Right of Reply: What are your rights?

Michael Kyprianou & Co. LLC | View firm profile

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This article features an explanation of what is the ‘Right of Reply”, the instances one can use this right against an accused party, as well as specifications to keep in mind if such a case arises.

Right of Reply – What does it mean exactly?

In simple terms, the Right of Reply is used when one feels that his actions and/or intentions were misrepresented by a media outlet. This also applies for when people feel their privacy was infringed through publications in the media.

In legal terms, The Media and Defamation Act, Chapter 579 of the Laws of Malta, bestows on both legal or natural persons, the ‘Right of Reply’. If you, or your company have been targeted with any of the below, you are within your rights to enforce the defence of ‘Right of Reply’ as stipulated in Article 15 of the Media and Defamation Act:

– If you have been misrepresented or were a victim of defamation.

– If your private life was infringed by means of a publication.

After taking action against the accused party, the Court shall take the relevant facts into consideration in passing judgment and deciding on the appropriate award.

How should a Right of Reply be published?

Whilst there is no prescribed format as to how you should draft a Right of Reply, there are several conditions attached to such a Right.

The Right of Reply is to be made public through the same medium in which it was presented. The law caters for several mediums through which you can publish the Right of Reply. This includes (but is not limited to) newspapers, broadcasts or media consisting of a website.

Important Timeframes in Relation to the Right of Reply.

One should keep in mind that there are certain actions which are time-barred. Specifically, one can only utilise the Right of Reply within a specific timeframe as stipulated by law, that is, up to one month from the date of publication. The Right of Reply shall lapse if you fail to claim within the appropriate time.

Finally, there is also a time limit as to the duration for the Right of Reply to be published. This is heavily dependent on the medium above-mentioned and it is to be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

How We Can Help

If you feel that you have been a victim of misrepresentation or your private life has been intruded by means of a publication, we can assist you with exercising your Right of Reply. Consequently, by helping you to invoke such a right, you will be one step closer towards rectifying the wrong to which you have been subjected. https://www.kyprianou.com/

Authored by:

Dr Sarah Farrugia

Dr Mark Gatt

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