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Defamed to 5 different people

Recently I have been slandered by a person in writing with copies to five different people. What can I do? Aidan.

Hi Aidan, 

To bring a case for defamation of character you must prove that as the law put is “you have been lowered in the esteem of right thinking members of society  and  it is an interesting point about defamation that when you take a case against a person -  you as the victim – do not have to prove that you were libelled.   It is up to the author of the libel to prove that you were not libelled.    This is a complete reversal of the normal onus of proof in civil cases.

The statement in the letter must also be false, that it has been published (circulated), and that there is no defence in law to the making of the statement (for example justification, privilege,vulgar abuse or vagueness).

You should bring the libellous letter or report or whatever has been written to your Solicitor who should write an immediate letter to the author demanding an apology to be published and indicating your intention to sue for damages.

The issues raised in the answer to this NewsTalk listener's question are dealt with in a general way as can only be the case on live radio. Before relying on the advice given in this answer, whether you heard the broadcast or are for the first time reading the issues here please do not rely on the broad advice given. For a detailed professional opinion please consult a qualified legal advisor and for further details read our disclaimer on the Home Page.

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