PR and the law - What you need to know

Two recent legal developments could have far-reaching implications for the PR industry. Kate Magee finds out more.

A legal update for the PR industry
A legal update for the PR industry

The debate over an individual's right to privacy has been raging in the media over the past few weeks, from the phone hacking scandal to the more recent furore around super-injunctions.

But receiving less attention are two legal developments that potentially have far wider ramifications for the PR industry.

First up is a consultation around the draft Defamation Bill that ends on 15 June. As part of the consultation, the Government is asking whether companies should be able to sue for defamation at all.

PR professionals may argue that the legal route is an ill-advised method of handling journalists, but Addleshaw Goddard's partner David Engel says it is the very real risk of legal liability that keeps the media honest, preventing unfounded damage to a company's reputation.

Meanwhile, the Bribery Act is due to come into effect on 1 July. At its most extreme, it could mean gifts or acts of corporate hospitality could be seen as bribes. UK companies also now have to prove they have adequate procedures in place to prevent bribery by employees or contractors both in the UK and overseas.

Click below for PRWeek's guide to these latest developments.


The Bribery Act


The draft Defamation Bill


Image from Getty

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