An individual’s good reputation can take years to earn but can be lost in moments by the publication of a defamatory statement.
The Defamation Act 2009 allows Judges sitting with a jury in a libel action to give directions to that jury in relation to "the matter of damages". This is a departure from the previous system and may result in less spectacular awards being made in the future.
The Act sets out the new rules and law governing the rights of an individual to maintain their good name and reputation as against the right of freedom of expression and fair comment.
What is Defamation?
Defamation is a statement that injures a person’s reputation or that of a company in the eyes of a reasonable person who may hear or read the statement.
There are three ingredients:
- It must be published – that is heard or read by a third party.
- It must relate to a person expressly or by implication
- It must be false.
A claim for defamation may arise in a variety of situations. At Paul Lynch Solicitors we are aware of the difficulties that both individuals and companies face in situations where they have been wronged by the publication of false or inaccurate information against them, which has resulted in harm to the person or a company. We advise clients in relation to both the defence and prosecution of such claims.
We also advise clients on media content prior to publication, to help ensure that they are publishing correct facts and that they are acting within the law to facilitate safe and accurate publication.