What can I do if someone is trying to damage my reputation?

Individuals and businesses can both be affected by someone making false statements about them which are malicious and untrue.

If you’ve had a statement made about you which could cause serious harm or damage to your reputation, and cause a loss, you may be a victim of defamation.

In this article, Jason Hayter, of our Dispute Resolution Team, outlines the basics for dealing with defamatory statements and how you may be able make a claim.

What is defamation?

Defamation is a statement which causes harm to the character of the person or organisation it refers to.

Whereas defamation is a collective term used by parties who are victims of a harmful statement, there are two sub-categories of defamation which include libel and slander.

What are the different types of defamation?

Libel and slander are both statements which are damaging to a person’s reputation. Libel is written and slander is spoken word.
In general, libel is considered to be worse and easier for the defamed person to bring a case.

What is an example of defamation?

Some examples of defamation are:

  • Writing a negative review about a company, which is false, with the intention to damage its business.
  • False representations, under Section 1 of the Defamation Act 2013 (‘the 2013 Act’), that someone has alleged commission of a criminal offence.
  • Falsely accusing a colleague of undertaking an act which results in them losing their job.

What can I do if someone is defaming me?

If you been defamed by someone, you may be in a position to bring a claim under the 2013 Act.

However, you must act quickly! Claims for defamation must be made within one year from the date which the defamatory statement was made.

Who can bring a claim for defamation?

Both companies and individuals may be successful in a claim for defamation. However, you will be ineligible to bring a claim if you are a public body, political body or unincorporated associations.

What is needed to prove defamation?

Click here to read the full article.

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