Slander as a form of defamation


Slander is a particular type of defamation. Slander defamation generally refers to defamatory statements made orally, that is, in speech. However, slander can also include any other type of communication or publication that is transient, or non-permanent, in nature. Thus, gestures are another common type of defamation. Recently, the High Court has indicated that chat room conversations on the internet may constitute slander, due to their conversational and casual nature. The other category of defamation is libel. Libel defamation generally refers to defamatory statements made in writing, or broadcast. However, it can also include other communications or publications made in a similarly permanent manner.

All defamation actions require certain elements to be established according to law. It is not necessarily sufficient that a statement was insulting or abusive. It must be defamatory according to the meaning set out by the courts. This generally requires that the statement tends to lower the person ‘in the estimation of right-thinking members of society generally’. It must also be established that the statement was published to a third party or parties, whether in a transient or permanent manner. It must also be possible for you to be identified from the statement.

Slander defamation has an additional requirement. It must be proven that you incurred loss as a result of the publication of the defamatory statement. The same defences apply for slander defamation as with libel defamation.

If you would like to obtain legal advice on slander defamation, Caven can put you in touch with local specialist defamation / slander solicitors free of charge. So, if you have any questions or would like our help in finding local specialist defamation / slander solicitors please call us on 08001 221 2299 or complete the web-form above.

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