Defamation of character case


If someone has said, written, or otherwise communicated or published something that you believe is damaging to your character or reputation, you may be able to bring a defamation of character lawsuit.

The basics of defamation

The primary contentious aspects of a defamation of character lawsuit tend to revolve around the following issues:

  • Whether the statement was defamatory
  • Whether there is a valid defence
  • Whether, in the case of slander (as opposed to libel), loss resulted from the making of the statement

Other aspects which are generally more easily established are that the statement was published and that it is possible to identify you from the statement.

‘Published’ has been widely construed by the courts to cover any communication of the defamatory statement to a third party or parties.
Identification does not necessarily have to be made by full reference to you by name. So long as some readers can identify you, identification will be established.

The next steps if you’ve been defamed

A defamation of character lawsuit is not only restricted to defamatory statements published in writing - cases have successfully been proved in court for countless types of communications, even including gestures and statements on online bulletin boards.

A defamation of character lawsuit is a rather technical area of civil law, and it is important to discuss the circumstances of your situation with an experienced specialist defamation solicitor. It is often very expensive to bring a claim due to complicated common law history. This doesn’t, however, mean you shouldn’t do it.

If successful in establishing a defamation claim, you may be able to obtain an injunction prohibiting the publication, or further publication, of the defamatory statement. A person cannot be ordered to make a correction or apology. However, compensatory damages are commonly awarded.

To assess if you could file a defamation lawsuit, Contact Law can put you in touch with an experienced, specialist defamation solicitor. Please call us on 0800 1777 162 or complete the web-form above.

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