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Defamation and slander

Open Discussions Thread, Defamation and slander in General Discussion; I was thinking about this the other day and I know a couple of Stockies have OH's that are lawyers, ...
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Old 22-07-2011, 05:23 PM   #1
HalcyonStables
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Default Defamation and slander

I was thinking about this the other day and I know a couple of Stockies have OH's that are lawyers, and I thought some people might have personal experiences to share.

What exactly is slander and defamation and what happens in a case?

I mean, if I write on my personal diary here at home "ABC is a stupid idiot and should never be allowed near a horse because she whipped one yesterday." and the fact is totally false, is that slander? However if it's TRUE is it still slander?

If I write the same thing on a public forum and it's false, obviously that would be slander. If it was TRUE is it slander and could ABC basically sue me' for damages to their reputation?

If instead I wrote on a public forum "I saw a stupid cow whip her horse yesterday, she should never have horses." on a public forum and the person I am referring to realizes it's her I am referring to because they saw me when the incident occurred, would they have a case if they decided to persue it even though no name or address or details identifying the horse or person is released?

Can you be done for defamation if the facts are correct? Ie on x date at approx x time I witnessed x person striking their horse x amount of times with their whip.

Is it slander if it is gossip or rumour? Said by word of mouth or only if it's written (ie more solid proof than "I heard", "so and so said" or "I saw" verbally?

It seems these days as soon as anyone sees something or hears something they don't like about themselves they scream for their lawyer to file a suit.

So what exactly is slander and defamation? Does anyone know? Or does anyone know a website with the correct legal information regarding this?

Purely out of interest, I hear about it a lot, but know very little about it.
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Old 22-07-2011, 05:33 PM   #2
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-I thought this was an interesting site, especially the part about "Who can sue" and "Who can be sued and liable".

Australian Defamation Laws and the Internet

I think it comes down to if it has an impact on the person ie. loss of business.

In your examples, you writing in your diary can't really be used as slander/defamation however if you were to rant on stockies naming a certain person OR possibly not even naming them BUT ensuring that everyone "knows" who they are...well, then they could sue. Especially if they are a trainer or business person.

However in the case of animal abuse you could then possibly seek help from the RSPCA and you may have a counter case?

I'm not a lawyer but did a bit of legal studies at school...would be interested to hear if I'm right or wrong LOL.
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Old 22-07-2011, 05:40 PM   #3
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So you're saying that anything that publicly identifies the person and damages their reputation even if the comments written are absolutely true, is grounds for a defamation case?

By publicly identifying I mean either actually saying/writing their name or say business name, or giving big obvious clues as to who they are such as street name, address, identifying markers such as appearance or name of the horse they were riding etc.

How do the tabloids get away with the crap they write then, and I'm surprised convicted crims aren't suing the police left, right and centre Orr releasing their names to the media when they're charged etc LOL
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Old 22-07-2011, 05:55 PM   #4
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What is defamation?At its simplest, defamation is to spread bad reports about someone which could do them harm.

The verb is to defame. You can defame someone if you say something false about them which spoils their good reputation, which makes people want to avoid them or which hurts them in their work or their profession.

To defame someone, you do not have to make up false things yourself. You might defame a person by repeating or replaying words spoken by someone else, for example an interviewee. It is no defence to claim that you were only quoting someone else. If you print or broadcast something defamatory, you could be taken to court, along with your producer, your editor or station manager and the person who said the words in the first place.

Slander is a form of defamation:
slander [ˈslɑːndə]
n
1. (Law) Law
a. defamation in some transient form, as by spoken words, gestures, etc.
b. a slanderous statement, etc.
2. any false or defamatory words spoken about a person; calumny
vb
to utter or circulate slander (about)
[via Anglo-French from Old French escandle, from Late Latin scandalum a cause of offence; see scandal]
slanderer n
slanderous adj
slanderously adv
slanderousness n


Also someone would have to prove in court you were defaming them or being slanderous about them.

It would probably cost someone about $5000 just to get the case to court in legal fees.

Most of the time proving defamation is difficult and often dismissed as merely hearsay. Depends on whats being said and who said it.
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Old 22-07-2011, 05:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merrylegs View Post
So you're saying that anything that publicly identifies the person and damages their reputation even if the comments written are absolutely true, is grounds for a defamation case?
In a nutshell yes.
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Old 22-07-2011, 05:58 PM   #6
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Ok so according to what youve written, Cav it says "You can defame someone if you say something false abiut them..." etc

Does that mean then its only slander or defamation if it is false information? So if the information is factual and true, it is not slander or defamation?

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Old 22-07-2011, 06:09 PM   #7
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Merrylegs, this is a great read:

Defamation in Australia
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Old 22-07-2011, 06:33 PM   #8
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Cav covered what I was going to say
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Old 22-07-2011, 06:34 PM   #9
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great minds think alike izzy

Hope its not too serious merrylegs.
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Old 22-07-2011, 06:37 PM   #10
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LOL no I don't have any outstanding cases but I hear about threats of them all the time so thought I'd be interested to find out more. Thanks!
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