The rehabilitation principle, and the concomitant exclusions of evidence and questioning as to spent convictions1, do not affect any action for libel or slander begun by a rehabilitated person2 and founded upon the publication of any matter imputing that the claimant has committed or been charged with or prosecuted for or convicted3 of or sentenced4 for an offence which was the subject of a spent conviction5 if the publication complained of took place before the conviction in question became spent6. Similarly, those provisions do not in general7 prevent the defendant in any such action from relying on any defence
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