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Law of Tort - Essay Example

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A tort may be defined as one person’s interference with another’s rights, either through intent, negligence or strict liability (Brown et al, 1993). Thus, under the tort law, every person is entitled to certain rights and these include the right to be free from bodily harm, the right to enjoy a good reputation, the right to conduct business without unwarranted interference and the right to have one’s property free from damage or trespass…
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Law of Tort
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Download file to see previous pages 1. In the case of PC Black and Mrs. de Vere it is advisable that they can sue Mr Brown for making the allegations that they are involved in an adulterous relationship as well as the publishers of the Priestwich Echo for publishing this particular story. They can sue for defamation given that their reputation has been tarnished as a result of these allegations. Basically, Defamation is a group of torts which seeks to protect a person’s reputation from unwarranted attack and at first glance, these may appear to thereby protect privacy (Sweet & Maxwell, 1998). Defamation is divided into two categories namely slander (oral) and libel (published). Individuals can sue for libel as long as the permanent statement is damaging to their reputation, is false and is communicated to more than one person. It is advisable that they approach Mr Brown so that he can retract his statement if they are very sure that that it is a false allegation. If he refuses to offer an apology and retract that statement, they can proceed to file a suit for defamation against him as the allegations have negatively impacted on their reputation. After the publication of this story, the village is awash with this rumour and as a direct consequence of the allegations made by Mr. Brown, Mrs. de Vere was asked by the members of the Women’s Institute to resign from her position as chairwoman of the Institute for bringing the organisation ‘into disrepute.’ It is also advisable that they approach the publishers of the Priestwich Echo to retract the story and offer an apology given that they can prove the story to be wrong. However, it is also advised to Mrs de Vere and PC Black that for libel, the defences available include: justification/truth if the defendant can show that his statement was substantially true, fair comment merely expressing a truly held opinion that is a matter of public interest. Unintentional defamation and this can be retracted and innocent dissemination. The plaintiffs must prove that the statement is defamatory, it has been published and there are special damages for slander. For instance, in the case of (Duncan and Neill para 14.07, Hebditch v MacIlwaine [1894] 2 QB 54 at 58, [1891-4] All ER Rep 444 at 445 per Lord Esher MR and Adam v Ward [1917] AC 309 at 318, [1916-17] All ER Rep 157 at 160 per Lord Finlay LC), the jury held the judgement in favour of the defendants given that the issue published was a matter of public interest. It is therefore important that they can prove to the court that a case of defamation has been committed and it has directly impacted on their reputation otherwise they may lose their money for nothing filing for a losing lawsuit. It is advisable to Stuart Farqhuar, the MP to sue the publishers of the Priestwich Echo for publishing a story that is damaging to his reputation as a public figure and he can also sue Mr. Brown for making the allegations. The reporter, Joe Johnson makes reference to unsubstantiated rumours ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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