Frequently Asked Questions
“Defamation occurs where one person communicates, by words, photographs, video, illustrations or other means, material which has the effect or tendency of damaging the reputation of another.” That traditional definition is now expanded to cover publication over the Internet. Generally a complex area of law, our lawyers are skilled in handling defamation matters and will advise you honestly on the risks involved.Regardless of that definition, the law of defamation is not so clearcut. It involves common law principles and, since the beginning of 2005 in Victoria and 2006 Nationally with the statutory provisions of the (national) Uniform Defamation Act.
You must commence an action for defamation within 1 year of the date of the comment or publication. This strict time frame may only be extended in very limited circumstances
In the past general law divided defamation into two categories - libel and slander. Libel is the publication of defamatory matter in permanent form, while slander is the publication of defamatory matter in non-permanent form. Something defamatory that is printed in a newspaper or book was called libel, but the same thing, if spoken, was called slander. The publication of defamatory matter over radio or television was deemed to be in permanent form and was, therefore, libel