Defamation law (libel and slander)

Element Descriptor

Especially in the UK, defamation law (libel and slander) can be a real minefield. Knowing what you can and cannot get away with saying is tricky, but the consequences of getting it wrong could be very expensive…

Level descriptors

NovicePractitionerExpertNinja
You know the things you can and can’t (quite a lot) say about other people, but also when they are bluffing in threatening you.You’ve been on the receiving end of threats, and you’re enough aware of when a judicious apology might be in order. You also know defamation law is a total minefield and most of the time you’re gonna need professional (expensive) advice.You have been well trained and have battle scars around slander and defamation, and you keep up to date with relevant cases, so you know the limits of what can and cannot be said (or at least the big fuzzy grey zone).Private Eye have you on speed dial for the tricky cases…

Element Overview Essay

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Defamation, meaning slander or libel is very poorly understood by non non hierarchical social movement organisations, because it’s incredibly complex arcane, and is kept so in part so rich lawyers can stay rich and get richer. In the UK, especially the home of libel tourism, you have very confusing and murky case law.

The consequences of not understanding what you can and can’t say obviously, if you are overcautious, you end up censoring yourself more than you need to. If you’re undercautious, you can end up getting sued. There’s no legal aid for libel. And unless you’re very rich or very brave, you might end up having to make some grovelling apology, which will hurt your morale, make you look weak. make other people cautious of engaging with you because you might libel someone again.So the solutions around this is to speak to experts to learn at least the basics, while also understanding that a little knowledge is a day Interesting and overconfidence can land you in the shit as well. However, it’s worth pointing out that on the whole local authorities, I’m not able to use their own money to pursue libel actions against individuals or groups. And therefore, if a councillor decides you’ve lived with them, they’re going to have to pay out of their own pocket. But don’t rely on that. To be able to say, whatever you like, and nothing that I’ve said so far, can be construed as legal advice because I am not a lawyer.

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