Frequently Asked Questions on Defamation

Frequently Asked Questions on Defamation

What is defamation?

Defamation is the creation of false statements concerning either a business or individual that could possibly damage that person or business’s reputation. Once the false statement is made and reputation is harmed, there are legal consequences for the individual who made the statement. Defamation can both be in writing, which is called libel and verbal, which is slander.

What are the elements of defamation?

There are a number of elements that the accuser is required to prove in a defamation lawsuit, whether for slander or libel. These are as follows:

  • The statement of defamation must be published to a third party. Publishing does not necessarily mean that it must be printed, but simply made available to someone other than the accuser.
  • The statement must be false.
  • If the statement is surrounding public concern, the individual who has published the statement must be liable in negligence.
  • The accuser must be harmed in any way by this statement.

What are the steps the law could take on defamation?

What are the consequences once defamation is proved? Firstly, the individual found guilty will be held liable for all effects of the statement. Those who repeat this will be liable as well. Harms payable could also include the loss of future or past earnings as well as damage to the person or business.

In some cases, the court may grant an order requiring instances of the defamatory statement to be deleted. In addition, the order may forbid all future republication and if breached, the individual will be in contempt of court and can be prosecuted.

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