Law of Torts II CASES – Defamatory (Lecture 7)

Law of Torts II CASES – Defamatory (Lecture...

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Law of Torts II ROADMAP – Defamation (Lecture 7) Defamatory imputations: Would a reasonable reader or listener interpret the information given as being defamatory and causing them to shun or stay away from the P? If yes, therefore a case of false innuendo. If no, consider if true innuendo. Would a person who holds additional information or knowledge about the P interpret an innocent statement made by the D into a defamatory one? If yes, therefore a case of true innuendo If no, consider false innuendo again. Was the defamatory material interpreted light heartedly as a joke or just merely as an abuse by the reasonable person? If yes, therefore not defamatory material If no, proceed. Have some of the meanings of words changed meaning over time? If yes, are they still defamatory? o If yes, therefore state the previous and current meaning, and proceed. o If no, therefore state the previous and current meaning, concluding that the material is not defamatory. If no, proceed. Is this a case which involves reports of criminal investigations? If yes, what material is provided? o If true information about P being accused or suspected of a crime, or being investigated for a crime, therefore the material is held not to be defamatory. o If information is false saying that P has actually committed the crime or there is a even a reasonable basis for the accusation or investigation, therefore still held to be defamatory, thus proceed. If no, proceed. If reached to this point, therefore the implications from the material are capable of bearing defamatory meaning.
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Defamatory in fact: Does the material lower the P’s reputation in the eyes of the ordinary reasonable person? If yes, proceed. o Mention that this was mentioned in Sims v Stretch . If no, then material not capable of being defamatory in fact. Based on the fact, would only a small, prejudicial, anti-social minority think less of the P? If yes, material is not defamatory. o Mention that the outcome was similar in Byrne v Dean . If no, proceed. Does the material disparage the P by imputing characteristics or behaviour for which P is responsible? If yes, proceed If no, therefore not capable of bearing defamatory meaning. Is the defamatory material based upon the P’s personal characteristic, gender or ethnic background? If yes, therefore the P isn’t blamed for anything with these statements, therefore not
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This note was uploaded on 09/27/2011 for the course FINANCE 1001 taught by Professor Profassorted during the Three '11 term at University of Adelaide.

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Law of Torts II CASES – Defamatory (Lecture...

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