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Types of Claims

Claim for Accidents Abroad

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Work Related Stress


Damage to Reputation

Rehabilitation Code

Contributory Negligence

Negligent Misstatements

Duty of Care in Negligence

Negligence Claim


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Defamatory Statements

A defamatory statement is one which is false and causes damage to a personís reputation or otherwise does them harm.

Libel is the term given to defamation in a permanent form such as in print. Since the broadcasting Act of 1990, this also includes statements that are broadcast on the radio or television, even though the words are in this case spoken rather than written. It is the tangibility of the statement that really matters - libel deals with statements that are recorded. Defamation in a transitory and non-permanent form (e.g. defamatory statements which are spoken) is known as slander.

Defamation and chat rooms

Libel can also includes comments made online, including comments in emails or on websites. Usually comments made in a chat room or on a bulletin board/forum are considered slanderous, since their usage resembles casual conversation.

Claiming defamation

For a person to bring a claim of defamation, the following must apply:



The judge or jury do not decide straight away how damaged a claimant has been but rather just confirm that the accusations are or are not false and damaging.

Next, they decide the damages, which are affected by numerous criteria including:

Repeating libellous claims

People who repeat libellous information can also be sued, which means that a person who takes another personís statement as fact and repeats it can also be charged with libel. Victims of libel should be aware that a strong and frequently used defence by the accused is to claim that when the false information was printed elsewhere at any earlier date, the person did not complain. As such, it is prudent for a victim of libel to make a complaint on the first offence.

Extent of libel

If it were possible to charge people with libel for any and every false comment about another person, there would be no end to it. Also, people should be able to say disparaging things about others if that is their opinion, so long as this is within reasonable grounds. This is known as a defence of fair comment.

Libel does not apply to the dead, so it is legally acceptable to make untrue and damaging statements about them.


Slander differs from libel in that the claimant must usually have to prove that the defamatory comments have had an adverse effect upon their reputation, which may entail proving that the statement has done financial damage or lost business as a result.

However, there are circumstances where no damages need to be proven. This includes allegations that relate to:

The future

Libel laws are currently receiving a lot of interest and it is likely that the law will change soon. Groups as disparate as scientists, politicians, comedians and journalists are claiming that the laws are draconian and prohibitive. They claim that the current law stands in opposition to the public interest by hampering progress in various fields.

Lobby groups are making recommendations including:

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