Law Reform Act 1997

Link to law: https://legislation.gov.im/cms/images/LEGISLATION/PRINCIPAL/1997/1997-0001/LawReformAct1997_2.pdf
Published: 2012-11-01

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Law Reform Act 1997

c i e
AT 1 of 1997

LAW REFORM ACT 1997

Law Reform Act 1997 Index


c AT 1 of 1997 Page 3

c i e
LAW REFORM ACT 1997

Index Section Page

PART 1 – CHOICE OF LAW IN TORT 7

1 Purpose of Part 1 ............................................................................................................. 7
2 Abolition of certain common law rules ....................................................................... 8
3 Choice of applicable law: the general rule .................................................................. 8
4 Choice of applicable law: displacement of general rule ............................................ 9
5 Exclusion of defamation claims from Part 1 ............................................................... 9
6 Transitional provision and savings .............................................................................. 9
7 Application to the Crown ............................................................................................ 10
PART 2 – DEFAMATION 10

Responsibility for publication 10

8 Responsibility for publication ..................................................................................... 10
Offer to make amends 12

9 Offer to make amends .................................................................................................. 12
10 Accepting an offer to make amends ........................................................................... 12
11 Failure to accept offer to make amends ..................................................................... 14
Limitation 14

12 Limitation of actions ..................................................................................................... 14
The meaning of a statement 15

13 Ruling on the meaning of a statement ....................................................................... 15
Summary disposal of claim 15

14 Summary disposal of claim ......................................................................................... 15
15 Meaning of summary relief ......................................................................................... 16
16 Summary disposal: rules of court ............................................................................... 16
Evidence of convictions 17

17 Evidence of convictions ............................................................................................... 17
Evidence concerning proceedings in Tynwald or Parliament 17

18 Evidence concerning proceedings in Tynwald or Parliament ............................... 17
Statutory privilege 18

Index Law Reform Act 1997


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19 Reports of court proceedings absolutely privileged ............................................... 18
20 Reports etc protected by qualified privilege ............................................................ 19
Supplementary provisions 20

21 Repeals ........................................................................................................................... 20
22 Interpretation of Part 2 ................................................................................................ 20
23 Saving ............................................................................................................................. 20
PART 3 – MISCELLANEOUS AND SUPPLEMENTAL 20

Damages for personal injury and death 20

24 Assumed rate of return on investment of damages ................................................ 20
25 Consent orders for periodical payments ................................................................... 21
26 Interpretation of ss 24 and 25...................................................................................... 21
27 Provisional damages and fatal accident claims ....................................................... 21
Interest on judgment debts and awards 21

28 Interest on judgment debts etc ................................................................................... 21
29 Interest on arbitral awards .......................................................................................... 21
Freehold covenants 22

30 Running of freehold covenants: general ................................................................... 22
31 Running of freehold covenants: developments ....................................................... 24
Appointment and retirement of trustees 24

32 Appointment and retirement of trustees .................................................................. 24
33 [Repealed] ...................................................................................................................... 25
Transfer of functions of Clerk to the Justices 25

34 Transfer of functions of Clerk to the Justices ........................................................... 25
Supplemental 25

35 Commencement ............................................................................................................ 25
36 Short title ....................................................................................................................... 26
SCHEDULE 1 27

QUALIFIED PRIVILEGE 27
SCHEDULE 2 31

DEFAMATION ENACTMENTS REPEALED 31
SCHEDULE 3 32

APPOINTMENT AND RETIREMENT OF TRUSTEES 32
SCHEDULE 4 32

SCHEDULE 5 32

TRANSFER OF FUNCTIONS OF CLERK TO THE JUSTICES 32
Law Reform Act 1997 Index


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ENDNOTES 33

TABLE OF LEGISLATION HISTORY 33
TABLE OF RENUMBERED PROVISIONS 33
TABLE OF ENDNOTE REFERENCES 33

Law Reform Act 1997 Section 1


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c i e
LAW REFORM ACT 1997

Received Royal Assent: 17 June 1997
Passed: 17 June 1997
Commenced: In accordance with section 35
AN ACT
to make provision for choice of law rules in tort; to amend the law
relating to defamation; to make new provision in relation to damages for
personal injury, including injury resulting in death; to make provision about
interest on judgment debts and awards; to make further provision for the
appointment and retirement of trustees; to amend the law relating to covenants
in conveyances of land; to enable provision with respect to pension benefits to
be made in matrimonial proceedings; to transfer certain functions to the Chief
Registrar; and for connected purposes.
EDITORIAL NOTE:
The text of this Act does not reflect the changes in terminology
made in relation to the institutions of the European Union by the European Union
(Changes in Terminology) Order 2012 (SD 606/12), commenced 1 November 2012.
These changes will be incorporated when other amendments are made to the Act.
PART 1 – CHOICE OF LAW IN TORT

1 Purpose of Part 1

[P1995/42/9]
(1) The rules in this Part apply for choosing the law (in this Part referred to
as “the applicable law
”) to be used for determining issues relating to
tort.
(2) The characterisation for the purposes of private international law of
issues arising in a claim as issues relating to tort is a matter for the courts
of the Island.
(3) The rules in this Part do not apply in relation to issues arising in any
claim excluded from the operation of this Part by section 5.
Section 2 Law Reform Act 1997


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(4) The applicable law shall be used for determining the issues arising in a
claim, including in particular the question whether an actionable tort has
occurred.
(5) The applicable law to be used for determining the issues arising in a
claim shall exclude any choice of law rules forming part of the law of the
country or countries concerned.
(6) For the avoidance of doubt (and without prejudice to the operation of
section 6) this Part applies in relation to events occurring in the Island as
it applies in relation to events occurring in any other country.
2 Abolition of certain common law rules

[P1995/42/10]
The rules of the common law, in so far as they —
(a) require actionability under both the law of the Island and the law
of another country for the purpose of determining whether a tort
is actionable; or
(b) allow (as an exception from the rules falling within paragraph (a))
for the law of a single country to be applied for the purpose of
determining the issues, or any of the issues, arising in the case in
question,
are hereby abolished so far as they apply to any claim in tort which is not
excluded from the operation of this Part by section 5.
3 Choice of applicable law: the general rule

[P1995/42/11]
(1) The general rule is that the applicable law is the law of the country in
which the events constituting the tort in question occur.
(2) Where elements of those events occur in different countries, the
applicable law under the general rule is to be taken as being —
(a) for a cause of action in respect of personal injury caused to an
individual or death resulting from personal injury, the law of the
country where the individual was when he sustained the injury;
(b) for a cause of action in respect of damage to property, the law of
the country where the property was when it was damaged; and
(c) in any other case, the law of the country in which the most
significant element or elements of those events occurred.
(3) In this section ‘personal injury’ includes disease or any impairment of
physical or mental condition.
Law Reform Act 1997 Section 4


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4 Choice of applicable law: displacement of general rule

[P1995/42/12]
(1) If it appears, in all the circumstances, from a comparison of —
(a) the significance of the factors which connect a tort with the
country whose law would be the applicable law under the general
rule; and
(b) the significance of any factors connecting the tort with another
country,
that it is substantially more appropriate for the applicable law for
determining the issues arising in the case, or any of those issues, to be the
law of the other country, the general rule is displaced and the applicable
law for determining those issues or that issue (as the case may be) is the
law of that other country.
(2) The factors that may be taken into account as connecting a tort with a
country for the purposes of this section include, in particular, factors
relating to the parties, to any of the events which constitute the tort in
question or to any of the circumstances or consequences of those events.
5 Exclusion of defamation claims from Part 1

[P1995/42/13]
(1) Nothing in this Part applies to affect the determination of issues arising
in any defamation claim.
(2) For the purposes of this section ‘defamation claim’ means —
(a) any claim under the law of the Island for libel or slander or for
slander of title, slander of goods or other malicious falsehood; and
(b) any claim under the law of any other country corresponding to or
otherwise in the nature of a claim mentioned in paragraph (a).
6 Transitional provision and savings

[P1995/42/14]
(1) Nothing in this Part applies to acts or omissions giving rise to a claim
which occur before the commencement of this Part.
(2) Nothing in this Part affects any rules of law (including rules of private
international law) except those abolished by section 2.
(3) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (2), nothing in this
Part —
(a) authorises the application of the law of a country outside the
Island as the applicable law for determining issues arising in any
claim in so far as to do so —
(i) would conflict with principles of public policy; or
Section 7 Law Reform Act 1997


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(ii) would give effect to such a penal, revenue or other public
law as would not otherwise be enforceable under the law
of the Island; or
(b) affects any rules of evidence, pleading or practice or authorises
questions of procedure in any proceedings to be determined
otherwise than in accordance with the law of the Island.
(4) This Part has effect without prejudice to the operation of any rule of law
which either has effect notwithstanding the rules of private international
law applicable in the particular circumstances or modifies the rules of
private international law that would otherwise be so applicable.
7 Application to the Crown

[P1995/42/15]
(1) This Part applies in relation to claims by or against the Crown as it
applies in relation to claims to which the Crown is not a party.
(2) In subsection (1) a reference to the Crown does not include a reference to
Her Majesty in Her private capacity.
(3) Without prejudice to the generality of section 6(2), nothing in this section
affects any rule of law as to whether proceedings of any description may
be brought against the Crown.
PART 2 – DEFAMATION

Responsibility for publication
8 Responsibility for publication

[P1996/31/1]
(1) In defamation proceedings a person has a defence if he shows that —
(a) he was not the author, editor or publisher of the statement
complained of,
(b) he took reasonable care in relation to its publication, and
(c) he did not know, and had no reason to believe, that what he did
caused or contributed to the publication of a defamatory
statement.
(2) For this purpose “author”, “editor” and “publisher” have the following
meanings, which are further explained in subsection (3) —
“author
” means the originator of the statement, but does not include a person
who did not intend that his statement be published at all;
“editor
” means a person having editorial or equivalent responsibility for the
content of the statement or the decision to publish it; and
Law Reform Act 1997 Section 8


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“publisher
” means a commercial publisher, that is, a person whose business is
issuing material to the public, or a section of the public, who issues
material containing the statement in the course of that business.
(3) A person shall not be considered the author, editor or publisher of a
statement if he is only involved —
(a) in printing, producing, distributing or selling printed material
containing the statement;
(b) in processing, making copies of, distributing, exhibiting or selling
a film or sound recording (as defined in the Copyright Act 1991)
containing the statement;
(c) in processing, making copies of, distributing or selling any
electronic medium in or on which the statement is recorded, or in
operating or providing any equipment, system or service by
means of which the statement is retrieved, copied, distributed or
made available in electronic form;
(d) as the broadcaster of a live programme containing the statement
in circumstances in which he has no effective control over the
maker of the statement;
(e) as the operator of or provider of access to a communications
system by means of which the statement is transmitted, or made
available, by a person over whom he has no effective control.
In a case not within paragraphs (a) to (e) the court may have regard to
those provisions by way of analogy in deciding whether a person is to be
considered the author, editor or publisher of a statement.
(4) Employees or agents of an author, editor or publisher are in the same
position as their employer or principal to the extent that they are
responsible for the content of the statement or the decision to publish it.
(5) In determining for the purposes of this section whether a person took
reasonable care, or had reason to believe that what he did caused or
contributed to the publication of a defamatory statement, regard shall be
had to —
(a) the extent of his responsibility for the content of the statement or
the decision to publish it,
(b) the nature or circumstances of the publication, and
(c) the previous conduct or character of the author, editor or
publisher.
(6) This section does not apply to any cause of action which arose before the
section came into force.
Section 9 Law Reform Act 1997


Page 12 AT 1 of 1997 c

Offer to make amends
9 Offer to make amends

[P1996/31/2]
(1) A person who has published a statement alleged to be defamatory of
another may offer to make amends under this section.
(2) The offer may be in relation to the statement generally or in relation to a
specific defamatory meaning which the person making the offer accepts
that the statement conveys (‘a qualified offer’).
(3) An offer to make amends —
(a) must be in writing,
(b) must be expressed to be an offer to make amends under this
section, and
(c) must state whether it is a qualified offer and, if so, set out the
defamatory meaning in relation to which it is made.
(4) An offer to make amends under this section is an offer —
(a) to make a suitable correction of the statement complained of and a
sufficient apology to the aggrieved party,
(b) to publish the correction and apology in a manner that is
reasonable and practicable in the circumstances, and
(c) to pay to the aggrieved party such compensation (if any), and
such costs, as may be agreed or determined to be payable.
The fact that the offer is accompanied by an offer to take specific steps
does not affect the fact that an offer to make amends under this section is
an offer to do all the things mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (c).
(5) An offer to make amends under this section may not be made by a
person after serving a defence in defamation proceedings brought
against him by the aggrieved party in respect of the publication in
question.
(6) An offer to make amends under this section may be withdrawn before it
is accepted; and a renewal of an offer which has been withdrawn shall be
treated as a new offer.
10 Accepting an offer to make amends

[P1996/31/3]
(1) If an offer to make amends under section 9 is accepted by the aggrieved
party, the following provisions apply.
(2) The party accepting the offer may not bring or continue defamation
proceedings in respect of the publication concerned against the person
Law Reform Act 1997 Section 10


c AT 1 of 1997 Page 13

making the offer, but he is entitled to enforce the offer to make amends,
as follows.
(3) If the parties agree on the steps to be taken in fulfilment of the offer, the
aggrieved party may apply to the court for an order that the other party
fulfil his offer by taking the steps agreed.
(4) If the parties do not agree on the steps to be taken by way of correction,
apology and publication, the party who made the offer may take such
steps as he thinks appropriate, and may in particular —
(a) make the correction and apology by a statement in open court in
terms approved by the court, and
(b) give an undertaking to the court as to the manner of their
publication.
(5) If the parties do not agree on the amount to be paid by way of
compensation, it shall be determined by the court on the same principles
as damages in defamation proceedings.
The court shall take account of any steps taken in fulfilment of the offer and (so
far as not agreed between the parties) of the suitability of the correction,
the sufficiency of the apology and whether the manner of their
publication was reasonable in the circumstances, and may reduce or
increase the amount of compensation accordingly.
(6) If the parties do not agree on the amount to be paid by way of costs, it
shall be determined by the court on the same principles as costs awarded
in court proceedings.
(7) The acceptance of an offer by one person to make amends does not affect
any cause of action against another person in respect of the same
publication, subject as follows.
(8) For the purposes of the Civil Liability (Contribution) Act 1981 —
(a) the amount of compensation paid under the offer shall be treated
as paid in bona fide settlement or compromise of the claim; and
(b) where another person is liable in respect of the same damage
(whether jointly or otherwise), the person whose offer to make
amends was accepted is not required to pay by virtue of any
contribution under section 1 of that Act a greater amount than the
amount of the compensation payable in pursuance of the offer.
(9) Proceedings under this section shall be heard and determined without
a jury.
Section 11 Law Reform Act 1997


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11 Failure to accept offer to make amends

[P1996/31/4]
(1) If an offer to make amends under section 9, duly made and not
withdrawn, is not accepted by the aggrieved party, the following
provisions apply.
(2) The fact that the offer was made is a defence (subject to subsection (3)) to
defamation proceedings in respect of the publication in question by that
party against the person making the offer.
A qualified offer is only a defence in respect of the meaning to which the
offer related.
(3) There is no such defence if the person by whom the offer was made
knew or had reason to believe that the statement complained of —
(a) referred to the aggrieved party or was likely to be understood as
referring to him, and
(b) was both false and defamatory of that party;
but it shall be presumed until the contrary is shown that he did not know
and had no reason to believe that was the case.
(4) The person who made the offer need not rely on it by way of defence, but
if he does he may not rely on any other defence.
If the offer was a qualified offer, this applies only in respect of the
meaning to which the offer related.
(5) The offer may be relied on in mitigation of damages whether or not it
was relied on as a defence.
Limitation
12 Limitation of actions

[P1996/31/5]
(1) The Limitation Act 1984 is amended as follows.
(2) [Substitutes section 4A.]
(3) [Amends section 26 by substituting subsection (4A).]
(4) [Substitutes section 30A and its cross-heading.]
(5) [Amends section 33(1) by substituting paragraph (aa).]
(6) The amendments made by this section apply only to causes of action
arising after this section comes into operation.
Law Reform Act 1997 Section 13


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The meaning of a statement
13 Ruling on the meaning of a statement

[P1996/31/8]
In defamation proceedings the court shall not be asked to rule whether a
statement is arguably capable, as opposed to capable, of bearing a particular
meaning or meanings attributed to it.
Summary disposal of claim
14 Summary disposal of claim

[P1996/31/8]
(1) In defamation proceedings the court may dispose summarily of the
plaintiff’s claim in accordance with the following provisions.
(2) The court may dismiss the plaintiff’s claim if it appears to the court that
it has no realistic prospect of success and there is no reason why it
should be tried.
(3) The court may give judgment for the plaintiff and grant him summary
relief (see section 15) if it appears to the court that there is no defence to
the claim which has a realistic prospect of success, and that there is no
other reason why the claim should be tried.
Unless the plaintiff asks for summary relief, the court shall not act under
this subsection unless it is satisfied that summary relief will adequately
compensate him for the wrong he has suffered.
(4) In considering whether a claim should be tried the court shall have
regard to —
(a) whether all the persons who are or might be defendants in respect
of the publication complained of are before the court;
(b) whether summary disposal of the claim against another defendant
would be inappropriate;
(c) the extent to which there is a conflict of evidence;
(d) the seriousness of the alleged wrong (as regards the content of the
statement and the extent of publication); and
(e) whether it is justifiable in the circumstances to proceed to a full
trial.
(5) Proceedings under this section shall be heard and determined without a
jury.
Section 15 Law Reform Act 1997


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15 Meaning of summary relief

[P1996/31/9]
(1) For the purposes of section 14 (summary disposal of claim) ‘summary
relief’ means such of the following as may be appropriate —
(a) a declaration that the statement was false and defamatory of the
plaintiff;
(b) an order that the defendant publish or cause to be published a
suitable correction and apology;
(c) damages not exceeding £10,000 or such other amount as may be
prescribed by order of the Council of Ministers;
(d) an order restraining the defendant from publishing or further
publishing the matter complained of.
(2) The content of any correction and apology, and the time, manner, form
and place of publication, shall be for the parties to agree.
If they cannot agree on the content, the court may direct the defendant to
publish or cause to be published a summary of the court’s judgment
agreed by the parties or settled by the court in accordance with rules of
court.
If they cannot agree on the time, manner, form or place of publication,
the court may direct the defendant to take such reasonable and
practicable steps as the court considers appropriate.
(3) An order under subsection (1)(c) shall not have effect unless it is
approved by Tynwald.
16 Summary disposal: rules of court

[P1996/31/10]
(1) Provision may be made by rules of court as to the summary disposal of
the plaintiff’s claim in defamation proceedings.
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of that power, provision may be
made —
(a) authorising a party to apply for summary disposal at any stage of
the proceedings;
(b) authorising the court at any stage of the proceedings —
(i) to treat any application, pleading or other step in the
proceedings as an application for summary disposal, or
(ii) to make an order for summary disposal without any such
application;
(c) as to the time for serving pleadings or taking any other step in the
proceedings in a case where there are proceedings for summary
disposal;
Law Reform Act 1997 Section 17


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(d) requiring the parties to identify any question of law or
construction which the court is to be asked to determine in the
proceedings;
(e) as to the nature of any hearing on the question of summary
disposal, and in particular —
(i) authorising the court to order affidavits or witness
statements to be prepared for use as evidence at the
hearing, and
(ii) requiring the leave of the court for the calling of oral
evidence, or the introduction of new evidence, at the
hearing;
(f) authorising the court to require a defendant to elect, at or before
the hearing, whether or not to make an offer to make amends
under section 9.
Evidence of convictions
17 Evidence of convictions

[P1996/31/12]
(1) Section 13 of the Civil Evidence Act 1973 (conclusiveness of convictions for
purposes of defamation actions) is amended as follows.
(2) [Amends subsections (1) and (2) as follows: paragraph (a) substitutes
“the plaintiff” for “a person”; and paragraph (b) substitutes “he” for
“that person”.]
(3) [Inserts subsection (2A).]
(4) The amendments made by this section apply only where the trial of the
action begins after this section comes into force.
Evidence concerning proceedings in Tynwald or Parliament
18 Evidence concerning proceedings in Tynwald or Parliament

[P1991/31/13]
(1) Where the conduct of a person in or in relation to proceedings in
Tynwald or Parliament is in issue in defamation proceedings, he may
waive for the purposes of those proceedings, so far as concerns him, the
protection of any enactment or rule of law which prevents proceedings
in Tynwald or Parliament being impeached or questioned in any court or
place out of Tynwald or Parliament, as the case may be.
(2) Where a person waives that protection —
(a) any such enactment or rule of law shall not apply to prevent
evidence being given, questions being asked or statements,
Section 19 Law Reform Act 1997


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submissions, comments or findings being made about his
conduct, and
(b) none of those things shall be regarded as infringing the privilege
of Tynwald, or the Council or the Keys, or of either House of
Parliament.
(3) The waiver by one person of that protection does not affect its operation
in relation to another person who has not waived it.
(4) Nothing in this section affects any enactment or rule of law so far as it
protects a person (including a person who has waived the protection
referred to above) from legal liability for words spoken or things done in
the course of, or for the purposes of or incidental to, any proceedings in
Tynwald or in Parliament.
(5) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (4), that subsection
applies to —
(a) the giving of evidence before the Council or the Keys or a
committee of Tynwald, the Council or the Keys, or either House
of Parliament or a committee thereof;
(b) the presentation or submission of a document to the Council or
the Keys or a committee of Tynwald, the Council or the Keys, or
either House of Parliament or a committee thereof;
(c) the preparation of a document for the purposes of or incidental to
the transacting of any such business;
(d) the formulation, making or publication of a document, including a
report, by or pursuant to an order of the Council or the Keys or a
committee of Tynwald, the Council or the Keys, or either House
of Parliament or a committee thereof.
(6) In this section ‘Parliament’ means the Parliament of the United Kingdom,
and in subsection (5) —
(a) references to a committee of Tynwald include a reference to a joint
committee of the Council and the Keys; and
(b) references to a committee of either House of Parliament include a
reference to a joint committee of both Houses of Parliament.
Statutory privilege
19 Reports of court proceedings absolutely privileged

[P1996/31/14]
(1) A fair and accurate report of proceedings in public before a court to
which this section applies, if published contemporaneously with
proceedings, is absolutely privileged.
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(2) A report of proceedings which by an order of the court, or as a
consequence of any statutory provision, is required to be postponed shall
be treated as published contemporaneously if it is published as soon as
practicable after publication is permitted.
(3) This section applies to —
(a) any court in the British Islands,
(b) the European Court of Justice or any court attached to that court,
(c) the European Court of Human Rights, and
(d) any international criminal tribunal established by the Security
Council of the United Nations or by an international agreement to
which the United Kingdom is a party and which extends to the
Island.
In paragraph (a) ‘court’ includes any tribunal or body exercising the
judicial power of the State.
20 Reports etc protected by qualified privilege

[P1996/31/15]
(1) The publication of any report or other statement mentioned in Schedule 1
is privileged unless the publication is shown to be made with malice,
subject as follows.
(2) In defamation proceedings in respect of the publication of a report or
other statement mentioned in Part 2 of Schedule 1, there is no defence
under this section if the plaintiff shows that the defendant —
(a) was requested by him to publish in a suitable manner a
reasonable letter or statement by way of explanation or
contradiction, and
(b) refused or neglected to do so.
For this purpose “in a suitable manner” means in the same manner as the
publication complained of or in a manner that is adequate and
reasonable in the circumstances.
(3) This section does not apply to the publication to the public, or a section
of the public, of matter which is not of public concern and the
publication of which is not for the public benefit.
(4) Nothing in this section shall be construed —
(a) as protecting the publication of matter the publication of which is
prohibited by law, or
(b) as limiting or abridging any privilege subsisting apart from this
section.
Section 21 Law Reform Act 1997


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Supplementary provisions
21 Repeals

[P1996/31/16]
The enactments specified in Schedule 2 are repealed to the extent specified in
column 3 of that Schedule.
22 Interpretation of Part 2

[P1996/31/17]
In this Part —
“publication
” and “publish
”, in relation to a statement, have the meaning they
have for the purposes of the law of defamation generally, but
“publisher
” is specially defined for the purposes of section 8;
“statement
” means words, pictures, visual images, gestures or any other
method of signifying meaning.
23 Saving

Nothing in this Part affects the law relating to criminal libel.
PART 3 – MISCELLANEOUS AND SUPPLEMENTAL

Damages for personal injury and death
24 Assumed rate of return on investment of damages

[P1996/48/1]
(1) In determining the return to be expected from the investment of a sum
awarded as damages for future pecuniary loss in an action for personal
injury, the High Court shall, subject to and in accordance with rules of
court made for the purposes of this section, take into account such rate of
return (if any) as may from time to time be prescribed by an order made
by the Treasury.
(2) Subsection (1) does not however prevent the Court taking a different rate
of return into account if any party to the proceedings shows that it is
more appropriate in the case in question.
(3) An order under subsection (1) —
(a) may prescribe different rates of return for different classes of
case; and
(b) shall not have effect unless it is approved by Tynwald.
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25 Consent orders for periodical payments

[P1996/48/2]
(1) Where the High Court awards damages in an action for personal injury it
may, with the consent of the parties, make an order under which the
damages are wholly or partly to take the form of periodical payments.
(2) In this section ‘damages’ includes an interim payment which the Court,
by virtue of rules of court, orders the defendant to make to the plaintiff.
(3) This section is without prejudice to any powers exercisable apart from
this section.
26 Interpretation of ss 24 and 25

[P1996/48/7]
In sections 24 and 25 ‘personal injury’ includes any disease and any impairment
of a person’s physical or mental condition; and references to a claim or action
for personal injury include references to —
(a) such a claim or action brought by virtue of the Law Reform
(Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1938, and
(b) a claim or action brought by virtue of the Fatal Accidents Act 1981.
27 Provisional damages and fatal accident claims

(1) [Inserts section 4A in the Fatal Accidents Act 1981.]
(2) Subsection (2) of the above new section applies whether the award of
provisional damages was made before or after the commencement of this
section; and subsections (3) and (4) of that section apply to any award of
damages under the Fatal Accidents Act 1981 or, as the case may be, further
damages made after the commencement of this section.
Interest on judgment debts and awards
28 Interest on judgment debts etc

[Repealed]1

29 Interest on arbitral awards

(1) [Substitutes section 21 of the Arbitration Act 1976.]
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply in relation to an award made before the
commencement of this section.
Section 30 Law Reform Act 1997


Page 22 AT 1 of 1997 c

Freehold covenants
30 Running of freehold covenants: general

(1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3) and without prejudice to remedies for
enforcement, this section and section 31 replace the rules of common law
and equity relating to the enforceability between the owners of estates in
customary fee simple of covenants burdening or benefiting such estates.
(2) This section and section 31 do not apply to —
(a) any covenant contained in a conveyance of an estate in customary
fee simple made before the commencement of this section;
(b) any covenant contained in such a conveyance made on or after the
commencement of this section in pursuance of an obligation
assumed before such commencement;
(c) any covenant for title; or
(d) any covenant which is expressed to bind only the covenantor.
(3) Nothing in this section or section 31 affects the enforceability of any
covenant as between the original parties to the covenant.
(4) The following kinds of covenant, and only covenants of those kinds, are
enforceable (as appropriate to the nature of the covenant and the
circumstances of the breach or the anticipated or threatened breach) by
the owner for the time being of the land benefited by the covenant
against the owner for the time being of the land burdened by it —
(a) covenants in respect of the maintenance, repair or renewal of
party walls or fences or the preservation of boundaries;
(b) covenants to do, or to pay or contribute to the cost of, works on,
or to permit works to be done on, or for access to be had to, or for
any activity to be pursued on, the land of the covenantor for the
benefit of land of the covenantee or other land;

(c) covenants to do, or to pay for or contribute to the cost of, works
on land of the covenantee or other land where the works benefit
the land of the covenantor;
(d) covenants to reinstate in the event of damage or destruction;
(e) covenants for the protection of amenities or services or for
compliance with a statutory provision (or a requirement under it),
including —
(i) covenants (however expressed) not to use the land of the
covenantor for specified purposes or otherwise than for
purposes of a private dwelling;
(ii) covenants against causing nuisance, annoyance, damage or
inconvenience;
Law Reform Act 1997 Section 30


c AT 1 of 1997 Page 23

(iii) covenants against interfering with facilities;
(iv) covenants prohibiting, regulating or restricting building
works or the erection of any structure, or the planting,
cutting or removal of vegetation (including grass, trees and
shrubs) or requiring the tending of such vegetation;
(f) covenants in relation to a body corporate formed for the
management of land.
(5) Accordingly covenants of those kinds cease to be enforceable —
(a) by a person when he ceases to be owner of the land benefited by
the covenant; or
(b) save in respect of the transfer of membership of a body corporate
such as is mentioned in subsection (4)(f), against a person when
he ceases to be owner of the land burdened by the covenant (but
without prejudice to that person’s liability to the owner for the
time being of the land benefited by the covenant for any breach
arising during that person’s ownership of the land);
and for the purposes of paragraph (b) any proceedings commenced by
an owner of the land so benefited may be continued by any subsequent
owner of that land.
(6) For the purposes of subsections (4) and (5) it is conclusively presumed
that the benefit and the burden of a kind mentioned in subsection (4)
attach permanently to the whole and every part of the land of the
covenantee and the covenantor respectively; but this subsection does not
prejudice the release of a covenant by a deed executed by the owners of
the respective lands.
(7) In this section and section 31 —
“conveyance
” includes a transfer of registered land (within the meaning of the
Land Registration Act 1982);
“limited owner
”, in relation to land, means a tenant for life (within the meaning
of the Settled Land Act 1891) of the land and a person who under that Act
has the powers of a tenant for life of the land;
“owner
”, in relation to land, means a person who holds an estate in customary
fee simple in the land or is a limited owner of the land, but does not
include a person who holds by adverse possession unless —
(a) that possession has continued for a duration such as is sufficient
to extinguish the title to which it is adverse under section 17 of the
Limitation Act 1984 (and in that event a covenant to which this
section applies is enforceable by or against that person as if he
held under that title); or
(b) a covenant which is sought to be enforced against that person is
restrictive in substance.
Section 31 Law Reform Act 1997


Page 24 AT 1 of 1997 c

31 Running of freehold covenants: developments

(1) Where there is a development, subsections (4), (5) and (6) of section 30
apply —
(a) as if (if it is not the case) the covenants made by parcel owners
with the developer had been made also with other parcel owners
to the extent that those covenants are capable of reciprocally
benefiting and burdening the parcels of the various parcel
owners, and
(b) as if references in those subsections to the land benefited by a
covenant, the land burdened by a covenant and the land of the
covenantee and the covenantor included (to that extent)
references to parcels.
(2) For the purposes of this section a development arises where —
(a) land is, or is intended to be, divided into 2 or more parcels for
conveyance in customary fee simple by the developer to parcel
owners;
(b) there is an intention as between the developer and parcel owners
to create reciprocity of covenants such as is referred to in
subsection (1); and
(c) that intention is shown expressly in conveyances to parcel owners
or by implication from the parcels and covenants in question and
the proximity of the relationship between parcel owners.
(3) Where there is a development section 30(6) does not prejudice the release
of a covenant by a deed executed by all the parcel owners to whom
subsection (1) applies and (where he still owns part of the land
comprised in the development) the developer.
(4) In this section —
“developer” means an owner who conveys parcels of land under a development
and his successors in title;
“parcel owner” means a person who at any time acquires or holds a parcel of
land within a development.
Appointment and retirement of trustees
32 Appointment and retirement of trustees

After section 43 of the Trustee Act 1961 there are inserted the sections set out in
Schedule 3.
Law Reform Act 1997 Section 33


c AT 1 of 1997 Page 25

33 [Repealed]
2

Transfer of functions of Clerk to the Justices
34 Transfer of functions of Clerk to the Justices

(1) The functions of the Clerk to the Justices are hereby vested in the Chief
Registrar.
(2) On the commencement of this section —
(a) the enactments specified in Part 1 of Schedule 5 are amended in
accordance with that Part;
(b) the enactments specified in Part 2 of that Schedule are repealed to
the extent specified in column 3 of that Part.
(3) Any reference in any public document made before the commencement
of this section to —
(a) the Clerk to the Justices,
(b) the clerk to the High Bailiff or Deputy High Bailiff, or
(c) the clerk of a court of summary jurisdiction,
shall be construed as a reference to —
(i) the Chief Registrar, or
(ii) such person as is assigned by the Chief Registrar to act as
clerk of a court of summary jurisdiction,
as the case may require.
Supplemental
35 Commencement

[P1996/31/19]
(1) The following provisions of this Act shall come into force at the end of
the period of 2 months beginning with the day on which this Act is
passed —
section 8 (responsibility for publication),
section 12 (time limit for actions for defamation etc.),
sections 17 and 18 (evidence in defamation cases),
section 21 and Schedule 2 (repeals), so far as they relate to the
Limitation (Amendment) Act 1988,
section 22 (interpretation of Part 2),
section 23 (saving),
sections 24 to 27 (damages for personal injury or death),
sections 30 and 31 (running of covenants),
Section 36 Law Reform Act 1997


Page 26 AT 1 of 1997 c

section 33 and Schedule 4 (pensions on divorce), and
this section and section 36.3

(2) Except as provided by subsection (1), this Act shall come into force on
such day or days as may be appointed by order of the Council of
Ministers.4

(3) An order under subsection (2) may contain such transitional provisions
as appear to the Council of Ministers to be appropriate.
36 Short title

This Act may be cited as the Law Reform Act 1997.
Law Reform Act 1997 SCHEDULE 1



c AT 1 of 1997 Page 27

SCHEDULE 1

[Section 20]
QUALIFIED PRIVILEGE

PART 1 – STATEMENTS HAVING QUALIFIED PRIVILEGE

WITHOUT EXPLANATION OR CONTRADICTION

1. A fair and accurate report of proceedings in public of a legislature anywhere in
the world.
2. A fair and accurate report of proceedings in public before a court anywhere in
the world.
3. A fair and accurate report of proceedings in public of a person appointed to
hold a public inquiry by a government or legislature anywhere in the world.
4. A fair and accurate report of proceedings in public anywhere in the world of an
international organisation or an international conference.
5. A fair and accurate copy of or extract from any register or other document
required by law to be open to public inspection.
6. A notice or advertisement published by or on the authority of a court, or of a
judge or officer of a court, anywhere in the world.
7. A fair and accurate copy of or extract from matter published by or on the
authority of a government or legislature anywhere in the world.
8. A fair and accurate copy of or extract from matter published anywhere in the
world by an international organisation or an international conference.
PART 2 – STATEMENTS PRIVILEGED SUBJECT TO

EXPLANATION OR CONTRADICTION

9. (1) A fair and accurate copy of or extract from a notice or other matter issued
for the information of the public by or on behalf of —
(a) Tynwald, the Council or the Keys, a legislature in any member
State or the European Parliament;
(b) the Government of the Isle of Man, any Department, any
Statutory Board, the government of any member State, or any
authority performing governmental functions in any member
State or part of a member State, or the European Commission;
(c) an international organisation or international conference.
SCHEDULE 1
Law Reform Act 1997


Page 28 AT 1 of 1997 c

(2) In this paragraph ‘governmental functions’ includes police functions.
10. A fair and accurate copy of or extract from a document made available by a
court in the Island or in any member State or the European Court of Justice (or any
court attached to that court), or by a judge or officer of any such court.
11. (1) A fair and accurate report of proceedings at any public meeting or sitting
in the Island of —
(a) a local authority or a committee of a local authority;
(b) a justice or justices of the peace acting otherwise than as a court
exercising judicial authority;
(c) a commission, tribunal, committee or person appointed for the
purposes of any inquiry by any statutory provision, or by the
Governor, the Governor in Council, the Council of Ministers or
any Department;
(d) any other tribunal, board, committee or body constituted by or
under, and exercising functions under, any statutory provision.
(2) In sub-paragraph (1)(a) ‘local authority’ includes a joint board within the
meaning of the Local Government Act 1985.
(3) A fair and accurate report of any corresponding proceedings in any
member State or any of the Channel Islands.
12. (1) A fair and accurate report of proceedings at any public meeting held in
the Island or in a member State.
(2) In this paragraph a ‘public meeting’ means a meeting bona fide and
lawfully held for a lawful purpose and for the furtherance or discussion
of a matter of public concern, whether admission to the meeting is
general or restricted.
13. (1) A fair and accurate report of proceedings at a general meeting of a Manx
public company.
(2) A fair and accurate copy of or extract from any document circulated to
members of a Manx public company —
(a) by or with the authority of the board of directors of the company,
(b) by the auditors of the company, or
(c) by any member of the company in pursuance of a right conferred
by any statutory provision.
(3) A fair and accurate copy of or extract from any document circulated to
members of a Manx public company which relates to the appointment,
resignation, retirement or dismissal of directors of the company.
(4) In this paragraph ‘Manx public company’ means —
Law Reform Act 1997 SCHEDULE 1



c AT 1 of 1997 Page 29

(a) a public company, within the meaning of the Companies Act 1931,
or
(b) a body corporate incorporated in the Island by, or registered in
the Island under, any other statutory provision.
(5) A fair and accurate report of proceedings at any corresponding meeting
of, or copy of or extract from any corresponding document circulated to
members of, a public company formed under the law of any member
State or any of the Channel Islands.
14. A fair and accurate report of any finding or decision of any of the following
descriptions of association, formed in the Island, or of any committee or governing
body of such an association —
(a) an association formed 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 on matters of interest or concern to the
association, or the actions or conduct of any person subject to such
control or adjudication;
(b) an association formed 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 that trade, business, industry or profession, or the
actions or conduct of those persons;
(c) an association formed for the purpose of promoting or
safeguarding the interests of a 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;
(d) an association formed for the purpose of promoting charitable
objects or other objects beneficial to the community and
empowered by its constitution to exercise control over or to
adjudicate on matters of interest or concern to the association, or
the actions or conduct of any person subject to such control or
adjudication.
15. (1) A fair and accurate report of, or copy of or extract from, any
adjudication, report, statement or notice issued by a body, officer or other person
designated for the purposes of this paragraph by order of the Council of Ministers.
(2) An order under this paragraph shall not have effect unless it is approved
by Tynwald.
SCHEDULE 1
Law Reform Act 1997


Page 30 AT 1 of 1997 c

PART 3 – SUPPLEMENTARY PROVISIONS

16. (1) In this Schedule —
“court
” includes any tribunal or body exercising the judicial power of the State;
“international conference
” means a conference attended by representatives of
two or more governments;
“international organisation
” means an organisation of which two or more
governments are members, and includes any committee or other
subordinate body of such an organisation; and
“legislature
” includes a local legislature.
(2) References in this Schedule to a member State include —
(a) the United Kingdom, and
(b) any European dependent territory of a member State (including
the United Kingdom), other than the Island.
(3) In paragraphs 2 and 6 ‘court’ includes —
(a) the European Court of Justice (or any court attached to that court)
and the Court of Auditors of the European Communities,
(b) the European Court of Human Rights,
(c) any international criminal tribunal established by the Security
Council of the United Nations or by an international agreement to
which the United Kingdom is a party and which extends to the
Island, and
(d) the International Court of Justice and any other judicial or arbitral
tribunal deciding matters in dispute between States.
(4) In paragraphs 1, 3 and 7 ‘legislature’ includes the European Parliament.
17. (1) Provision may be made by order made by the Council of Ministers
identifying —
(a) for the purposes of paragraph 11, the corresponding proceedings
referred to in paragraph 11(3);
(b) for the purposes of paragraph 13, the corresponding meetings and
documents referred to in paragraph 13(5).
(2) An order under this paragraph shall not have effect unless it is approved
by Tynwald.


Law Reform Act 1997 Schedule 2



c AT 1 of 1997 Page 31

Schedule 2

[Section 21]
DEFAMATION ENACTMENTS REPEALED

[Sch 2 repeals the following Acts in part —
Libel and Slander Act 1892
Defamation Act 1954
Limitation (Amendment) Act 1988
Broadcasting Act 1993.]


Schedule 3
Law Reform Act 1997


Page 32 AT 1 of 1997 c

Schedule 3

[Section 32]
APPOINTMENT AND RETIREMENT OF TRUSTEES

[Sch 3 amends the following Act —
Trustee Act 1961 q.v.]
Schedule 4
5

Schedule 5

[Section 34]
TRANSFER OF FUNCTIONS OF CLERK TO THE JUSTICES

[Schedule 5 amended by Matrimonial Proceedings Act 2001 Sch 2, by Children
and Young Persons Act 2001 Sch 13, by Matrimonial Proceedings Act 2003 Sch
6, by Anti-Terrorism and Crime Act 2003 Sch 15 and by Proceeds of Crime Act
2008 Sch 9, and amends the following Acts —
Petty Sessions and Summary Jurisdiction Act 1927 q.v.
Bail Act 1952 q.v.
Criminal Justice Act 1963 q.v.
Children and Young Persons Act 1966 q.v.
Litter Act 1972 q.v.
Jury Act 1980 q.v.
Administration of Justice Act 1981 q.v.
Superannuation Act 1984 q.v.
Collection of Fines etc. Act 1985 q.v.
Matrimonial Proceedings Act 1986 q.v.
Legal Aid Act 1986 q.v.
Coroners of Inquests Act 1987 q.v.
Gaming, Betting and Lotteries Act 1988 q.v.
Summary Jurisdiction Act 1989 q.v.
Transfer of Governor’s Functions Act 1992 q.v.
Licensing Act 1995 q.v.
Drug Trafficking Act 1996 q.v.]
Law Reform Act 1997 Endnotes


c AT 1 of 1997 Page 33

ENDNOTES

Table of Legislation History

Legislation Year and No Commencement






Table of Renumbered Provisions

Original Current






Table of Endnote References

1
Subss (1) and (2) repealed by Administration of Justice Act 2008 s 27(2)(b). Subs (3)
repealed by Proceeds of Crime Act 2008 Sch 9. 2
S 33 repealed by Matrimonial Proceedings Act 2001 Sch 2. 3
Effective 17/8/1997. 4
ADO (Part 1 (ss 1 to 7), ss 28, 29, 32, 34, Schs 3 and 5) 1/9/1997 (SD426/97); (ss 19, 20
and Sch 1; s 21 and Sch 2 (in so far as they relate to repeals in the the Libel and Slander
Act 1892, the Defamation Act 1954 (except the repeal of s 4) and the Broadcasting Act
1993) 1/6/1999 (SD314/99); (ss 9 to 11, 13 to 16; s 21 and Sch 2 (in so far as they relate to
the repeal of s 4 of the Defamation Act 1954)) 1/7/2000 (SD183/00). Whole Act now in
force. 5
Sch 4 repealed by Matrimonial Proceedings Act 2001 Sch 2.