Other Names: Risk of slandering
Nature: Defamation of character in speech - slander - is not usually a criminal offence (except in some jurisdictions in Australia and the USA) unless offensive words are blasphemous, seditious or obscene. It is not an actionable offence unless proof of 'special damage' is produced, such as the loss of advantage other than reputation. Slander must impute a punishable crime, a loathsome disease, adultery of a woman, or charges which would prejudice the plaintiff's profession. Under certain jurisdictions no distinction is made between libel and slander (as in Scotland) whereby the latter becomes actionable on grounds otherwise reserved for libel. Under other jurisdictions (non-actionable) slander includes written innuendo (such as in the USA).
Problem Type: D: Detailed problems
Date of last update 01.01.2000 – 00:00 CET