WHICH STATEMENTS ARE ABSOLUTELY PRIVILEDGED IN DEFAMATION

Some statements are absolutely privileged, so that there can be no action for defamation even if the words were false and were published with malice. Statements that are protected by absolute privilege include those which are made in [s 25]: parliamentary proceedings reports ...Read More

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COMMON LAW DEFENCE OF FAIR COMMENT

Lord Birkett said in 1951 - 'It is the right of every man to comment freely, fairly and honestly on any matter of public interest.' This principle means that the common law defence of fair comment may apply where the defamatory words ...Read More

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TRUTH IS A COMPLE DEFENCE IN AN ACTION FOR DEFEMATION

The defendant (the alleged defamer) must prove that the defamatory imputation carried by the material published is substantially true. For example, a person who says that someone is a murderer must prove the fact of murder. Where defamatory matter carries several imputations, it is ...Read More

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THE DEFENCE OF INNOCENT DISSEMINATION

The defence of innocent dissemination is intended to protect people such as newsagents, booksellers, librarians and internet service providers (ISP) who unwittingly publish defamatory matter without negligence on their part. However, the defence does not stand if the ISP, newsagent etc has the requisite knowledge ...Read More

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DEFENCE AGAINST DEFAMATION

It is not a defence to an action for defamation that a person was merely repeating what another person said or that the person to whom the defamatory material was published did not believe it. However, there are valid defences that apply, depending on the circumstances ...Read More

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DEFAMATORY MUST BE PUBLISHED

For material to be defamatory it must be published (made available) to a third person who is capable of understanding its defamatory significance. A letter is not published if it is in a language unknown to the reader. A letter read only ...Read More

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CATEGORIES OF DEFAMATION

In the past general law divided defamation into two categories - libel and slander. Libel is the publication of defamatory matter in permanent form, while slander is the publication of defamatory matter in non-permanent form. Something defamatory that is printed in a ...Read More

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DEFAMAMTION COURT PROCESS

An action for defamation should be commenced in the place of publication. If the material is published in more than one place, the case should be heard where the harm occasioned by the publication as a whole has its closest connection. ...Read More

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DEFAMED

Public bodies, such as local government councils, cannot sue for defamation. People employed by, or elected to, government authorities may, however, be able to sue in defamation if their personal reputation has been damaged by a publication. General groups (such as lawyers, doctors, ...Read More

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DEFINITION OF DEFAMATION

The law of defamation protects individuals and certain corporations’ reputation. The law assumes that all people are of good character until the opposite is proved. People may believe that they have been 'defamed' if someone says or implies something negative about their ...Read More

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