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Defamation, Slander & Libel

If you believe that you have been the victim of Defamation, Slander or Libel, our solicitors can help you claim the compensation you deserve for any damage to your personal or businesses reputation.

In order to have a successful claim for defamation you will need to show that:
  • The statement itself was defamatory. This means that the statement would be likely to degrade the person concerned in the estimation of what a Court would call "right thinking people". A mere insult is insufficient
  • That these statements had been communicated to a third person. If someone had simply insulted someone to their face this would not entitle them to sue
  • That it would be possible to identify the individual from the statements

In the case of slander, you will also normally need to show that you have suffered a financial loss as a result of the defamatory statements.

What is Defamation?

Defamation is a false statement made by one individual about another. This statement attempts to discredit that person's character, reputation or credit worthiness. In order to be defamatory, such a statement must be communicated to at least one other person.

What is the difference between Slander and Libel?

Defamation law helps to protect the reputations of both individuals and businesses when these come under unjustified attack. The two types of defamation are:
  • Libel: in which the publication of an untrue allegation causes damage to reputation
  • Slander: in which the damaging allegation is by way of an untrue oral statement

In a nutshell, if a defamatory statement is spoken then it is described as slander. However, if it is written, broadcast or shown in a film it is described as libel.

If someone accuses me of defamation, what defences might I have?

If you are accused of defaming someone's character the most obvious defence would be that the statement was true. It can also be a defence to say that the statement was fair comment and in the public interest or simply that the words used would not be likely to lower someone's reputation in the minds of right thinking people. There are lots of other more technical defences. Individual advice should always be sought.

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