Somewhere you may have heard or seen the term, but what exactly does it all mean and what is it all about? Well, what is known as “criminal defamation’ is an act of:

  • Declaring anything negative or harmful about a second party
  • Stating that it has its roots in fact
  • When actually it is the complete opposite

This can be carried out in either a verbal or written form, and applied to any type of media. The second party may be:

A – An individual

B – A group of people

C – A company or an organisation

D – Anyone at all.

This kind of hateful declaration is also known as vilification, slander, or libel.

  • Vilification is to write or speak about in an abusively or disparaging manner
  • Slander is criminal defamation communicated by a verbal method
  • Libel is the term applied to any written or pictorial forms of the same offence
  • Trade libel relates especially to false statements made about certain business products

These kind of erroneous statements may be relevant to an individual or group’s character, business conduct, ethics, financial standing, or more, and if you believe it affects you, make sure to contact and consult with MIR Solicitors in Yorkshire. You will be in need of reliable and trustworthy experts in the legal field, so this is where legal experience and skill is of the essence.

Consequences

Any accusations that have been made, must state and realistically imply and then prove to be false for them to be deemed as criminal defamation. Worldwide, there are the same set of laws against committing this crime that allows the person who has been defamed, AKA the “claimant” or “petitioner”, to seek repercussions against the injuring party or parties.

  • Statements that are acknowledged to be just mere opinion or mild criticism will not be prosecuted as defamation
  • Information that would be ridiculed by the public, will also not be considered slanderous or libellous either

For example, if a newspaper claimed that a local MP is actually Lucifer in disguise and from another dimension, it will not be found guilty of criminal defamation, even though, humorously enough, the statement itself could be viewed as negative

Honour and Reputation

Claimants can also sue a party for injury to their emotional well-being coming as a result of any false statements that may have been made. These claims are what is known as an “attack on someone’s honour”. Laws also exist which can protect an individual or group from the release of legitimate data which is maybe damaging to their reputation.

This type of information that is disclosed to the public, and is actually factual, but negative, is known by law as “public disclosure of private facts”. These factual statements must then be proven to be deemed destructive to the second party to whom they pertain, and must also be deemed as immaterial to the public.

If you are in need of advice on any type of legal issue, speak to professional people in the know.

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