Defamation, Privacy and the Media

Reputations are important

Reputations which have been nurtured for a lifetime of achievement can be damaged in seconds by the media or malicious third parties.

Defamation Injunctions

If you know that you are to be the source of a publication or broadcast to protect your privacy an injunction can be obtained from the Court which orders the Defendant not to publish or broadcast.

Defamation Claims

Defamation covers libel and slander. People are often told that Libel is written and Slander is spoken. That is not quite correct. Libel occurs when the defamatory act is preserved in a permanent way, to include when written, but also any words said that are broadcast or recorded would be Libel if they are false and hurtful to your reputation. Slander occurs when the words or gestures are not recorded in a permanent way.

Libel covers non-spoken reputation damage such as in print, by television or even on a website.

To have a claim for defamation we must show that your reputation or what people think about you has been reduced as a result of the publication by the third party.

You can even look for hidden meanings in words which generally would not contain abuse if this can be read into the specific circumstances.

One of the mistakes that people usually make with slander is to think that if the remark is made to them then they have been defamed. If no one else overhears the remark there cannot be defamation as somebody else must think less of you because of the defamatory act.

When you are successful in defamation you can obtain a Court order to prevent the words being said or published again, and also compensation to account for the damage or harm done to your reputation and also hurt feelings.

Defamation Time limits

You must move quickly in Defamation, as you only have 12 months from the date of the words being said or the publication to start your Court case.

Costs

We are prepared to offer No-Win-No-Fee (Conditional Fee Agreements) in relation to Defamation actions, which means that you will not be put to expense in relation to taking the action to Court for your own solicitors costs, which for most people is a huge relief.

Defamation Mediation

We have successfully negotiated several defamation cases to a successful conclusion and we recommend mediation as a less stressful and more direct method for obtaining what you need quickly, rather than through the Court system.

Abuse online

Over the last 5 years we have seen a real trend towards abuse online and online defamation.

One remark can easily be transmitted to hundreds of users and also retained on the internet for many years as Google threads or on Facebook.

When the defamation occurs online you can pursue a claim for compensation for the damage to your reputation, and in certain circumstances threads or posts can be removed.

To discuss any concerns that you may have in relation to a claim please call 0800 046 3272 and speak to an experienced member of the GMS Law team.