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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 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.