Australia's #1 for Law
Join 150,000 Australians every month. Ask a question, respond to a question and better understand the law today!
FREE - Join Now
Defamation (also known as calumny, vilification, libel, slander or traducement) is the oral or written communication of a false statement about another that unjustly harms their reputation and usually constitutes a tort or crime. In several countries, including South Korea, a true statement can also be considered defamation.
Under common law, to constitute defamation, a claim must generally be false and must have been made to someone other than the person defamed. Some common law jurisdictions also distinguish between spoken defamation, called slander and defamation in other media such as printed words or images, called libel. In the United States, false light laws protect against statements which are not technically false but are misleading.In some jurisdictions, defamation is treated as a crime rather than a civil wrong. The United Nations Human Rights Committee ruled in 2012 that the libel law of one country, the Philippines, was inconsistent with Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as well as urging that "State parties [to the Covenant] should consider the decriminalization of libel". In Saudi Arabia, defamation of the state, or a past or present ruler, is punishable under terrorism legislation.A person who defames another may be called a "defamer", "libeler", "slanderer" or rarely a "famacide". The term libel is derived from the Latin libellus (literally "small book", or "booklet").

View More On
  1. L

    VIC Can I charge my mother and uncle with defamation over a false IVO application?

    Long story short, In July of 2023 my grandfather was sick and dying. My mother and uncle were taking control of my grandparents who were both quite able to look after themselves and hadn’t asked for any help. I went to visit and was told my mother had stormed out when she found I was coming...
  2. T

    NSW Damages for defamation in an adverse action claim

    Is there any reason why damages for defamation couldn’t be claimed in a successful general protections adverse action case? Would the defamation need to be an adverse action itself caused by the exercise of a workplace right or could it be considered for damages in the same way that shock...
  3. Harry supak

    SA Defamation. I lost a case as could not afford a lawyer

    My neighbours blamed .e for a carpet beetle infestation of their unit whi h had nothing to do with me want compensation from me as I would not pay they started harassing my family filming us made numerous false affidavits to police. Had me arrested charged on their lies. Defending this cost...
  4. S

    QLD Defamation

    Might have seen mental health years ago but can I have DOCS up for defamation of character even though they knew I was getting abused as a child where they keep bringing it up against me even though they put me back with the abuser.
  5. Ian Curtis

    Lawyer still has not served the defendant 16 months in. What now?

    This is a high profile lawyer specialising in defamation whom my friend has engaged. It involves defamatory facebook posts which are totally untrue. He has a strong case (about as "straightforward" as is possible though nothing ever is straightforward in defamation) however this lawyer takes...
  6. L

    VIC Defamation of character?

    I know of has been charged of an offence, it has been listed on the court listings. Someone called the press and the press took it to the paper naming that person, the charges and the court date coming up. This has of course ruined the named persons reputation. The persons lawyer says there is...
  7. H

    Post research result on my website

    I want to conduct a social experiment and publish the results on my business website. Experiment: It's a "Kiss Marry Kill" game with popular sports stars. Idea is to ask 10 girls who would they kiss, marry and kill from selected 5 sporting stars (e.g Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Tim Cahill...
  8. O

    QLD Calling possible future employers

    An employer called a possible future employer and informed them that they had just let go of a few employees and that the employees were trouble makers who were only after money. Is this classed as defamation?
  9. KMac83

    QLD What would you do? Protection Order? Harassment? Defamation? Anything?

    Bear with me.. will try to explain this in order of events and provide a little context to the restrictions/behaviors in play here. Fiancé has an ex wife. She has him under a DVO (long story short, but she made Fiancé believe their parenting orders were official consent orders, one weekend he...
  10. M

    NSW Social Media and Defamatory remarks

    Hi Everyone, I have a few questions about Social Media, particularly Facebook and alleged defamatory posts made by a user. Apologies is this is long winded. If a person posts a comment on a Facebook Page, lets say a particularly Church's Facebook page and the comment was deemed to be in fact...