What is Criminal Defamation?

You may have heard the words somewhere, but what does it all mean? Criminal defamation is the act of communicating something negative or hurtful about a second party, and stating that it is true, when in fact it is the total opposite. This giving can be either verbal or written, and applied to any form of the media. The second party can be an individual, a group of people, a business, or an organisation. In fact, it can be anyone at all.

This type of hateful declaration is also known as vilification, slander, or libel. 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 can be relevant to an individual or group’s character, business conduct, ethics, financial standing, or more. If you are on the lookout for lawyers in Yorkshire, make sure to employ reliable and trustworthy experts in their field.

Consequences

Such accusations as to have been made, must state and factually imply and then prove to be false to be counted as criminal defamation. In a number of cases, the intent of the participant who has made the statement must also be shown to be malicious. Around the world, in many countries, there is the same set of laws against committing this crime that allows the party who has been defamed, also known as the claimant or petitioner, to seek repercussions against the injuring party or parties.

Statements that are acknowledged to be what are deemed just mere opinion or mild criticism will not be prosecuted as defamation. Information also, that would be deemed preposterous by the public, is also not to be considered slanderous or libellous either. For instance, should a magazine claim that a local MP is in actual fact a fallen angel from the dark side of the Universe, it cannot be found guilty of criminal defamation, even though, funnily enough, the statement could be construed as negative.

Someone’s Honour and Reputation

In some countries, there are laws in which an individual’s feelings are protected as well as his or her reputation. A claimants can sue a party for injury to their emotional well-being coming as a result of false statements being made. Such claims are known as an attack on someone’s honour.

Laws also exist which can protect individuals or groups from the release of legitimate information which is at the same time damaging to their reputations. This kind of information that is disclosed to the public, and is actually true, but negative, is known by law as public disclosure of private facts. These factual statements have to be proven to be deemed destructive to the second party to whom they pertain, and must also be deemed as immaterial to the public.

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