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Re: Libel

From: aebrain@d...
Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2000 05:59:13 GMT
Subject: Re: Libel

>>>In US law, at least, it is only libelous if it isn't true.

>In Canada and Britain (and
>probably at least the rest of the commonwealth), the absence of mallace
>doesn't prevent it from being libel.

malice doesn't come into it (except to agravate damage, and in the case
of criminal

The only defences against Libel in Oz are:
a) You didn't write/publish it.
b) It wasn't damaging
c) That it is both true and in the public interest that such a thing be

In a recent trial, a professional food columnist who wrote that he
didn't like
the food at a particular restaurant was forced to pay damages, as was
his paper.
Personally, I think this was outrageous, and not even in accordance with
rather peculiar libel laws. IMHO "Public Interest" would be served by an
food critic whose tastes matched my own telling me which Restaurants
food that, while good, would not be to my taste.

To write (truly) that a Child Molester lives at No X, Y St is probably
here. To say that Mr Z who works at a Kindergarten is a Child Molester
is, if
true, probably not.

To say that any particular Politician here is a lying b*stard who
couldn't find
his a$$ with both hands, a map, compass, book of directions and a native
is not libellous. Because it's not damaging, everyone knows that all
are like this.

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