Presentation on theme: "By Nicky, Bianca and Jessica. Defamation is aimed at protecting the character of individuals against attempts to discredit their standing in the eyes."— Presentation transcript:
Defamation is aimed at protecting the character of individuals against attempts to discredit their standing in the eyes of the community. A statement or other published material is therefore regarded as defamatory if it lowers the reputation of the plaintiff in the eyes of others in the community. Defamation laws give people the right to take legal action against people who have wrongfully attacked their reputation.
A statement is defamatory The defamatory statement refers to the plaintiff The statement has been published (communicated to people other than the person it refers to) by the defendant
A defamatory statement lowers a person’s reputation or standing in the community, exposing them to ridicule, contempt or hatred. It’s not necessary to prove that the defendant had the intention to hurt the plaintiff. Non-profit organisations or small private companies with 10 or less employees can use the law of defamation to protect their business reputations but large companies cannot. Instead, large companies may launch an action for injurious falsehood in situations where a person intentionally and maliciously makes false statements about a company resulting in that company suffering economic loss.
The person defamed need not to be mentioned by name. It may be sufficient to prove that people reading, hearing or seeing the statement would reasonably conclude that it was about the plaintiff. A plaintiff may also be defamed as part of a group. The group must be sufficiently small for it to be recognised that the plaintiff is part of that group and that his/her reputation is lowered by reference to the group
The statement must be communicated to a person other than the plaintiff. It is not defamation for a person to make untrue or derogatory comments directly to the person concerned for as long as it is done in private. However, these comments will become actionable once the third person reads, hears or sees the defamatory material. It does not matter whether the material is published to the general public or to a smaller group.