Law of Defamation: Overview

  • Bruce Burke
Reference work entry


This chapter sets out to provide a very brief overview of the law of defamation as it exists in most western countries. The differences in defamation law, from one jurisdiction to another, can be vast, and there is no substitute for local knowledge and the advice of a local expert within the relevant jurisdiction.

There are similarities due to the historical roots of defamation law in many jurisdictions. Other countries, without any reliance upon a British common law tradition, still achieve somewhat similar concepts of defamation law due to the shared general desire to protect the position of a person who is wronged by false claims. Mere knowledge of the truth of a matter does not always protect the maker of a statement from defamation proceedings. The relevant defenses in each jurisdiction are of vital importance.

Medical practitioners need to be aware of both the general dangers of defamation law and particular issues with which they may be faced during the conduct of their practices.


Free Speech False Claim Indian Penal Code Honest Opinion Sexual Impropriety 
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  1. 1.
    Melkonian H. Defamation, libel tourism and the speech act of 2010. Amherst: Cambria Press; 2011.Google Scholar

Further Reading

  1. Collins M. The law of defamation and the internet. 3rd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2010.Google Scholar
  2. Glasser Jr JC, editor. International libel and privacy handbook: a global reference for journalists, publishers, webmasters and lawyers. 2nd ed. New York: Bloomberg; 2009.Google Scholar
  3. Kenyon AT. Defamation comparative law and practice. 1st ed. London: UCL Press; 2006.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Banki Haddock FioraSydneyAustralia

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