Our elderly client lawyers in Northampton and Kettering offer specialist advice and assistance to older and vulnerable people who are planning for their future or dealing with issues that are affecting them now.
Defamation is the law that protects the reputations of individuals. It applies if someone has published or is threatening to publish information about you that is untrue and will cause damage to your reputation. For these purposes the term ‘publish’ means either to say to someone else (known as ‘slander’) or to put it in writing to someone else (known as ‘libel’).
The law surrounding defamation is complex and often swift and decisive action is required to protect you if a publication has been made or is about to be. It can involve immediate court action being taken to stop the proposed publication or a claim for damages to compensate you for the damage caused to you.
The Defamation Act 2013 came into effect on 25th April 2013 and is designed to reform the existing law on defamation so as to try to strike a fair balance between protecting the reputation of individuals whilst also allowing others to exercise their right to freedom of expression.
The new Act does not codify the law into a single statute but it does introduce a number of key changes to the law which are more reflective of how information is increasingly communicated to third parties by way of the Internet. It also requires individuals to show that they have suffered ‘serious harm’ before taking court action. There has also been the introduction of new defences to such claims.
If you have been the subject of untrue information that has been published about you, it is important to obtain specialist legal advice because of the potential impact on your private and professional life. Our dispute resolution lawyers understand that embarrassment and anger are common reactions to defamatory publications and they will explain your rights and the options available to you sensitively and in a straightforward and practical way.
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