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Cover Tort Law: Text and Materials

13. Defamation  

This chapter examines the law of defamation, which protects a claimant’s reputation. It explains the distinction between libel and slander, and outlines the elements of the cause of action for defamation: that the statement must be defamatory; must refer to the claimant; and must be published. The chapter then considers the general defences to liability for defamation: (1) truth, (2) honest opinion, (3) privilege (both absolute and qualified), (4) responsible publication on matter of public interest, (5) offer of amends and (6) innocent dissemination. The chapter concludes with a discussion of remedies for defamation.

Chapter

Cover Street on Torts

20. Defamation: foundational principles  

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.

Chapter

Cover Casebook on Tort Law

15. Defamation  

This chapter focuses on defamation which enables an individual (or, more controversially, a company) to prevent the publication of, or recover damages for, public statements which make, or are likely to make, people think less of them. At its heart is a balance between freedom of speech (protected under the European Convention on Human Rights and the Human Rights Act 1998) and the interests of an individual in the protection of their reputation. The chapter examines the Defamation Act 2013 and explains who can sue for, and be liable in, defamation, when a statement is ‘defamatory’ and innuendo. It also considers the defences of truth, honest opinion, publication in a matter of public interest and privilege. It concludes with a discussion of damages for defamation.

Chapter

Cover Tort Law

15. Privacy  

All books in this flagship series contain carefully selected substantial extracts from key cases, legislation, and academic debate, providing able students with a stand-alone resource. This chapter focuses on the emergence of a new action to protect privacy under the Human Rights Act 1998, with particular reference to unjustified publication of private information. It begins by considering whether privacy is a protected interest at common law and whether privacy must be recognized and given protection through the law of tort. It then examines the tools which have been used in the partial absorption of privacy as a protected interest in common law, citing the provisions of the Human Rights Act 1998 and Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The controversies surrounding disclosure of private information and the power of injunctions are also considered, along with the issue of intrusion as an invasion of privacy.

Chapter

Cover Lunney & Oliphant's Tort Law

12. Defamation  

Donal Nolan and Ken Oliphant

This chapter examines the law of defamation, which protects a claimant’s reputation. It explains the distinction between libel and slander, and outlines the elements of the cause of action for defamation: that the statement must be defamatory; must refer to the claimant; and must be published. The chapter then considers the general defences to liability for defamation: (1) truth, (2) honest opinion, (3) privilege (both absolute and qualified), (4) publication on matter of public interest, (5) offer of amends and (6) innocent dissemination. The chapter concludes with analysis of remedies for defamation and discussion of the balance to be struck between protection of reputation and freedom of speech.

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.