There’s more and more of it about! Libel and slander (defamation) is a very complicated area of law and it’s essential to deal with specialists, whether you are on the attack, or defending what you published.
Even “publication” is a tricky concept that can’t be left to novices with so much – reputation and damages – at stake. As leading defamation lawyers in Canberra (Ben Aulich contributes commentary on the op-ed pages of the Canberra Times), we have access to the best barristers in Sydney and across the country including Queens Counsel and other senior barristers.
If you believe your reputation has been harmed in some way due to hurtful or damaging published content, then you have a potential case to receive compensation. The same applies if you’ve been responsible for any form of communication that your opponent consider to be actionable for damages.
We’re not talking only about the mass media: today, most defamation is being published on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Few people using those social media appreciate the significance of what they’re doing – even with a negative review of a local business, or their dentist.
We provide experienced defamation lawyers who will work closely by your side every step of the way to ensure you receive the result you’re entitled to. Our lawyers can help repair damage to your reputation by having a party retract a harmful statement and issue an apology in its wake.
Having represented many clients in high profile defamation cases, we know what it takes to win these matters.
Alternatively, if you have been accused of making a defamatory statement, you should seek legal advice immediately as there may be repercussions for not responding appropriately and quickly.
What is defamation?
The classical definition is: any statement that tends to lower a person in the opinion of reasonable people.
Plaintiffs sue for damages as compensation for damage done to their reputations caused by material in any form of medium – from graffiti scrawled on a wall, through social media, to national television current affairs programs. The legal rules are the same – and they’re very, very technical.
But there are defences, ever more arcane – and our consultant QC always lectures his clients that there’s really only one defence you can always count on: truth!
Defamation cases are usually settled, and our experience in mediation assures our clients of the best possible outcomes, short of a full-blown trial.
Social media counts
With the enormous popularity of social media platforms, it’s possible to claim compensation for damaging comments posted on the internet, using websites such as Twitter or Facebook.
Our team of defamation lawyers can help clarify whether an online post is defamatory and offer valuable advice. There are some things to consider determining whether you should commence a claim for defamation, or seek the best possible compromise if you’ve acted unwisely in posting an attack.
Even if an individual was not responsible for creating the harmful post they can still be held accountable if they share the content. Although cases involving the Internet are still relatively new, the same legal principles of defamation are applicable to these types of publications. Defaming an individual is not limited to print and can be acted upon whether through photos, blog posts or otherwise. There have been plenty of cases about theatrical skits and cartoons.
The bottom line is that free speech isn’t as free as most people believe.