What should a letter of claim for a defamation claim contain?

The Pre-Action Protocol for Defamation Claims sets out details as to what a letter of claim for a defamation claim should contain. The Pre-Action Protocol for Defamation Claims applies to all claims for libel and slander. The letter of claim should be sent at the earliest reasonable opportunity since the limitation period for defamation claims is only 1 year.

What are the requirements of the Protocol?

Information about the Claimant

The letter of claim should state the name of the Claimant.

Information about the publication or broad cast which contained the words complained of

The letter of claim should contain sufficient details so as to identify the publication or broadcast which contained the words complained of.

Date of publication

Where known, the date of publication of the words complained of should be stated.

Details of the words complained of

The letter of claim should state the words complained of. Where possible a copy of the publication or a transcript of the words complained of should be included with the letter of claim.

Details of any factual inaccuracies or unsupportable comments

The letter of claim should give details of any factual inaccuracies or unsupportable comment within the words complained of. The Claimant is required to give a sufficient explanation to enable the Defendant to understand why the words are inaccurate or unsupportable.

Any facts of matters which make the Claimant identifiable

Where relevant, the letter of claim should include any facts or matters which make the Claimant identifiable from the words complained of. This will be necessary where the Claimant is not named but the circumstances and facts identify who he is.

Any special facts

Where relevant, the letter of claim should include details of any special facts relevant to the interpretation of the words complained of.

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For more information on:

  • Any special damage
  • The remedies sought
  • Meaning of words complained of
  • Date for acknowledging the letter of claim