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Chapter

Cover Tort Law Concentrate

14. Defamation  

This chapter presents the tort of defamation. The tort is divided into two causes of action: libel, which concerns communications in permanent form; and slander, which concerns communications in transitory form. Libel has been actionable without proof of damage although serious harm is now a factor. Slander is actionable only with proof of damage except in two exceptional situations. The claimant must establish a defamatory statement, referring to the claimant and its publication. The primary defence to defamation is truth, and defences in this field raise issues under art 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Defamation Acts 1996 and 2013 are covered, as are remedies for defamation.