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Street on Torts

Street on Torts (16th edn)

Christian Witting
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date: 12 June 2024

p. 50520. Defamation: foundational principleslocked

p. 50520. Defamation: foundational principleslocked

  • Christian WittingChristian WittingProfessor of Law, National University of Singapore, Barrister and Solicitor, High Court of Australia and Supreme Court of Victoria

Abstract

This chapter examines the foundational principles of defamation in tort law. It explains that there are two types of defamation, libel and slander, the former of which concerns ‘permanent’ and the latter of which concerns other imputations. The chapter discusses the main elements of defamatory imputation: reference, publication, and serious harm. It suggests, taking into account the defences examined in the next chapter, that liability for defamation reflects efforts to strike a balance between the interests of free speech and the preservation of one’s reputation. This chapter incorporates the provisions of the Defamation Act 2013 and analyses recent court cases exploring its provisions.

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