According to the law dictionary, the act of making untrue statements about another which damage his/her reputation is Defamation. If the defamatory message is printed or broadcast over the media it is then referred to as LIBEL, and if it is only oral, it is SLANDER. A defamatory statement may be a statement that exposes a person to hatred, contempt or ridicule. Defamation law attempts to maintain a balance between freedom of expression and the protection of people’s reputation.
To prove defamation, there must be;
A defamatory statement. Public figures including office holders and candidates have to show that the statement was made with malicious intent and was not just a fair comment.
- What defenses may be available for a person accused of defamation?
- When the accused proves that the statement was true, that is to say, truth or justification.
- When it is the accused’s honest opinion on a matter of public interest or fair comment.
- If the statement was privileged in some way, that is to say, maybe said in one’s own private