Fiji Consolidated Legislation
LAWS OF FIJI
Ordinances Nos. 3 of 1949, 38 of 1960
AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE CORRECTION OF FALSE AND DISTORTED STATEMENTS APPEARING IN THE PRESS
[1st July, 1949.]
1. This Act may be cited as the Press Correction Act.
2. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires-
"newspaper" means any paper containing public news, intelligence or occurrences, or any remarks, observations or comment in relation to such news, intelligence or occurrences printed and published in Fiji periodically or in parts or numbers at intervals not exceeding thirty-one days between the publication of any two such papers, parts or numbers;
"proprietor of the newspaper" includes the following persons:-
(a) the owner of the newspaper;
(b) the editor of the newspaper;
(c) in the case of a newspaper owned by a body corporate, each director of such body corporate; and
(d) in the case of a newspaper owned by a partnership, each partner.
Power of Minister to correct false or distorted statements
published in a newspaper
3. If any article, item, report, letter or advertisement, (hereinafter called the original article) is published in any newspaper which in the opinion of the Minister is false or distorted, he may by an order which shall be delivered at the principal office of the newspaper require to be published without charge in an issue of the newspaper to be named and in as prominent a position and manner as that in which the original article appeared a statement (hereinafter called the correcting statement) containing the facts considered by the Minister to be true which shall be delivered with the order:
(a) the correcting statement as far as possible shall not contain more words than the original article and in no case shall contain more than double the number of words in the original article;
(b) the correcting statement shall be in the same language as the original article and shall not contain any comment or expression of opinion.
(Section amended by 38 of 1960, s. 2.)
4. If the correcting statement is not published as required by a lawful order under the provisions of section 3, each proprietor of the newspaper shall, subject to the provisions of section 6, be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine of two hundred dollars or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or to both such fine and imprisonment:
Provided that where the person convicted is a body corporate, such person shall be liable to a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars.
Order for publication by court on conviction
5.-(1) A court on convicting a person under the provisions of section 4 may, in addition to any punishment it may award, make an order that the correcting statement shall be published in the newspaper in respect of which the conviction has been obtained in an issue to be specified and in as prominent a position and manner as that in which the original article appeared.
(2) If the correcting statement is not published in accordance with an order made under the provisions of subsection (1), the issue in which such statement should have appeared and each subsequent issue of the newspaper until such statement is published in the manner ordered, save in so far as the order required publication in a specified issue, shall be deemed to be a seditious publication.
6. It shall be a good defence in a prosecution under the provisions of this Act to prove or show to the satisfaction of the court-
(a) that the original article was true and not distorted; or
(b) that the correcting statement is not true; or
(c) that the correcting statement contains more words than are provided for in paragraph (a) of the proviso to section 3; or
(d) that the correcting statement contains comment or an expression of opinion; or
(e) that the correcting statement is not in the same language as the original article; or
(f) where the defendant is other than a body corporate-
(i) that the defendant endeavoured to the best of his ability to ensure publication of the correcting statement and that the non- publication was not due to his default; or
(ii) that the defendant was outside Fiji on the date of delivery of the order at the principal office of the newspaper and prior to the date upon which the correcting statement should have been published did not know and had no reason to believe that such order had been or might have been so delivered.
Controlled by Ministry of Information