Seminar Prep 2
What is defamation?
Refers too, injuring the reputation of another by exposing him to hatred contempt or ridicule which lowers him in the esteem right thinking of members in the society. Defendant need not ascertained beforehand the likely effect of his words as long as his actions were done voluntarily. What is relevant is that the words were understood by others in a defamatory sense. Liable – usually written. Consists of a defamatory statement or representation in permanent form which must also be visible. Statements in books, articles, newspapers, letters. *Monson V. Tussauds- Making and placing of a wax work of the plaintiff near the chamber of horrors was held to be liable. Slander- Spoken. Temporary or audible.
I. The allegation must be defamatory.
It has to be that the spoken words, which are abusive and uttered in a fit of temper are not defamatory *Fields V. Davis- Defendant called the plaintiff, a married woman a tram. The reason why this is because abuse is only meant to give vent to ones feelings rather than to injure the claimant, abuse only damages ones self-esteem. The concern of defamatory is to protect the esteem in which others/society holds him. The way in which words are spoken and the surrounding circumstances are vital and the one who makes the statement takes a risk that his words are defamatory. Deciding whether words are defamatory- Allegations which effect the claimants reputation in a prejudicial manner. Lord Pearson states that “words may be defamatory of a trader or a business man, though they do not impute any moral form or defect of a personal character. They can be defamatory of him if they impute lack of qualification, knowledge, skill, capacity, judgement or efficiency in the conduct of trade or business or professional activity” It is thus defamatory to refer to someone as a crook, coward, liar, hypocrite, a fanatic, drug addict, or a drug dealer, dishonest. The words used by the...
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