171 Publication - protection against actions for defamation or breach of confidence

(1) If a document has been published and—

(a) the publication was—
(i) required or permitted under section 78 or 78A; or
(ii) authorised by a Minister, or an officer having authority in relation to disclosure logs, in the genuine belief the publication was required or permitted under section 78 or 78A; or

(b) the publication was required under section 110 or authorised by the information commissioner in the genuine belief that the publication was required under section 110;

then—

(c) no action for defamation or breach of confidence lies against the State, an agency, a Minister, the commissioner or an officer because of the publication; and

(d) no action for defamation or breach of confidence in relation to the publication or a resulting publication lies against the author of the document or another person because of the author or another person having given the document to an agency, Minister or commissioner.

(2) The publication of a document (including an exempt document or contrary to public interest document) under section 78, 78A or 110 must not be taken for the purposes of the law relating to defamation or breach of confidence to constitute an authorisation or approval of the publication of the document or its contents.