Defamation Laws In Brunei

The Defamation Act of Brunei Darussalam, which was revised in 2000, punishes libel or slander by means of “broadcasting, telecommunication or publication by newspaper.”

The laws governing both libel and slander in Brunei are identical.

Bloggers should also be aware that under the Brunei Defamation Act, a blog post “for the purpose of the law of libel and slander,” may be considered the equivalent to “broadcasting of words by means of telecommunication” and as such will be treated as publication. Even though the defamatory content on the Internet can be deleted, there is a possibility that the post can be recovered through a cache, and thus can be admitted into evidence.

Though there has not been any major case of litigation concerning blogs and bloggers in Brunei, the neighboring countries of Malaysia and Singapore have had cases which has resulted in imprisonment for comments made by bloggers.

Under Section 500 of Brunei’s Penal Code, whomever defames another can be imprisoned for a term of up to 5 years and a fine.

Under Section 6 of the Limitation Act, Laws of Brunei, no action for libel or slander shall be brought after the expiration of three (3) years from the date on which the cause of action accrued. Filing of an act of defamation committed beyond the limits of Brunei Darussalam shall be dealt according to the provisions of the Penal Code of Brunei in the same manner as if such act had been committed within Brunei Darussalam (please see Section 3 of the Penal Code, Laws of Brunei)