Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Offensive Defamation Laws.

Sometimes I find the law completely offensive. Particularly the law of torts (i.e. civil wrongs).

For example, the torts of 'Libel' and 'Slander' are in the UK based on defamatory statements refering to a particular person. The definition of what is defamatory was defined by Lord Atkin in Sim v. Stretch (1936) as a statement which lowers a person in the esteem of "right thinking members of society."

Right thinking members of society? Who are they? Those who believe in God, fatherland and university, or what?

Similarly, Section 1 of the Slander of Women Act 1891, which incredibly is still in force, states that "Words spoken and published... which impute unchastity or adultery to any woman or girl shall not require special damage to render them actionable."

Apparently it is more serious to imply that a woman is unchaste or adulterous than to imply the same about a man. The Slander of Woman Act makes it easier for woman to sue for slander, by making statements of a womans unchasity actionable without proof that she has acually suffered damage from the statement. Perhaps the law thinks such statements actually enhance a mans standing in the esteem of "right thinking members of society"?


Post a Comment

<< Home