Defamation

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1.Is the statement defamatory?
TEST:
Is it a statement which tends to lower the claimant in the estimation of right thinking member of society’ (Slim v Stretch) Where the claimant is ‘shunned or avoided’ (Youssoupoff v MGM Pictures) as a result of the statement. ‘Ordinary and reasonable person’ - fair-minded, neither unduly suspicious nor unduly naïve, nor avid for scandal, nor bound to select one defamatory meaning when non-defamatory meanings are available Lewis v Daily Telegraph

Who decides?
Decided by Judge if capable of being defamatory (Capital & Countries Bank Ltd v Heaty Son (HL 1882) Jury will decide if it is defamatory and it’s hoped their views will reflect current trends in society. Case:

Byrne v Deane (1937)- snitched on his golf club about illegal gambling – so they indirectly called him a snitch in a poem. It has to be defamatory towards right-minded people. What he did was right. Lukas v Young

An allegation that someone was a witch – not defamatory – no reasonable person believed in witches Monson v Tussauds – wax museum murder scene
The depiction of a scene in the defendant’s likeness is Libel in defamation What about innuendo?
True Innuendo: True innuendo arises when words that appear to be innocent to some people appear as defamatory to others because they possess special knowledge or extra information Tolley v JS Fry & Sons –amateur golfer implied to have sponsor, thus losing amateur status •If a person with ‘special knowledge’ would think less of you after the statement •And if the statement was published to one or more of those type of people ** At the time the statement must be innuendo, not fals

False Innuendo: An alternative meaning which the ordinary, reasonable person who can read between the lines would infer from the words is known as the ‘false innuendo’ meaning.

Defendant doesn’t need to be aware of the extrinsic facts Cassidy v. Daily Mirror 1929
A newspaper published a photograph of a man and a woman....
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