If a publisher receives a written concerns notice from a person claiming to have been defamed, the publisher can make an ‘offer to make amends’. Such an offer must include publishing a reasonable correction and paying expenses reasonably incurred by the person defamed. It may also include an apology and compensation. Such an offer must be made within 28 days of receiving the notice, or within 14 days or receiving further particulars. The offer must be open for acceptance for a minimum of 28 days. If the offer is accepted, that is the end of the matter.
If the offer is not accepted but is later found to have been ‘reasonable’, then the fact that an offer was made in an appropriate form and within an appropriate time will provide the publisher with a defence to the action.
A statement or admission made in the making of an offer to make amends is not admissible in evidence [s 19].