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Defamation: Understanding Your Rights and Legal Options


What is Defamation?

Defamation is a wrong committed by an individual or an entity when a statement is made by them which is false; cannot be substantiated. Such statements become defamatory when an individual’s reputation is damaged as a result of that statement being made.  A statement is defamatory if:

  1. it is false.
  2. it causes damage to an individual’s reputation.
  3. The statement identifies the individual being defamed.
  4.  it is communicated to a third party, either verbally, in writing, or through other media such as social media or news outlets.

Types of Defamation

Defamation can be classified into two categories:

  1. Libel: Written or published defamation, which includes statements made in email, text messages, newspapers, magazines, books, websites, or social media platforms.
  2. Slander: statements made orally in conversations, speeches, or interviews. It could also take the form of suggestive comments/implications/hints about an individual.

What can I do if I am Defamed? How to sue for defamation? Legal Options for Individuals who have been Defamed

If you have been defamed through libel and/or continuing slander, it is advisable to engage a defamation lawyer to write to the individual or entity, demanding them to stop and/or withdraw and/or take down their defamatory statements.

If the individual or entity persists in making the defamatory statements against you, you could sue them in Court and seek the following reliefs, amongst others:

  • damages from the person who has made and broadcasted the defamatory statement or publication;
  • an injunction for example, to stop the further broadcasting of the defamatory statement or publication.

Evaluating Your Defamation Case: Our Lawyers Assess Potential Defences and Success Rates

There are 3 main defences that may be available in defamation claims. These are:

1. Justification (Truth)

The person who has made the statement to show that the statement made is substantially true.

2. Fair Comment

The person who has made the statement to show that the statement is an expression of opinion on a matter of public interest and is based on true facts.

3. Privilege

The person who has made the statement shows that the statement is privileged; made in parliamentary proceedings, court proceedings or in circumstances for the benefit of the public.

Assessing a Defamation Claim with Our Lawyers

Our lawyers will guide you through the following aspects of your claim:

  • Determine if the statement is potentially defamatory
  • Evaluate the potential consequences of defamation

Conclusion

If you have been defamed, please speak with our defamation lawyers to understand your rights and the legal options available to you.

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Disclaimer:
Any information of a legal nature in this blog is given in good faith and has been derived from resources believed to be reliable and accurate. The author of the information contained herein this blog does not give any warranty or accept any responsibility arising in any way, including by reason of negligence for any errors or omissions herein. Readers should seek independent legal advice.

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