No Change In Criminal Libel Law

The law remains precisely the same on criminal libel, even with the passage of the Cybercrime bill 2016.

This is according to Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, speaking on WEFM’s Issue at hand program, Sunday.

 “All we have done on criminal libel is to make the criminal libel provision applicable in relation to a computer. We haven’t changed the law” – Dr. Gonsalves said.

The issue of criminal libel was a much-debated point on the cybercrime bill 2016.


Some advocates against criminal libel saw its presence in the bill as a direct threat to freedom of expression.

“That offence has certain specific defenses, including absolute and conditional privilege and the conditional privilege includes that if you publish something in good faith, that it’s a defense.

They will even presume good faith on your part if you genuinely believe that what you wrote was true” –Dr. Gonsalves added.

The cybercrime bill 2016 was passed on Friday. It is now expected to receive the assent of the Governor General, after which it will become an Act (statutory law).


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