Monday, 8 June 2015

What is Defamation? with Glenn Duker; Lawyer and Solicitor

“All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we choose to distort it.”- Woody Allen

Glenn Duker
 Defamation is the act of damaging the reputation of another person, business or organisation either through innuendo or explicit accusation. Australian law follows the notion that everyone is of good character until proven otherwise; innocent until proven guilty. If a false statement or digitally altered photograph is used to tarnish the character of said person, business or organisation and is successful in doing so, the wronged party could seek legal action for being defamed.

Defamation typically occurs in two ways – libel and slander. Here is the difference between the two.

The difference between libel and slander

Slander and libel achieve the same outcome in two different ways. Slander occurs when a person publishes defamatory claims or accusations in a non-permanent form. For example, we all would have heard radio shock jocks like Alan Jones or Steve Price make outlandish claims when on air. However, if they were to make such a claim about a person that was a blatant lie that would be defamation? The form of defamation this takes is slander because the claim was spoken on air – heard by listeners but not recorded in hard copy format – rather than permanently documented on paper or on the internet.

Libel, on the other hand, occurs when a person or business publishes defamatory statements on a permanent media format, for example in a newspaper column or widely read blog. To use the shock jock example again, if Alan Jones or Steve Price were to make those same claims in an article published in the daily newspaper, it would be considered libel because the accusations are there for anyone to read at any time.

Lawyer and solicitor Glenn Duker can help you if you believed you have been defamed in print, online or on the air. Call our offices to see how we can help you.

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