Traditionally, defamation litigation was taken because of the publication of a false statement which caused a person to be subject to ridicule or contempt. That definition has given way to a more modern one, and now defamation litigation, can arise through a statement which tends to lower the reputation, or which creates a negative image of the subject in the eyes of right-thinking people.
Your Right to Litigation
Defamation litigation can arise in many ways, through the spoken word, including broadcast media such as TV and radio, through the press or a magazine article, and in our modern era of communication, through electronic media such as blogs, internet articles and even twitter.
The right to ones good name is protected under the Irish constitution, and the new Defamation Act 2009 came into force on the 1st January 2010, which introduced many significant changes to defamation law and litigation procedures.
Defamation comes in several forms, including, calumny, slander, vilification and libel.
The value of your reputation cannot be overstated, because a damaged reputation can cause all kinds of difficulties that can seriously affect your working life and your families quality of life.
For example, in business, your company or individual reputation inevitably precedes you, and if it inspires respect, a lot of your work is done for you before you arrive to a meeting, or utter a single word. A reputation often takes many years to build, but can be destroyed in moments by careless or inaccurate communication.
Your Litigation Claim
Entering into litigation for defamation can be a complex matter, requiring expert judgement and sensitivity. For example do you simply want your good name cleared, or do you feel you should be compensated for the damage to your reputation? In certain cases going too far to protect your name can in itself have a negative impact.
The first step is to quickly ensure you receive the best advice about whether you have a valid claim and the best way to to go about starting litigation proceedings.