The below articles are only basic guidelines. Please contact Scorpion Legal Protection for more information.
The law surrounding defamation
Now that the festive season has come to an end, and a lot was said and done, Scorpion feels like it is the perfect time to discuss the law surrounding defamation, especially for those things we wish we shouldn’t have said.
Defamation is the wrongful and intentional act of damaging the good name or reputation of another which may affect their status. Defamation may occur through writing something, saying it or even making gestures in relation to another person which results in their good name being damaged. So basically if you say something bad about somebody else that will result in other people thinking less of that person, then you could have a defamation action against you.
However, proving that someone has defamed you can be difficult. Firstly it has to be published, this means if someone sends you a letter insulting you, and you’re the only one that reads it, then it is not injuring your reputation; but if someone wrote nasty things about you on Facebook or announced it in a room full of people then that can be defamatory. The test is; would a reasonable man in the shoes of the complainant have found the words damaging to his or her reputation or character.
Defamation cases are often very difficult to prove and can take a very long time for the case to be finalized. The payout for injuring another person’s reputation or good name is usually not a large amount. There are also defenses which a person may raise to prove that the words that have been said are not defamatory but the person was provoked into saying those words, that the words were the truth for the public benefit, that the words were a fair comment or were said under a privileged occasion. However if you are a Scorpion policyholder and someone accuses you of defaming them, then Scorpion will cover you.