Sub-topic

Case
Facts
Sunanansingh v At a public meeting D
Ramkerising said P’s sister-in-law
was living with him and
pregnant for him. P was
banished from his caste.
Allen v Miller D’s words alleged that P
had a VD althought they
did not literally mean
that.

Murray v
Williams

Jones v Jones

Held
Principle
No Slander Slander needs proof
b/c no special of special damage.
damage.
Loss of friends will
not suffice.
Defamation
by context

D accused P of having
consumption and said
his wife and family had
it too.

The court must
consider the place
and circumstances,
in which the words
are used.

No actionable Words capable of
slander
defamation but the
rule only covered
VDs.

Jordan v The
Advocate

D said principal had
Words not
committed adultery with actionable per
the married school
se
cleaner.
D said Sr. Dr.s too busy
playing golf to consult
with Jr. Dr.s about
patients. P was the only
consultant who saw
patients and played golf.

The words did not
disparage P’s
capacity as a
principal
Reference to P
needn’t be direct,
eg. by name. It will
suffice if P is
identifiable.

Ramkhelawan
v Motilal

D called Mrs. P a nasty
whore and prostitute and

The defence of
mere vulgar abuse

Defence of
mere vulgar
1

Other
The loss must be the
legal and natural
consequence of the
defamation.
The test to be
applied is not that of
the school teacher
but that of the
reasonable man in
the canepeice where
the words were said.
Imputations of
illnesses other than
VDs will not be
actionable under
slander.
At common law the
disparagement must
be in the way of P’s
profession or trade.
It matter not whether
the reference to P
was intended or
whether D knew the
special fact which
might lead people to
think of P.
Once defamation is
established it will be

an RM. No defamation Lewis v Daily Telegraph D alleged that P was being investigated by the fraud squad.False or Popular innuendo offered dates as to when men visited her. The article clearly Where the words said P had not taken clearly state one any bribes so the thing the court will reasonable man not infer something would have no to the contrary. An action for However. . reason to think so. where the defamation cannnot abuse impute an be brought on the actual crime it will basis of mere be actionable. abuse must fail. Bonaby v Nassau Guardian D published that P. John D accused lawyers running for elections of treason for representing organization claiming country’s prized Accusation of treason not defamatory but imputation of 2 will fail where D attempts to prove the truth of his statement. No defamation Maxwell v Forde & St. No defamation Griffiths v Dawson D accused P of being a criminal and having sabotaged his life by blackballing him. vulgar abuse alone. The ordinary man falls between the extreme of unusually suspicious and unusually naïve. Right-thinking members of the general public would not think less of P irrelevant that D did not intend to defame P. Bryne v Dean P alleged that D had posted a sign accusing him of being a police informer. was involved in a drug investigation but had not accepted any payoffs. It is not sufficient for the defamation to injure P’s reputation in the eyes of a select group of people.

the reasonable man may be loose-thinking. D wrote a report to N suggesting that P was from a subcultural background. people Where the dictators and of the generally meant the defamation is of so communists. No In light of the defamation egalitarian society in which they were. executive executive only and small a class that the could sue. words could not be defamatory Defamation Anyone knowing X and C were living together might think it immoral. as Each member By govt. Bodden v Bush D referred to the govt. all could sue. Words innocent on their face may be defamatory if special facts are known to those who hear/read them Gairy v Bullen D published article Defamation Article didn’t Reference to plaintiff No. would believe it people would believe was him it to be him. impropriety towards name but enough It will suffice if young girls seeking ordinary people ordinary sensible jobs. N and others. Cassidy v Daily DMN published that X Mirror and C were engaged when they were in fact married. Morgan v The character of the Odhams Press article must be considered.property and said they would become ‘fat cats’. improper financial gain was. since there were members were easily only 4 members. Plus. Words spoken must be considered in the context of the era and society in which they are spoken. could sue.1 alleging sexual mention PM by needn’t be by name. 3 . Bacchus v Bacchus True or innocent innuendo Reference to plaintiff Class or Group defamation P verbally abused D. all ascertainable.

Defamation Unintended defamation Hulton v Jones D published story of the adlterous exploits of Artemas Jones. Although the whole Liability for thing was quite accidental or coincidental. they must impute misconduct. were professionals acting unprofessionally. the unintentional fact is people had defamation may be though X was P. P sued. . calling. running for elections of overcharging. for people knowing man to think it’s him. and there were only 3 lawyers and 1 Dr. Ltd. Defamation Unintentional defamation Newstead v London Express Newspaper Haynes v Johnson D published a factual report of X’s trial. A man by that name sued.Class or Group Defamation Ramsahoye v Peter Taylor & Co. only nominal however. Defamation 4 Professional in that society meant lawyers and Drs. being callous and taking advantage of clients. Even where the defamation is of a large group. a member can sue if there is something in it which makes him identifiable. D said a group of members of the govt. in Govt. Whether or not the Even defamation by newspaper intended accident may incur it. Words which It is not sufficient if impute impropriety D’s words merely or misconduct by P speak of P in his will be defamatory. it was possible liability. Defamation D accused Dr. X and P had the same name and lived in the same place.