What is Defamation?
When there is a publication of a statement that lowers the reputation of another person.

How many types of defamation and what are they?
Two

What is Libel?

What is Slander?

Methods of interpreting the words in an allegedly defamatory statement?

What is Innuendo?

E.g. “Mr. A is enjoying his honeymoon with Mrs. X, who he married two weeks ago” may not appear to be defamatory in its ordinary meaning. However, if Mr. A is in fact married to someone other than Mrs. X, then the statement about Mr. A could be defamatory by way of innuendo to those who know the true story about Mr. A.

Elements of Defamation

  1. The words are defamatory; and
  2. The words refer to the plaintiff, and
  3. That the words have been published.

What are the Defences for Defamation?

  1. Justification
      • This defence can be raised if the defendant can prove that the published statement was actually true.
  2. Unintentional Defamation
      • The Defendant unintentionally or innocently publishes defamatory material of another person.
      • E.g. A reporter writes what is alleged to be defamatory article in a magazine.
  3. Fair Comment
      • The statement made is an honest expression of an opinion about a matter of public interest.

Factors that Taken into Account by Court in Assessing Damages

    • The seriousness of the libel
    • The defendant’s behaviour from the time of the libel to the time judgment is given
    • Any malice on the part of the Defendant