November 28, 2011
“Anything that tends to lower the reputation of an individual amongst right thinking people or damages them in their trade or profession.”
Anything negative in a broad sense.
“At the heart of libel law is getting it right.”
Information has to be published to a third party to be libellous.
If published to a small group, less damaging
Jameel v. Dow Jones (2005)
Wall Street Journal allegation was seen by 5 people.
Burden of Proof
Libel laws apply equally on the Internet as it does to other formats.
Are search engines considered publishers?
Metropolitan International Schools v. Design Technica, Google (2009)
Godfrey v. Demon Internet (1999)
Demon Internet able to argue “innocent dissemination”
However, one notice of defamation is given, then on the hook.
Limitation period — 1 year from publication date.
Since introduction of conditional fees, anyone can sue for libel
Slander — Transitory statements
Injunctions are rare
Rule against prior restraint
Bonnard v. Perryman
Groups of individuals
Not public authorities/political parties