proceedings. (Amended 25 of 1998 s. 2)

(5) For the purposes of this section words shall be treated as published by one person (in this subsection
referred to as the publisher) innocently in relation to another person if and only if the following conditions are
satisfied, that is to say-

(a) that the publisher did not intend to publish them of and concerning that other person, and did not know
of circumstances by virtue of which they might be understood to refer to him; or

(b) that the words were not defamatory on the face of them, and the publisher did not know of
circumstances by virtue of which they might be understood to be defamatory of that other person,

and in either case that the publisher exercised all reasonable care in relation to the publication; and any reference in
this subsection to the publisher shall be construed as including a reference to any servant or agent of his who was
concerned with the contents of the publication.

(6) Subsection (1)(b) shall not apply in relation to the publication by any person of words of which he is not the
author unless he proves that the words were written by the author without malice.

(Added 33 of 1961 s. 11)
[cf. 1952 c. 66 s. 4 U.K.]


Section: 26 Justification 30/06/1997


In an action for libel or slander in respect of words containing 2 or more distinct charges against the plaintiff, a
defence of justification shall not fail by reason only that the truth of every charge is not proved if the words not proved
to be true do not materially injure the plaintiff's reputation having regard to the truth of the remaining charges.

(Added 33 of 1961 s. 11)



Cap 21 - DEFAMATION ORDINANCE 8

[cf. 1952 c. 66 s. 5 U.K.]

Section: 27 Fair comment 30/06/1997


In an action for libel or slander in respect of words consisting partly of allegations of fact and partly of
expression of opinion, a defence of fair comment shall not fail by reason only that the truth of every allegation of fact
is not proved if the expression of opinion is fair comment having regard to such of the facts alleged or referred to in
the words complained of as are proved.

(Added 33 of 1961 s. 11)
[cf. 1952 c. 66 s. 6 U.K.]


Section: 28 Limitation on privilege at elections L.N. 320 of 1999 01/01/2000


A defamatory statement published by or on behalf of a candidate in any election to the Legislative Council or to
a District Council shall not be deemed to be published on a privileged occasion on the ground that it is material to a
question in issue in the election, whether or not the person by whom it is published is qualified to vote at the election.

(Added 33 of 1961 s. 11. Amended 39 of 1985 s. 60; 23 of 1986 s. 3; 8 of 1999 s. 89; 78 of 1999 s. 7)
[cf. 1952 c. 66 s. 10 U.K.]


Section: 29 Agreements for indemnity 30/06/1997


An agreement for indemnifying any person against civil liability for libel in respect of the publication of any
matter shall not be unlawful unless at the time of the publication that person knows that the matter is defamatory, and
does not reasonably believe there is a good defence to any action brought upon it.

(Added 33 of 1961 s. 11)
[cf. 1952 c. 66 s. 11 U.K.]


Schedule: SCHEDULE L.N. 163 of 2013 03/03/2014


[section 14]


NEWSPAPER STATEMENTS HAVING QUALIFIED PRIVILEGE


PART I


STATEMENTS PRIVILEGED WITHOUT EXPLANATION OR CONTRADICTION

1. A fair and accurate report of any proceedings in public of the legislature of any part of the Commonwealth
outside Hong Kong.

2. A fair and accurate report of any proceedings in public of an international organization of which the Government
of Hong Kong or Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom is a member, or of any international conference
to which the Government of Hong Kong or Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom sends a representative.

3. A fair and accurate report of any proceedings in public of an international court.

4. A fair and accurate report of any proceedings before a court exercising jurisdiction throughout any part of the
Commonwealth outside Hong Kong or of any proceedings before a court-martial of the Chinese People’s Liberation
Army held outside Hong Kong. (Amended 2 of 2012 s. 3)

5. A fair and accurate report of any proceedings in public of a body or person appointed to hold a public inquiry by
the Government or legislature of any part of the Commonwealth outside Hong Kong.

6. A fair and accurate copy of or extract from any register kept in pursuance of any Ordinance which is open to



Cap 21 - DEFAMATION ORDINANCE 9

inspection by the public, or of any other document which is required by the law of Hong Kong to be open to
inspection by the public.

7. A notice or advertisement published by or on the authority of any court within Hong Kong or any judge or
officer of such a court.


--------------------


PART II


STATEMENTS PRIVILEGED SUBJECT TO EXPLANATION OR CONTRADICTION


8. A fair and accurate report of the findings or decision of any of the following associations, or of any committee or
governing body thereof, that is to say-

(a) an association formed in Hong Kong for the purpose of promoting or encouraging the exercise of or
interest in any art, science, religion or learning, and empowered by its constitution to exercise control
over or adjudicate upon matters of interest or concern to the association, or the actions or conduct of
any persons subject to such control or adjudication;

(b) an association formed in Hong Kong for the purpose of promoting or safeguarding the interests of any
trade, business, industry or profession, or of the persons carrying on or engaged in any trade, business,
industry or profession, and empowered by its constitution to exercise control over or adjudicate upon
matters connected with the trade, business, industry or profession, or the actions or conduct of those
persons;

(c) an association formed in Hong Kong for the purpose of promoting or safeguarding the interests of any
game, sport or pastime to the playing or exercise of which members of the public are invited or
admitted, and empowered by its constitution to exercise control over or adjudicate upon persons
connected with or taking part in the game, sport or pastime,

being a finding or decision relating to a person who is a member of or is subject by virtue of any contract to the
control of the association.

9. A fair and accurate report of the proceedings at any public meeting held in Hong Kong, that is to say, a meeting
bona fide and lawfully held for a lawful purpose and for the furtherance or discussion of any matter of public
concern, whether the admission to the meeting is general or restricted.

10. A fair and accurate report of the proceedings at any meeting or sitting in any part of Hong Kong of-

(a) any body, board or authority formed or constituted under the provisions of any Ordinance or of any
committee appointed by such body, board or authority;

(b) (Repealed 47 of 1997 s. 10)
(c) any commission, tribunal, committee or person appointed for the purposes of any inquiry by Letters

Patent, Act of Parliament, Ordinance, by Her Majesty, by the Governor or by the head of any
department of Government;

(d) any other tribunal, board, committee or body constituted by or under, and exercising functions under,
an Ordinance,

not being a meeting or sitting admission to which is denied to representatives of newspapers and other members of the
public.

11. A fair and accurate report of the proceedings at a general meeting of any company or association constituted,
registered or certified by or under any Ordinance or Act of Parliament or incorporated by Royal Charter, not being a
private company within the meaning of the Companies Ordinance (Cap 622). (Amended 28 of 2012 ss. 912 & 920)

12. A copy or fair and accurate report or summary of any notice or other matter issued for the information of the
public by or on behalf of any Government department, or by or on behalf of the Commissioner of Police.

13. A copy or fair and accurate report or summary of any notice or other matter issued for the information of the
public by or on behalf of the Consumer Council. (Added 23 of 1986 s. 4)



Cap 21 - DEFAMATION ORDINANCE 10


14. A copy or fair and accurate report or summary of any report made or published under section 16 or 16A of The
Ombudsman Ordinance (Cap 397). (Added 44 of 1994 s. 19. Amended 74 of 1996 s. 12)

15. A copy of a fair and accurate report or summary of any report prepared and supplied for the purposes of section
30 of the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Ordinance (Cap 485) or prepared and published under section 32 of that
Ordinance. (Added 4 of 1998 s. 9)

(Added 33 of 1961 s. 12. Amended 23 of 1986 s. 4)

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